City Sports Report

VCU brings ‘havoc’ to Rose Hill Gym and Fordham

Fordham Pecora Group

It was interesting for awhile, however the Rams of Virginia Commonwealth University overpowered the Rams of Fordham, coming away from a packed Rose Hill Gym with a 75-58 victory. For both teams, it was their Atlantic 10 opener.

VCU showed everyone in attendance why they’re the hunted in the Atlantic 10 conference. Head coach Shaka Smart’s “havoc” defense proved to be too much for Fordham, who turned the ball over 28 times. VCU took full advantage, converting those turnovers into 36 points. In a nutshell, that was the difference in the game.

Briante Weber and Treveon Graham scored 14 apiece for VCU, showing why they’re both favorites for Atlantic 10 player of the year. Eric Paschall led Fordham with 15 points and Mandell Thomas contributed a double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. VCU led by as much as 15 in the first half, however Fordham showed no signs of backing down, cutting the lead to 37-30 heading into halftime. Fordham made it more interesting with a 7-1 run to open the second half, pulling to within 1. But VCU would then show why they’re the class of the conference, ripping off a 14-0 run of their own that Fordham was unable to recover from in time.

The pros and cons of Fordham’s youth showed up again, as it expects to do more of as the season progresses. In the first half, Fordham appeared energized by the big-game feel that was in the building because of VCU. While they’d go on to outrebound VCU, 42-33, the turnovers would be Fordham’s downfall. VCU regained their composure in the second half while Fordham imploded after getting to within one point.

Quick Points

Sophomore guard Jon Severe returned to Fordham after taking a leave of absence for personal reasons. Severe checked into the game in the first half and drained a three-pointer on his first shot attempt. Severe looked active on both sides of the ball and appeared happy to be back on the court with his teammates. He finished 3 for 7 with 9 points.

The turnovers continue to hurt Fordham. Paschall and Antwoine Anderson both turned it over 6 times, while Severe and Thomas contributed 5 apiece. That’s a recipe for defeat against any team, however against VCU, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

What’s Next

The action gets fast and furious in conference play so a short-term memory is required for Fordham (5-7 overall | 0-1, conference). Head coach Tom Pecora’s team will travel to Rhode Island (9-3 overall | 1-0, conference) for another “Battle of the Rams”, January 7. Rhode Island is coming off a 63-53 win over Saint Louis in their conference opener.

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