Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Princeton Tops Fordham in Holiday Classic

Bronx News Sports: Princeton Tops Fordham in Holiday Classic: Princeton Tops Fordham in Holiday Classic #Fordham #Princeton By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 31- Fordham hosted the ...

Princeton Tops Fordham in Holiday Classic

Princeton Tops Fordham in Holiday Classic
#Fordham #Princeton

By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 31- Fordham hosted the eighth annual edition of the Fordham Holiday Classic on December 29 and 30. The invited teams for the end of the year women’s basketball tournament in the Bronx were the Hartford Hawks (6-8), the Princeton Tigers (15-0) and the Savannah State Lady Tigers ((4-7).
In the opening game of the tourney the hosts, Fordham Rams (8-5), were not overly hospitable to the visitors from Georgia. Neither team scored during the first 33 seconds of the contest, but Fordham’s first basket, a three by Hannah Missry, was a harbinger of what was to come. The Rams held the lead and built upon it throughout the game. Missry continued her pinpoint shooting from beyond the arc as she netted 5 of 9 to tie her career high of 15 points. The Rams took its first double digit lead, 12-2, at 15:21.
Despite the passage of 15 days since their last game, the Fordham defense held the visitors to a shooting percentage of only 24.1 while controlling the boards (24-14) in the first half. Fordham coach Stephanie Gaitley commented on the reasons for her team’s victory, “Our defense was a strong one. Outrebounding our opponent is a big part for us.”
The Lady Tiger’s one point advantage in the second half did not cut the deficit to single figures as Fordham moved to the tournament final with a 63-53 win. Fordham could not stop one player, Ezinne Kalu, who scored 26. Gaitley admitted her pre-game plan for the pre-season MEAC Player of the Year “was to not let her touch it [the ball].”
The other first round game on Monday was similar to the first game. The superiority of the undefeated Princeton Tigers in the first half could not be overcome by the resurgence by Hartford in the second half. Neither team scored for the first 32 seconds. Blake Dietrick’s basket gave the Tigers a lead that was never relinquished. Dietrick was the game’s high scorer with 27 points in 27 minutes on court during the contest. 
Two one-sided scoring runs gave the Tigers a 25 point advantage at the end of the first half. They scored 12 unanswered points to take a 23-7 lead at 11:51. Later in the half they scored 15 straight points to go up by 25 points, 41-16, at 2:29. The Tigers shot 59.4% while holding the Hawks to 27.6 percent in the first half.
The shooting percentages of the two teams were reversed in the second half as Hartford made a comeback attempt. Hartford shot 57.1 percent and held Princeton to 26.1 percent, but the seven-point advantage on the second period only cut the final score lead to 18 points for Princeton.
The consolation game that began Tuesday’s action was an exciting comeback win for Hartford. Savannah State’s defense kept the Hawks to only seven field goals on 33.35 shooting.
Three Hawks, Amber Bepko, Cherelle Moore and Morgan Lumb, showed energy, ability and leadership as they accounted for 38 of the 40 second half points scored by their team. The 52  percent shooting allowed the Hawks to make a late game run to win by four, 59-55. The absence of Kalu from the Savannah State lineup was also a factor in the result.
The Princeton Tigers showed their undefeated record this season deserves respect as they did not allow a second half surge by the Rams to nullify their victory. The final of the three lead changes took place mid-way through the first half during a run of 10 unanswered points scored by the Tigers. As the half neared its end, sight straight points by Princeton gave them a double figure advantage that remained through the first half.
The Rams, held to 25 percent shooting in the first half moved to a sterling 56 percent in the second. Gaitley remarked, “In the second half, we settled down and shot the ball well.” Despite cutting the deficit to single figures, 10 unanswered points by the Tigers raised the lead to a game-high 19 points at 4:11. The visitors won the two-day tourney with a 67-53 win. 
The knowledgeable and gracious Fordham coach spoke highly of her opponent, “They’re [Princeton] a top 25 team. They’re a very sound defensive team. They move the ball up the court very quickly.” The Tigers were 11-0 over the Rams in fast break points. 
Blake Dietrick of Princeton led the Tigers with 14 points and 7 assists. She was named the Tournament MVP. Gaitley spoke words of praise, “She’s a very good decision make. You don’t know how good she is until you play her.”

Fordham graduate student Tiffany Ruffin was the only Ram with double figures in each game and on the tournament team. Of her, Gaitley said, “Tiff’s the key to how far we will go.”

Bronx News Sports: Lehman Hoops Raise $ for a Good Cause

Bronx News Sports: Lehman Hoops Raise $ for a Good Cause: Lehman Hoops Raise $ for a Good Cause By Gary Quintal BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 31- On December 29th and 30th, Lehman College ...

Lehman Hoops Raise $ for a Good Cause

Lehman Hoops Raise $ for a Good Cause
By Gary Quintal
BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 31- On December 29th and 30th, Lehman College played host to the 8th annual CUNY Athletic Conference Coaches vs Cancer Basketball Classic.  
Proceeds from the event benefited the Coaches vs. Cancer program. Last year's event at Lehman raised over $1,300.  Participants in this year's Classic included Lehman College, Adrian College (Mich.), Kean University (NJ), Shenandoah (Va.) University, and Maine Maritime Academy.   
The Lehman men played two individual match-ups, while the women played a tournament style event that culminted with a game winning three pointer by Amely Del Rosario with 0.3 seconds remaining in a 68-66 victory over Adrian College.  Del Rosario was named to the all tournament team as she tallied 36 points in her two games, including a game high 25 in the Championship match-up. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Win for Penn State in the Pinstripe Bowl Ends the ...

Bronx News Sports: Win for Penn State in the Pinstripe Bowl Ends the ...: Win for Penn State in the Pinstripe Bowl Ends the Fracture #PennState By Rich Mancuso BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 30- The ...

Win for Penn State in the Pinstripe Bowl Ends the Fracture

Win for Penn State in the Pinstripe Bowl Ends the Fracture
By Rich Mancuso
BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 30- The second largest crowd to watch a football game at the new Yankee Stadium speaks volumes for the future of the New Era Pinstripe Bowl and possibly for more major college games in the Bronx. Penn State could be a part of that plan and more importantly their bowl game win over Boston College repaired the fractures of a wounded football program.
It has been a difficult period for the Nittany Lions and their fans. The NCAA leveled severe sanctions after a much profiled sex abuse scandal dominated the headlines over football, and this was their first bowl game appearance in two years. Many said the football program should have been banned, but that would not have been fair play for the many and outstanding student athletes that come and go.
That is all in the past. A championship atmosphere and playing on a field where champions have had more than one memorable moment can immediately be the best remedy for damage control. But the significance and triumphant moment of this win was still overshadowed by the scandal.
The question was asked Saturday night to the victorious and first year coach James Franklin: “You were going to being back Penn State football to its former glory?”
“I think we’ve been fractured,” Franklin commented. “We’ve been fractured in the last probably three years. But I think experiences and games like this has restored the hope. I believe when Penn State is together we’re all pulling the rope in the same direction. Doing what’s best for the students, doing what’s best for the players, doing what’s best for the community as a whole, then the sky is very high at Penn State.”
That overtime touchdown pass to Kyle Carter from Christian Hackenberg, and the game winning extra point that Sam Ficken kicked was best for all because Penn State and their community came together in the Bronx Saturday evening with their 31-30 win.
Ficken, a senior, sent the game into overtime with 20 seconds left to play with a 45-yard field goal that went into Monument Park, a home of memories for the illustrious ballplayers and dignitaries who signify the old and new Yankee Stadium as an iconic ballpark.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better ending for my career,” he said. “It’s a storybook ending, really. I couldn’t have written a better way to go. This team has worked so hard and fought so hard. And to say we went to a bowl, first of all, and then won that bowl. It’s just really incredible.”
Incredible as it sounds, it is the reality that a damaged and tarnished Penn State program got the win they needed to be respectable again. The Pinstripe Bowl may not be a major bowl game though the Nittany Lions certainly made it look like one.
Ficken used the locker of retired captain Derek Jeter in the Yankees clubhouse. He said that was emotional and also an inspiration to get this win. The inspiration to get a win that meant so much for this Penn State football program.
“It was a football stadium tonight and an awesome one,” Franklin said when asked about playing in a baseball stadium and the game ending with an extra point that went his way.
For the victorious Nittany Lions, that jog to greet their loyal supporters in the outfield and reaching to touch them over the Yankees dugout, well that was eliminating pain of the past few years.
Hackenberg threw four touchdown passes. Seven seniors and 31 freshmen he played with were reminded of the great culture their football program had over the years. A scandal that will also be recounted time and time again may never be healed.
But one kick on a December night in the Bronx possibly ended the fracture for the Penn State football program. 
Comment: Rich Mancuso: Mancuso  Twitter@ring786   www, 

Bronx News Sports: Manhattan Wins Battle of the Bronx over Fordham

Bronx News Sports: Manhattan Wins Battle of the Bronx over Fordham: Manhattan Wins Battle of the Bronx over Fordham  By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 30- The men’s basketball versio...

Manhattan Wins Battle of the Bronx over Fordham

Manhattan Wins Battle of the Bronx over Fordham 
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 30- The men’s basketball version of the “Battle of the Bronx” between the Fordham Rams (3-6) and the Manhattan Jaspers (4-7) was held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn last Monday night. It was only the second game of the 107 played between the two inter-borough rivals that were contested outside of the Bronx. In 2001, the rivals competed in Madison Square Garden in Manhattan. 
Fordham dominated the early minutes of the contest, leading 10-0 at 15:39. A three-pointer by Antwoine Anderson at 13:44 gave Fordham its largest lead of the game, 16-4. That high point for the Rams ended quickly as the Jaspers, on an 18-4 scoring run, took their first lead of the game, 22-20, at 6:40. Manhattan increased its advantage to 30-25 as the first half ended.
The five-point advantage grew quickly to a game-high of 22 for the Jaspers after they outscored the Rams 22-5 after 7:45 of play in the second half. Manhattan’s domination of the game between Fordham’s lead of 12 and Manhattan’s lead of 22, a 48-14 scoring run, determined the outcome of the game. This one-sided play was followed by a 23-10 run by the Rams to lower the Manhattan lead to single digits, 62-53, but the run was too little and too late to prevent Manhattan from capturing the contest, 71-57.
Steve Masiello, the coach of the Jaspers commented about his team’s comeback, “I thought Fordham was very well-prepared. We kept our poise. That’s a credit to our seniors. We got back to our defensive mindset. The press for us is really critical. They just chipped away. We knew we could get a run.”
Fordham’s coach Tim Pecora assessed what he believed were the reasons for his team’s loss, “The tougher team will win this game and they did. We didn’t make the effort plays in the second half and they did. Their three veterans stepped up and did the job. To come out and shoot 48 percent of free throws is challenging.” 
Three Manhattan upperclassmen who are averaging in double figures in scoring did so again on Monday. It was the second straight contest that Richards netted four for six from beyond the arc. The four three-pointers on six attempts raised Shane Richards’ school record to 170. Bronx native Ashton Pankey scored 12.
Emmy Andujar was voted as the recipient of the Mike Cohen MVP Award as the best player of the game by sportswriters covering the game. Andujar led the victorious team in scoring with 14 and rebounds with eight. Masiello praised him highly, “I thought he made some really good plays from a leadership standpoint. This kid is what college basketball is all about. This kid is a coach’s dream.” 
The award is given to honor a man who only lived 45 years and passed away 26 years ago but deserves to be remembered for the work he did to encourage and aid others including his decade of service as Manhattan’s Sports Information Director.
The Jaspers now lead the series that began during the 19911-12 season, 56-51.
Fordham returns to the Rose Hill Gym for its next three games, December 28, December 31 and January 4. Manhattan travels to Buffalo for two road games before returning to the Draddy Gym on January 7.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Bronx News Sports: Fordham wins playoff game at home

Bronx News Sports: Fordham wins playoff game at home: Fordham wins playoff game at home (Photos by Gary Quintal) By Howard Goldin BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1- On Saturday afternoon, ...

Fordham wins playoff game at home

Fordham wins playoff game at home
(Photos by Gary Quintal)
By Howard Goldin
BRONX, NEW YORK, DECEMBER 1- On Saturday afternoon, for the second straight year, the Fordham Rams (11-2), the Patriot League title-ists, hosted the Sacred Heart Pioneers (9-3), the North East Conference champions, at Jack Coffey Field on the Fordham University campus in the Bronx in a first round contest in the FCS championship playoff.
Last year’s 37-27 victory by Fordham was the first football meeting between the two schools. It was also the first time the Pioneers qualified for the FCS Division I championship, and the first FCS playoff game hosted by Fordham. 
The weather on Saturday was not a factor in the outcome of the important contest as skies were filled with clouds; winds were blowing for less than 10 miles per hour and the temperatures were in the 30’s. 
The Thanksgiving weekend festivities held the crowd at the crucial playoff contest to a disappointing 2,442.
The Rams jumped off to an early lead, 14-0, after Mike Nebrich, the 2014 Offensive Player of the Patriot League, threw two touchdown passes in less than two minutes. At 12:11, Tebucky Jones, Jr. grabbed a one-yard touchdown toss, and at 10:43, Brian Wetzel scored after a 50 yard run after catching the second touchdown throw by Nebrich in the first quarter. The scores came on the second and third Fordham possessions of the game.
The Pioneers closed the quarter by cutting the Fordham advantage to 14-9.
Michael Marando began the second quarter by kicking the first of his three field goals in the contest. The 25, 23 and 38-yard kicks raised his career total to 45, a new Patriot League mark. 
Jones and Wetzel, two seniors who were selected First Team All-Patriot League, each caught eight of Nebrich’s passes and each scored a second touchdown in the game. With nine seconds remaining in the first half, Wetzel caught a 14 yard touchdown pass. The first score of the second half was a 97 yard reception by Jones. Nebrich commented on his fourth touchdown pass, “It felt like it was a good time to call it.”
Jones bested 1,000 receiving yards for the second consecutive season and Wetzel for the third straight year.
The final touchdown of the game was a 26-yard rush by Fordham freshman Chase Edmunds, the Patriot League Rookie of the Year. The Rams scored 10 points in the final quarter while holding the Pioneers scoreless. 
That result was a stark contrast to the regular season showing of the Pioneers in the final quarter. In their 11 regular season games, the Pioneers outscored opponents 80-22 in the fourth quarter.
Sacred Heart coach Mark Nofri honestly assessed his team’s performance after the conclusion of the game, “We didn’t play our best. They [the Rams] capitalized on it. Three or four times, we should have had touchdowns and we didn’t.”
Fordham’s head coach Joe Moorhead complimented Fordham’s opponent, “That was a quality opponent for the first round. We had to fight for every inch.” He then praised his own team’s performance, “This [game] was a point of reference of how we have to prepare for the next game. It was good enough to beat a quality opponent.”
The 44-22 final score was completely in sync with Fordham’s per game average this year. Fordham averaged 42.2 points and averaged giving up 21.6 points per game.
The victor, Fordham, will advance to the second round and travel to Durham, New Hampshire, to face the #1 seed of the FCS, the University of New Hampshire, on the afternoon of December 6.