Fairfield 76, Siena 69: Runnin’ Stags Run All The Way To Bye

(photo courtesy: Fairfield athletics)

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. –  Let’s be honest, we all thought the Runnin’ Stags thing was just a clever gimmick for Sydney Johnson and Fairfield, right? Coming off 7-25 and 7-24 campaigns, Fairfield again started 0-3 and then struggled to beat then fellow-struggler Sacred Heart in overtime.

That game went 82 possessions, but it was seen more as Sacred Heart’s doing than Fairfield’s, but the 89-possession pummeling of Maryland-Eastern Shore that followed was an eye opener, and the Runnin’ Stags dragged 75 trips out of a pretty good Columbia team and beat them in doing it. The real turning point from ha-ha to hmmm came right after Christmas when Fairfield ran current Patriot League leader Bucknell out of Sojka Pavilion 101-91 in 86 (?!?) possessions.

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Three Thoughts: Siena 76, Radford 62

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Siena was perhaps the biggest disappointment in the MAAC last season. Coming off a CBI title in Jimmy Patsos’ first season in Albany/Loudonville, the Saints couldn’t get out of their own way, almost literally, in an 11-20 campaign.

Perhaps the biggest riddle was that the personnel wasn’t all that much different. Yet Siena mysteriously went from 78th nationally in defensive efficiency to a nightmarish 334th (there are only 351 Division I teams). What the heck happened?

Patsos and his team had six months to ponder that question and if Friday’s game against Radford is any indication, they have found some answers. The Saints opened the 2015-16 at Duke and Wisconsin, who only happened to play each other for the national title last April, so it was hard to get too much of a gauge off those contests.

Continue reading “Three Thoughts: Siena 76, Radford 62”