Strong First Half Leads Fordham Past St. John's

Dec. 02, 2015

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BRONX, N.Y. - St. John's played Fordham even in the second half, but a 16-point halftime deficit proved too much to overcome as the Red Storm lost, 73-57, at Rose Hill Gym on Wednesday.

Felix Balamou (Conakry, Guinea) matched a career-high with 14 points and dished out a team-best five assists to pace St. John's (4-3), while Christian Jones (Arlington, Texas) finished with 11 points and five rebounds. Kassoum Yakwe (Bamako, Mali) played 18 minutes in his collegiate-debut and contributed nine points to go with three rebounds.

Ryan Rhoomes had a 26-point, 12-rebound double-double to lead Fordham (5-1). Jon Severe and Mandell Thomas added 14 points apiece for the Rams. Fordham shot 50.0 percent (16-of-32) in the first half and finished at 44.8 percent (26-of-58) from the floor overall.

"They played with force, got all the 50/50 balls, and made a lot of hustle plays," said St. John's Head Coach Chris Mullin. "All the credit goes to Fordham."

Fordham jumped out to an early 6-0 lead and did not trail in the contest. After Yakwe registered his first-career points, sinking a pair of free throws with 11:46 to go in the half, Durand Johnson (Baltimore, Md.) added a jumper and Ron Mvouika (Paris, France) drained a 3-pointer to trim the deficit to one, 14-13, at the 10:12 mark.

The Rams responded, however, as Thomas made a 3-pointer on three-consecutive possessions to jumpstart a 12-2 run. Balamou cut the deficit to nine with a pair of free throws, but a quick 7-0 spurt gave Fordham a 16-point cushion and the home squad took a 41-25 lead into halftime.

St. John's eventually made it a 12-point game with 10:57 to play after a Federico Mussini (Reggio Emilia, Italy) 3-pointer and a pair of Mvouika free throws, but the Red Storm could not get closer. Fordham answered with a 12-3 run to put the game out of reach as St. John's had its four-game win streak snapped in the series with the Rams.

"It was a tough game on the road," said Balamou. "[When you have] 19 turnovers in college basketball it's tough to win. We didn't play well, but we just have to go back to work and get ready for the next game."

St. John's makes its first Madison Square Garden appearance of the season on Sunday as the Red Storm battles St. Francis Brooklyn at 11 a.m. as part of the MSG Holiday Festival.




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