Fordham Basketball: 3 Memorable Wins in Rivalry with St. John's

Charles Costello@@CFCostelloContributor IDecember 16, 2014

Fordham Basketball: 3 Memorable Wins in Rivalry with St. John's

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    Jason DeCrow/Associated Press

    Fordham fell to St. John's, 74-53, on Sunday in front of 8,074 fans at Madison Square Garden.

    The Rams jumped out to a 19-13 lead, but the Red Storm went on an 11-0 run to take a lead they would not relinquish. St. John's led by 11 at halftime and cruised the rest of the way.

    With the loss, Fordham dropped to 3-5 on the year.

    It was the 86th meeting between the Rams and Red Storm, with St. John's holding a 65-21 advantage in the series.

    The two schools played each other for the first time on Jan. 30, 1909. Fordham won that game, 21-13, but it hasn't had much success against St. John's over the years, especially of late.

    Since 1972, the two teams have met 37 times. Fordham has won just three of those games. While the early years were more kind to the Rams—Fordham won nine of the first 13 matchups, and who can forget the win in 1971 during Digger Phelps' first and only year at Rose Hill—this has been a one-sided rivalry of late. From 1972 through 1991, they met 23 times. St. John's won every game.

    Since 1992, Fordham has beaten St. John's three times, making each win memorable. Here's a look back at those games.

Dec. 10, 1992: Fordham 60, St. John's 55

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    DANIEL P. DERELLA/Associated Press

    Lou Carnesecca won 526 games over 24 seasons as head coach at St. John's. He retired after the 1991-92 season, and when Fordham hosted St. John's in 1992, it was Brian Mahoney's team.

    Over in the Bronx, Nick Macarchuk was quickly making a name for himself. He led the Rams to Patriot League titles in 1991 and 1992 and to the National Invitation Tournament in 1988, 1990, 1991 and 1992.

    In the 1992-93 season, Fordham began to slip a bit though its win over St. John's in the third game of the season might have been the highlight of the year. After all, it was a quality win against a team that would finish 19-11, one that went to the NCAA tournament in 18 seasons under Carnesecca. It was also the Rams' first win over St. John's since 1971, snapping a 23-game losing streak.

    Fordham would finish 15-16 that season and wouldn't get another win against St. John's for eight years.

Dec. 9, 2000: Fordham 68, St. John's 67

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    Jeff Reinking/Getty Images

    This is before it all went south for Bob Hill.

    In 1999-2000, Hill's first season at Fordham, he led the Rams to a 14-15 record. In 2000-01, after losing its first game, Fordham won four in a row heading into its matchup with St. John's in front of more than 8,000 at Madison Square Garden.

    Bevon Robin's layup with 3.7 seconds left in the game won it for the Rams, which beat a St. John's team that at the time was ranked No. 24 in the Associated Press poll.

    "I want them to celebrate, I want them to enjoy it," Hill said, according to Ticker, via USA Today. "But we have to keep going. If you come into Madison Square Garden and beat St. John's and then you turn around and have a haphazard performance against Lafayette [Fordham's next opponent] and lose, it takes all the shine away from beating St. John's."

    Fordham did beat Lafayette two days later but would lose 16 of its remaining 22 games to finish the season 12-17.

    Hill was right.

Dec. 11, 2010: Fordham 84, St. John's 81

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    Mike Lawrie/Getty Images

    In front of a sold-out crowd at the Rose Hill Gym, Fordham came back from a 21-point second-half deficit to beat the Red Storm.

    It was the Rams' fifth win in nine games to start the season under their new head coach, Tom Pecora. Coming off a 2-26 campaign the year before, the combination of the win and a sellout made it seem like better days were ahead. It certainly sent the signal that basketball was still alive in the Bronx.

    The Rams would win only two more the rest of the way, however, finishing the season with a 7-21 record.

    Fordham has lost its last four against the Red Storm since.

    Statistics, game information and history courtesy of the 2014-15 Fordham Basketball Media Guide and the following links:

    Charles Costello covers the Fordham Rams for Bleacher Report. A full archive of his articles can be found hereTwitter: @CFCostello