Harvard loss could hurt in long run

Bryan Smith scored 22 points and Chris Gaston added 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead Fordham to a 60-54 win over No. 22 Harvard on Tuesday night.

The victory was the first for Fordham (7-6) over a ranked team since a 63-59 win over then-No.18 Georgetown on Feb. 26, 1978.

The Rams shot 48.8 percent from the field and gave Harvard fits with their man-to-man defense. The Crimson shot only 36.4 percent from the field and committed 15 turnovers, which led to 14 points for Fordham.

Bryan Curry led the Crimson (12-2) with 15 points in defeat.

Gaston’s two-handed slam and Bryan Smith’s three-pointer from the left corner put Fordham up 38-34 with 14:45 left in the second half. Harvard head coach Tommy Amaker called timeout to slow the Rams’ momentum, but it didn’t work. Gaston made a half-hook from the low post, drilled a jumper and scored on a putback on three straight possessions that increased Fordham’s lead to 44-34.

The teams traded baskets for the remainder of the game. Harvard got as close as 53-51, but could never get the tying basket.

As time expired, Gaston grabbed his 10th rebound, dribbled the ball to mid-court and spiked it in celebration before joining his teammates in a group hug.

The Crimson led 27-24 at the break after a first half in which both teams struggled from the floor. Harvard was 11 for 27 from the field, while Fordham shot 10 for 22 in the opening 20 minutes.

Harvard appeared ready to take control during an 8-0 run that spanned nearly two minutes, but the Rams outscored the Crimson 10-5 over the final 4:16 before halftime to get back in the game.