Fordham (5-12) at Charlotte (14-2)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 16, 7:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Halton Arena (9,105) -- Charlotte, North Carolina. Television: None. Home Record: Fordham 3-2, Charlotte 8-1. Away Record: Fordham 0-8, Charlotte 3-1. Neutral Record: Fordham 2-2, Charlotte 3-0. Conference Record: Fordham 1-1, Charlotte 2-0. Series Record: Charlotte leads, 8-1.
GAME NOTES: The Fordham Rams head south in the hope of securing their first road victory of the season, as they take on the Charlotte 49ers in an Atlantic 10 Conference clash at Halton Arena.
Fordham enters the game with a 5-12 record, 1-1 in the conference, after suffering a 77-73 setback to UMass at home this past Sunday. The Rams have not won or lost consecutive games since Dec. 15, alternating wins and losses over the last month. They have had no luck on the road this season, losing all eight games away from Rose Hill Gym.
Charlotte comes in with a 14-2 overall record, 2-0 in the A-10, and is coming off a 58-50 win at Rhode Island on Saturday. The 49ers have won three straight overall and are very strong at home, with their only loss this season in Charlotte coming against Florida State on Dec. 22.
This game marks the 10th meeting between Charlotte and Fordham, and the 49ers have won eight of the previous nine, including four in a row. The Niners are 4-0 against Fordham in Halton Arena. Last season, Charlotte defeated Fordham, 69-62, on the road.
Last time out, Massachusetts downed Fordham, 77-73, in Rose Hill Gym. The Rams fell behind by 14 in the first half, as Fordham shot just 26.8 percent in the period and turned the ball over 11 times, before attempting a comeback in the second half, outscoring UMass 47-37, and limiting the Minutemen to 33.3 percent efficiency in the period. The Rams eventually cut their deficit to two points, but that was as close as they would get. The Rams may have lost the game at the charity stripe, missing 12 free-throws in the contest. Frazier led all Fordham scorers with 21 points, while Gaston finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds, marking his second consecutive double-double and his fourth of the season. Ryan Canty also pulled down 13 boards as Fordham won the rebounding battle, 55-42. It was the eighth time in the last 10 games that the Rams have outrebounded their opponent by double figures, while the 55 boards is a season-high.
Junior guard Branden Frazier leads the Rams in scoring at 16.1 ppg, fourth- best in the conference, netting double figures in eight of his last nine games. He also leads the team in assists with 93, second-best in the A-10 (5.5 apg). After missing six games with an injury, senior forward Chris Gaston returned to the court and has posted double-doubles in three of the last four games. He now has four double-doubles this season, and 56 in his career. Gaston is averaging 15.0 ppg, second-best on the squad, and a team-high 7.9 rpg. He needs only two rebounds to reach 1,000 for his career. Sophomore center Ryan Canty leads the team with 17 blocks and is also shooting 59.6 percent from the field, which is the third-best figure in the A-10. The Rams play well on the boards and are near the top of the league in several rebounding categories, including third in total rebounding (38.2 rpg), fifth in rebounding margin (+3.6), second in offensive rebounds (13.2) and fifth in defensive rebounds (24.6). The Rams rank dead last in the conference in scoring margin (-8.9). They are scoring 66.4 ppg but giving up a whopping 75.2 ppg.
The 49ers defeated Rhode Island, 58-50, on the road last Saturday, as DeMario Mayfield scored a game-high 17 points off the bench. Willie Clayton posted his fourth double-double of the season with 11 points and 13 rebounds, and Pierria Henry pulled down 10 boards. The 49ers finished the game with a 45-25 advantage on the glass, and they allowed Rhode Island to shoot 52 percent in the first half before limiting those Rams to 26.9 percent after the break.
Chris Braswell leads the 49ers in scoring at 11.9 ppg. Braswell is second on the team in rebounding at 5.7 boards per game. Mayfield is second on the team in scoring at 10.9 ppg, while Henry is tied for third at 8.9 ppg and leads the team in assists (56) and steals (45). Henry actually ranks among the national leaders in steals. Clayton is tied with Henry for third on the team in scoring at 8.9 ppg. Clayton leads the team in rebounding at 7.7 rpg. As a team, Charlotte is averaging 68.9 ppg and giving up just 61.1 ppg, which is good for fourth-best in the A-10. Their scoring margin of +7.8 ranks fifth.
The Rams' road woes will likely continue as they meet a 49ers team that has been playing very good basketball all season, especially at home. Expect Charlotte to exploit Fordham's defensive weaknesses and remain perfect in conference play this season.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Charlotte 76, Fordham 62
01/16 11:09:04 ET