Fordham scored 12 consecutive points from the free throw line in the final three minutes to post a come-from-behind, 75-65 victory over Saint Louis on Tuesday night in Atlantic 10 Conference action at Rose Hill Gymnasium in the Bronx, N.Y.
The Billikens fall to 16-7 overall and 7-2 in the A-10, snapping their six-game winning streak. SLU now sets its sight to a showdown on Friday night against VCU at Chaifetz Arena in a battle that will be for first place in the A-10. VCU (8-2 in the A-10) won at Davidson tonight in a nailbiter.
Fordham (18-4, 6-3 A-10) improves its winning streak to five. A raucous 1,800 fans were on hand at the Rose Hill Gymnasium, the Rams’ largest crowd of the season.
Francis Okoro scored a career-high 21 points on 8-of-10 shooting from field. He also corralled 11 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season.
Terrence Hargrove Jr. contributed another strong game for SLU, scoring nine points on 4-of-7 shooting. Yuri Collins scored eight points.
The Rams, who shot 48.3 percent from the field in the second half, was led by Darius Quisenberry’s 27 points.
Saint Louis led for the majority of the first half, including by as many as seven points, despite being without Collins for the final nine-plus minutes due to foul trouble. SLU worked it inside to the tune of a 13-point, 6-6 from the field effort by Francis Okoro as the Bills took a five-point lead (36-31) into halftime.
Hargrove opened the second half with 3-pointer and the Bills built their lead to game-high eight points in the second half before the Rams got back into it, eventually tying it at 51-51 on a Will Richardson 3-pointer with 10 minutes left.
Fordham grabbed one-point leads several times late in the game but was unable to pull away from the Billikens until the final three minutes. The Rams scored six straight points, all from the free throw line, to go up by six, 69-63, in the final minute of play. In all, Fordham scored its final 12 points from the charity stripe in posting the 10-point win.
Saint Louis and VCU tip at 6 p.m. on Friday night at Chaifetz Arena for the Billiken Blizzard. Free white t-shirts will be placed on every seat in the arena.