Fordham and St. John's during postgame handshake line after Rams' 73-57 victory over Red Storm. (Photo courtesy of Ray Floriani)
Bronx, NY - On a night Fordham faithful will dearly remember, the Rams dismantled St. John’s, 73-57, at Rose Hill Gym. Showing efficient offense and a strong defensive effort, Fordham never trailed in raising its record to 5-1. The Red Storm fell to 4-3. The numbers of note:
Offensive Efficiency: Fordham 111, St. John's 86
eFG%: Fordham 51, St. John's 42
Free Throw Rate: St. John's 67, Fordham 38
Offensive Rebound %: Fordham 43, St. John's 33
Turnover Rate: St. John's 29, Fordham 20
What St. John's did well: Get to the line. It was the one silver lining on a very tough night for the Red Storm, having the ability to get to the charity stripe by drawing fouls off dribble penetration.
What Fordham did well: Defend. The Rams forced St. John's into a 42 percent effective field goal mark and a 2-for-11 showing from three-point range, also forcing 19 turnovers. Those miscues led to an extremely high 29 percent turnover rate and an 18-10 Fordham advantage in points off turnovers.
Leading Scorers and Effectiveness Factors:
St. John's: Felix Balamou, 14 points, EF of 22
Fordham: Ryan Rhoomes, 26 points, EF of 40
Rhoomes also posted an off-the-charts 1.29 effectiveness factor per minute. Rebounding was another key. The Rams led in offensive rebound percentage while also enjoying a 16-10 edge in raw numbers on the offensive glass. As St. John's head coach Chris Mullin pointed out, turnovers, plus Fordham's offensive rebounds, added to 15 extra field goal attempts on the part of the hosts. The rebounds also helped Fordham show a healthy 24-8 advantage in second chance points. Mandell Thomas also drew praise from Rams head coach Jeff Neubauer, as he scored 14 points, knocking down a game-high three three-pointers in the process.
Freshman guard Federico Mussini of St. John's, the team's scoring leader with an average of 17 points per game, struggled with a five-point outing on 2-of-9 shooting. Mussini also committed five turnovers against just one assist, for an effectiveness factor of only six. Mullin is high on another freshman, Kassoum Yakwe. The 6-7 forward scored only nine points, yet posted the second-highest effectiveness factor per minute on the team with a .667 clip, trailing only Felix Balamou (.710) in that category.
Block party: The teams combined for 12 rejections, with St. John's responsible for seven. The individual pacesetters for each side were freshman Yankuba Sima, with four for the Red Storm, while Ryan Canty and Ryan Rhoomes had two apiece for Fordham.
Not letting up: With 12 minutes to play, Fordham led 53-36. Over those last dozen minutes, St. John's managed just five field goals, as the Rams' defensive effort stayed strong and intense even with the lead well in hand.
One last number: 3,068, the attendance figure for an overflowing crowd at Rose Hill.