Rams Drop to 1-7 as Lehigh Starters Shine
The Fordham Rams have now played one game at the Rose Hill Gym, and three at the Stabler Arena in Bethlehem, PA. The Rams split two NIT games there earlier in the season, but this time Fordham fell to the hometown Lehigh Mountain Hawks 81-63. For Lehigh, it was their 11th straight win at home dating back to last season.
CJ McCollum was the big name heading into the game. McCollum declared for last year’s NBA Draft, but withdrew without hiring an agent, which allowed him to come back for his senior campaign. While McCollum had a solid game with 13 points, a couple other players stole the spotlight. All five Lehigh starters scored in double digits, but Mackey McKnight and Gabe Knutson led the way with 21 and 18 respectively.
Lehigh built a large lead early, aided by Knutson and Holden Greiner, who was hot from the start. At the half, Lehigh had built the lead to twenty points, 44-24. They maintained a 15-20 point lead for most of the second half, but the Rams did not go down without a fight. With around eight minutes to play, the Rams went on a run. Bryan Smith had 14 of his team-high 17 points in the second half, and the Rams started to push the tempo to cut the Lehigh lead down to single digits at 9 with around four minutes to play following a Branden Frazier jumper.
Unfortunately for the Rams, that was as close as they would get, as Lehigh answered right back and took advantage of every Fordham mistake. The talented Mountain Hawks put the game away late, but that wasn't the only bad news for Fordham. With around two minutes remaining, Frazier came around a screen, missed a jumper, but contact on the play made him go down to the ground in pain, clutching his left leg. Frazier would not return; there's no word right now on the severity of the injury.
The Rams' next game is this Saturday against cross-town rival St. John’s, under the bright lights of Madison Square Garden. Tip-off is 7pm with the the One on One pregame report at 6:55.
To listen to the One on One post game report with Kenny Ducey and I, click the plug-in below.