7th seed Lafayette stuns No. 2 Fordham, 83-65

March 05, 1994|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Sun Staff Writer

For Fordham, a team with a history of success in the Patriot League, it was a case of the nightmare revisited.

Six days after absorbing a 31-point beating from Navy at Alumni Hall, the second-seeded Rams returned to the scene yesterday and were ousted from the postseason tournament by No. 7 Lafayette, 83-65.

The loss to Navy was the school's worst in terms of point margin during coach Nick Macarchuk's seven seasons, but the latest was even more shocking because Lafayette had dropped five straight and eight of nine entering the tourney.

And the Leopards (9-18) had suffered first-round defeats in the ,, other three Patriot League tournaments.

But they advanced to tonight's semifinals against third-seeded Colgate, which rallied to eliminate Lehigh, 87-80, in the tourney opener.

"This was pretty much a carbon copy of the way we played here last week," said Macarchuk. "They beat us in every facet of the game."

Fordham (12-15) did not lead after the early moments but cut a nine-point deficit to 45-41 with 12:45 to play. Then Leopard guards Keith Brazzo (22 points, 7 rebounds) and Craig Kowadla (17 points, seven rebounds) led a closing assault that turned it into a rout.

"We got into a situation where we walked on the court and waited for the whammy to hit," said Lafayette coach John Leone. "We were looking for a way out of the black hole and we found it."

The Leopards shot 52.5 percent, won the rebounding battle and played strong defense.

Colgate (16-11) won its fifth in a row by overcoming the hot shooting of Lehigh's Allan Campbell (23 points, nine rebounds) and Rashawne Glenn (20 points, four assists, three steals) with a counterattack in the final nine minutes.

The Engineers led 65-55 when Colgate launched its comeback, thriving at the foul line by hitting 15 free throws in the final five minutes.

"We were staggering and fortunate to to able to withstand their run," said Red Raiders coach Jack Bruen. "I thought Hasan Brown took over the game and refused to let us lose and then Tuck [Tucker Neale] and Mike Roberts stepped up."

Neale, the conference Player of the Year, finished with 24 points. Brown had 19 points and Roberts a career-high 18 points and eight rebounds off the bench.

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