When Fordham guard Brevin Robin sliced through the St.John’s defense for a score, not only did he secure a 68-67 upset victory, but he clinched a victory that is sure to get Fordham some national recognition.
“Nobody said it was going to be easy,” St. John’s Head Coach Mike Jarvis said. “We hope we will start doing things we’re capable of doing.”
It looked like the Rams (5-1) had run out of gas when Anthony Glover hit a lay-up with 4:30 remaining, but following a timeout, it began its comeback.
Fordham took a 66-65 lead on forward Jeff McMillan’s hook shot with 1:39 left in the game. SJU (4-3) responded by forcing a steal and Willie Shaw slashed to the basket but was fouled. With 18.4 seconds left he hit two foul shots, giving SJU a 67-66 lead.
That lead was short-lived. With the crowd of 8,368 on its feet, Robin went around a high pick from Arseni Kuchisnky which freed him to the basket. As he rolled to the hoop for his driving lay-up, he beat Anthony Glover. With Mohamed Diakite in his way, he easily went by him for the drive which resulted in the winning lay-up.
“I felt I had a good look, I was just trying to get it high off the glass,” Robin said.
Head Coach Bob Hill knew it was a game-winner when Robin broke for the basket. ” He forced his will on them,” Hill said. “He turned the corner and once he did that, I knew he was gone.”
On the boards the Rams gave the Red Storm fits outrebounding them 48-36. That margin was a big difference in the game “I thought the game was going to be decided on the boards,” Hill said.
From the outset it was apparent that the Rams would not be a pushover opponent. Forward Duke Freeman-McKarney opened up the game with a dunk that set the tone that Fordham was ready to play.
And play, the Rams did.
Throughout the first half Fordham hung around. Following an Omar Cook lay-up which gave the Red Storm a 31-26 lead with over four minutes left, the Rams began its run.
With Cook out with two personal fouls, Fordham went on a 11-0 run into the half. As time ran out forward Arseni Kuchinsky hit a three to give the Rams a six point half-time lead (37-31).
“I believe we should have won, but we didn’t get the rebounds, we didn’t get make the free throws and we didn’t come up with the loose balls when we had to,” Jarvis said.
Again foulshooting contributed to the loss as St. John’s shot 17-27 (.630) from the line. Glover who is known for hitting clutch foul shots, missed two key foul shots down the stretch that would have given SJU a 67-66 lead.
For the Rams this victory was extra special and Jarvis made note of that fact. “We know that when you’re St. John’s, everybody wants to beat you a little bit more,” Jarvis said.
Junior forward Anthony Glover came through with another solid effort, leading the team with 18 points and 9 rebounds on 7-of-10 from the field. Next up for SJU is a trip to Ohio State on Wednesday, Dec. 13th at 7:00. The Buckeyes are 4-2 and beat SJU 65-64 last January at the Garden.