Freeman Scores 27 But Men's Basketball Falls 63-56 At Fordham
Feb. 12, 2005
BRONX, N.Y. - Sophomore Rashaun Freeman (Schenectady, N.Y.) poured in 27 points and hauled in 11 rebounds, but it was not enough as Fordham defeated the UMass men's basketball team 63-56 on Saturday in historic Rose-Hill Gym. The Minutemen fall to 12-9 overall, 6-5 in the Atlantic 10, while the Rams improve to 10-12 overall and 6-5 in the league.
The loss snapped a two-game winning streak for UMass.
Freeman posted his sixth 20-plus performance on a strong 13-for-18 shooting effort from the field. The double-double was his first since UMass defeated then-21st ranked George Washington (1/15).
His performance, however, was not enough to put the Minutemen in the win column after a tough-shooting first half. UMass was not able to score in the final 5:45 of the opening period and allowed a 7-0 Fordham run to close the half.
After a missed three pointer by Corey McCrae, sophomore Maurice Maxwell (Philadelphia, Pa.) cleared the rebound and Freeman hit a lay-up to pull UMass within three points, 22-19, with 5:45 remaining in the first half. In a 71-second stretch, Fordham scored seven points to go up 10 at the break.
"We dug ourselves in a hole in the first half," said head coach Steve Lappas. "When you do that on the road, its tough to come back. We had opportunites, but we made mistakes in critical situations."
In the second half, the Minutemen were able to cut the Fordham lead to two points jumping out of the gates on an 8-0 run sparked by a dunk from sophomore Stephane Lasme (Libreville, Gabon).
Fordham answered pushing its lead to nine points at the 13:15 mark when Bryant Dunston got free for a dunk - just his third field goal in his 18 point performance.
With just under three minutes to go, Freeman hit a lay-up followed by a dunk on the next UMass possession cutting the lead to three, 52-49.
UMass was still within three points with 22 seconds remaining after Freeman hit another jumper after Jeff Viggiano pulled down an offensive rebound.
The Rams answered with a Marcus Stout lay-up and two free throws down the stretch as Fordham held on for the 63-56 win.
"We played tough today, but offensively we made mistakes and had too many turnovers," said Lappas.
The Minutemen shot 55.2 (16-for-29) percent in the second half, but could not overcome the first half deficit.
Fordham held the advantage at the free throw line converting 19-of-25 attempts, including 12-of-16 in the second half, while UMass was just 7-of-14 at the stripe. Dunston led all players hitting 12-of-15 scoring the majority of his 18 points at the line.
Freeman's 27 points led all players in the game, but he was the only UMass player to reach double figures. Maxwell added eight points and five assists. It was the first time in seven consecutive games that Maxwell was not able to reach double-figure scoring.
Fordham was led by Dunston's 18 points and 11 rebounds. Jermaine Anderson scored 16 points and Stout added 12 - four in the final 17 seconds of play.
The Minutemen will return to action on Tuesday night when they host Florida State of the Atlantic Coast Conference in a late non-conference tilt. The Seminoles were also in action on Saturday afternoon losing 87-48 at No. 6 Wake Forest. Tuesday's game in Mullins is slated for a 7:00 p.m. tip.