In the series between St. John's and Fordham, the Red Storm owned a 65-21 lead with an origin dating back 106 years ago, a considerable edge. The past, though, was not a deciding factor.
On a night when Rose Hill Gym was supremely electric, the Rams led from the opening tip to the final buzzer, defeating the Red Storm, 73-57.
The assessment by both mentors, Chris Mullin of St. John’s and Jeff Neubauer of Fordham, was the perspective that the two are currently pointed in opposite directions: St. John’s is young and inexperienced, Fordham has some veterans to rely on. The story of the game, however, goes deeper.
This was a night Fordham came up and sustained energy not witnessed by this observer in this century. Literally, you would have to go to the early nineties to see a Ram team matching the passion and intensity seen in this contest. Neubauer promised at Atlantic 10 media day that his team would be rooted in defense. From full court pressure to half court defense, Fordham dictated with a proactive unit that preyed on a struggling St. John's offense, forcing 19 turnovers.
Individually, Fordham’s Ryan Rhoomes led the way with a 26-point, 12-rebound (both game-high totals) performance, but as Neubauer pointed out, individual accolades are not prioritized. “We just work to get better every day,” the coach said.
The Rams improved to 5-1, while St. John's fell to 4-3. There is still a good deal of basketball remaining as the cliche says, “the season is a marathon, not a sprint.”
Rest assured, the Fordham faithful filing out of Rose Hill into a unseasonable warm evening were savoring a special win, one by a team that is well worth keeping an eye on this season.
A panoramic view of historic Rose Hill Gymnasium:
The Fordham dance team, gracing the court during a timeout:
Fordham head coach Jeff Neubauer studies the halftime statistics:
The scoreboard says it all:
St. John's head coach Chris Mullin quietly studies stats after a long night:
About an hour after the final buzzer, some quiet descends upon Rose Hill: