Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
The last time Fordham beat a Top 25 opponent, Jimmy Carter was president, gas was about 67 cents a gallon and Andy Gibb’s “(Love Is) Thicker Than Water” was the No. 1 record.
Nearly 33 years later, the Rams beat No. 22 Harvard, 60-54, Tuesday at Rose Hill Gym.
The Fordham win snapped a 54-game losing streak to ranked opponents stretching back to February 28, 1978 when the Rams knocked off then 18th-ranked Georgetown, 63-59, at Rose Hill.
The win followed a Dec. 29 victory over Georgia Tech and was Fordham’s third in a row and fourth in its last five games. Fordham is now 7-6.
The win closes out the Rams’ non-conference schedule and gives Fordham its first winning non-conference record since the 2006-07 squad went 8-6.
“I’m really happy with how hard we played tonight,” said Fordham head coach Tom Pecora. “There was a stretch in the second half where Harvard started to play a little harder but we called a time out and we regrouped. And Chris did a great job playing within himself, making veteran plays. He’s an automatic double-double.”
With a young team comprised of seven freshmen and four sophomores, the Rams were looking for veteran leadership earlier this year and junior Chris Gaston has stepped up his game, notching his sixth straight double-double and his NCAA-leading eleventh of the year. He finished with 18 points and ten rebounds, shooting 8-for-15 from the field.
Gaston said he switched from his white to his red shoes at halftime because the white ones hurt his feet. He then went out and put up 14 point and six boards in the second half.
“It was the shoes,” he said.
Senior center Kervin Bristol added seven rebounds and two blocks while senior guard Alberto Estwick nailed an early three-pointer to help the Rams stay up with the Crimson early.
Youth was also on display for the Rams with freshman Bryan Smith leading all scorers with 22 points, shooting 5-of-8 from behind the three-point line including a big three with 15 seconds left, while sophomore guard Branden Frazier tied his career-high with eight assists.
“I encourage Bryan to shoot the ball,” said Pecora. “He passes up shots. At times, I don’t think he realizes how good a shooter he is.”
(Release courtesy Fordham Athletics)
Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.