The opening game of the Atlantic 10 Tournament did not disappoint as Fordham was able to withstand a last minute comeback from George Mason to win 70-67. Fordham was absolutely dominant on the offensive glass as they hauled in 24 offensive rebounds. Nobody worked harder for rebounds than junior Ryan Canty, who grabbed a career-high 19 rebounds, seven of those offensive.
Fordham coach Tom Pecora said that he tells his bigs, Canty in particular to “blow up the play like a linebacker,” in order to out-hustle their opponents. The Rams only trailed once in the entire game and that was with a score of 1-0 in the games opening seconds. Guards Branden Frazier and Bryan Smith led the Rams with 14 points apiece. But it was the offensive rebounding effort of Fordham that led to long possessions and 27 huge second-chance points.
For George Mason, its the same story from the entire season. The three point loss was their 4th loss in conference play by four or less points. Senior Bryon Allen gave the Patriots a chance to get back into the game by scoring a game-high 22 points, none bigger than a step-up three that he hit with 15 seconds left to cut the deficit to one point. But down the stretch, Fordham hit 6-7 free throws to help protect their lead. The Rams will take on the fifth seeded Dayton tomorrow at 2:30pm.
Here is a look at the full schedule for Day 2 of the A10 Tournament in Brooklyn:
12pm #8 La Salle vs. #9 St. Bonaventure
2:30pm #5 Dayton vs. #13 Fordham
6:30pm #7 Richmond vs. # 10 Duquesne
9:00pm #6 Massachusetts vs. #11 Rhode Island