Bryan Smith, Chris Gaston lead Fordham by No. 21 Harvard

NEW YORK -- When Tom Pecora first took over at Fordham in March 2010, he believed his team was capable of big things.

The Rams took a step in that direction on Tuesday night.

Bryan Smith scored 22 points, and Chris Gaston added 18 points and 10 rebounds to lead Fordham to a 60-54 win over Harvard (No. 21 ESPN/USA Today, No. 22 AP).

"This is what my vision of this was," Pecora said. "I'm proud of them. It's fun. I'm not going to lie to you. It's fun. It's good, man. It's all good, like the kids say."

The win was the first for Fordham (7-6) over a ranked team since a 68-67 win over then-No. 24 St. John's at Madison Square Garden on Dec. 9, 2000. It was also the Rams' first win against a Top 25 team at Rose Hill Gym since beating No. 19 Georgetown 63-59 on Feb. 26, 1978.

"Congratulate Fordham. They played inspired basketball," Harvard coach Tommy Amaker said. "Give them credit. They did a tremendous job."

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.

"(Our) shooting percentage was horrific," Amaker said. "If you can't throw it in the ocean from a row boat (it's going to) look like you're not prepared."

Brandyn Curry led the Crimson (12-2) with 15 points.

Gaston's two-handed slam and Bryan Smith's 3-pointer from the left corner put Fordham up 38-34 with 14:45 left in the second half. 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 not get the tying basket.

As time expired, Gaston grabbed his tenth 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 2 minutes, but the Rams outscored the Crimson 10-5 over the final 4:16 before halftime to get back in the game.

"(We) talked about getting off to a better start," Amaker said. "Hopefully we don't need any wakeup calls."