Fordham (6-15) at Virginia Commonwealth (17-5)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 2, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Verizon Wireless Arena at the Stuart C. Siegel Center
(7,693) -- Richmond, Virginia. Television: None. Home Record: Fordham 4-3, VCU
10-2. Away Record: Fordham 0-10, VCU 6-1. Neutral Record: Fordham 2-2, VCU
1-2. Conference Record: Fordham 3-3, VCU 5-2. Series Record: First-ever
GAME NOTES: Rams from opposite ends of the Atlantic 10 Conference standings
prepare the lock horns, as Fordham has made the trek to Richmond to tangle
with Virginia Commonwealth.
After losing a close one at home to Saint Joseph's on Wednesday night, 66-62,
Fordham has now lost four of its last five games. The Rams have yet to win a
true road game this season.
Sitting alone atop the A-10 standings, VCU got back on track by taking a 70-64
decision at Rhode Island, also on Wednesday night. That win snapped a two-game
losing streak that dropped VCU out of the Top-25. Prior to those setbacks, the
Rams had been one of the hottest teams in the country, winning 13 straight.
This bout marks the first-ever meeting between Fordham and Virginia
Commonwealth on the hardwood.
Fordham fell at home to Saint Joseph's the last time out, despite the best
effort of junior Branden Frazier, who scored a game-high 24 points while
adding a team-best five assists. It was his second straight 20-point game and
his eighth of the season. Frazier had a chance to give Fordham the lead late
when he went to the line with 26 seconds left and the Rams trailing by one,
63-62, but he missed the front end of a one-and-one. The Hawks made 3-of-4
from the free-throw line in the final 20 seconds to hold on for the victory.
Mandell Thomas matched his season-high with 17 points and added six rebounds,
while Ryan Canty finished with 14 rebounds to go with six points.
Frazier leads Fordham in scoring and assists, averaging 16.4 ppg (sixth-best
in A-10), and 5.1 apg (second). Frazer needs 17 points to hit the 1,000-point
scoring mark. Chris Gaston has four double-doubles this year and 56 in his
career. He is averaging 14.0 ppg, second-best on the squad, and a team-high
8.1 rpg in just 12 games, but has missed the past three games with a
recurring hip injury. Canty also helps out on the boards, pulling down 7.2 rpg
to rank ninth in the A-10. Fordham is first in the league in rebounding (38.6)
and second in offensive rebounds (13.9). As far as scoring, the Rams sit 12th
in the conference with an average of 66.4 ppg, but they are allowing 75.2 ppg,
putting them at the bottom of the league in scoring defense.
Sophomore Treveon Graham and junior Juvonte Reddic combined for 37 points and
20 rebounds to lead VCU to a hard-fought win at Rhode Island. Reddic posted
his third straight double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds (seven on the
offensive end), while Graham scored in double-figures for the 15th straight
game with a game-high 19 points. VCU shot 56.1 percent from inside the arc,
finishing with 42 points in the paint.
VCU has had no problems scoring the basketball this season, topping the league
and ranking 15th in the nation with 77.8 ppg, and it is giving up just 62.9
ppg. The team tops the conference in scoring margin (+14.9), assists (15.5
apg), steals (12.1 spg) and turnover margin (12.6). Graham is the Rams' top
scorer, putting up 16.1 ppg and adding 6.1 rpg for good measure. Reddic is a
steady producer in the frontcourt with 14.4 ppg and 8.2 rpg, and Daniels (11.9
ppg) is one of the most active 3-point shooters in the nation, making 3.6
triples per contest, tied for first in the league. Rounding out the unit's
double-digit scorers is Rob Bradenberg (10.6 ppg). Brante Weber and Darius
Theus are 1-2 in the A-10 in steals (3.1 and 2.7 spg, respectively), and Theus
does a great job at the point with 4.8 apg.
VCU boasts one of the top scoring offenses in the country and Fordham has one
of the worst defenses in the A-10. That is not a combination that bodes well
for the visitors, so expect its string of futility outside of the Bronx to
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia Commonwealth 85, Fordham 65
02/02 10:41:09 ET
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