Fairfield 64, Saint Peter’s 55: Stags Saved By Marcus Gilbert, One More Time

ALBANY, N.Y. — Fairfield had not played in a game all season where they failed to make a second half three-pointer, but with just over a minute left and a three-point lead, they were in danger of doing so. Continue reading “Fairfield 64, Saint Peter’s 55: Stags Saved By Marcus Gilbert, One More Time”

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.

Continue reading “Fairfield 76, Siena 69: Runnin’ Stags Run All The Way To Bye”

Saint Peter’s 77, Fairfield 71: Check Your MAAC Radar, Please

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – With Monmouth and Iona doing their thing, Saint Peter’s has been able to glide under the MAAC radar for most of the season. In fact, while Monmouth was beating Notre Dame and USC in Orlando (and scaring Dayton), the Peacocks were losing four straight, including to Lafayette, Hartford, and Fairleigh Dickinson, none of which can be mistaken for a national power.

But, although they haven’t been heard or seen by most, the Saint Peter’s Express has been registering on the MAAC screen. That approaching red dot and accompanying beep you heard Tuesday night was the Peacocks registering another conference win, this one 77-71 at Fairfield’s Alumni Hall. Saint Peter’s is now a game ahead of Iona and tied with Monmouth atop the conference at 6-1, and with a showdown at Jordan Washington-less Iona looming Friday night, the MAAC may have to deal with the Peacocks sooner rather than later.

Continue reading “Saint Peter’s 77, Fairfield 71: Check Your MAAC Radar, Please”

Fairfield 101, Bucknell 91: Tough Start For Nathan Davis And Bison

(photo courtesy: Fairfield Athletics)

LEWISBURG, Pa. – It’s never easy for first-year head coaches, but that can be doubly true when trying to step in at a program that’s used to having success.

Nathan Davis has plenty going for him at Bucknell, not the least of which is his tenure as an assistant coach on the most successful Bucknell teams of all-time: the 2004-05 team that upset Kansas (and won an ESPY for doing so), and the squad the following year that went undefeated in the Patriot League (and 28-5 overall), getting a No. 9 seed in the NCAAs and beating Arkansas in the first round.

Continue reading “Fairfield 101, Bucknell 91: Tough Start For Nathan Davis And Bison”

Fairfield 74, Rider 70: No Gilbert, No Problem For Stags

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – There are lies, damned lies, and statistics as Mr. Twain once told us, of course, and, yes, there are times where the numbers (even advanced ones) only give an obstructed view of what is really transpiring.

However, for the disappointing 2015-16 Rider basketball team, it doesn’t take an advanced degree in hyperbolic topology to figure out what the biggest problem is.

Last season, the Broncs were picked seventh in the preseason MAAC poll, and finished alone in second at 15-5. With a break (or one less injury to senior center Matt Lopez), Rider might have been even better and perhaps wouldn’t have been upset by Saint Peter’s in the MAAC quarterfinals.

Continue reading “Fairfield 74, Rider 70: No Gilbert, No Problem For Stags”

Fairfield 82, Columbia 81 (OT) : Break Up The Runnin’ Stags

Tyler Nelson (photo courtesy: Fairfield Athletics)

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Kevin Degnan – at 6’8” and mostly a post player – had only seven career three-pointers, but there he was on the wing in front of a Fairfield fast break, picking a low pass off his ankles and drilling a three-pointer anyway. As the intimate crowd roared, Degnan gave a clapping Sydney Johnson a high-five on the way back down the court.

Welcome to the new world order that is Fairfield basketball in the last two weeks. And it claimed another victim Friday afternoon, this time Columbia, 82-81 in overtime, in what has to be considered a mild upset even if it were in the friendly confines of Alumni Gym.

If it were up to Johnson, Fairfield (3-3) would play much more in ancient Alumni Gym, where a holiday crowd of 1,886 made their presence known, with Johnson exhorting them on, almost to midcourt on a couple of big Columbia (3-3) possessions at the end of regulation and the extra session. The Stags will play two more times at Alumni this season, including a MAAC game against Saint Peter’s, but there are no current plans to expand that number.

Continue reading “Fairfield 82, Columbia 81 (OT) : Break Up The Runnin’ Stags”

Fairfield Gets Career Day From Tyler Nelson To Snap Losing Skid

Tyler Nelson (photo courtesy: Fairfield Athletics)

Fairfield freshman Tyler Nelson grabbed the transition pass from K.J. Rose as he sat near the left corner. Quickly came a flying Tyler Gaskins, who missed a transition layup seconds before to cover his man, the Saint Peter’s junior flew at the Stags shooter. Nelson calmly pump faked, waited for the junior to pass by, and then drained a three-pointer to put the Stags up 45-36. Continue reading “Fairfield Gets Career Day From Tyler Nelson To Snap Losing Skid”

Three Thoughts: Fairfield 60, Marist 54

K.J. Rose went for a career-high 26 points, but it was not enough for the Stags Monday night against Bucknell. (photo courtesy: Fairfield Athletics)

To call K.J. Rose’s shooting in the last few games a slump may not really do it justice. A famine, maybe? Since a 26-point outburst on 9-16 from the field in an overtime loss to Bucknell on Dec. 1, the Fairfield sophomore had made just seven of his last 37 shots heading into Friday’s game with Marist over a seven-game span that saw his minutes start to dwindle almost in perfect correlation to freshman Jerome Segura’s increasing.

Friday didn’t really start much better for Rose, he had missed his first five shots as the Stags were struggling mightily at home with a Marist team that was just 1-15 (although the Red Foxes had a full cast of characters for the first time since Opening Night).

Continue reading “Three Thoughts: Fairfield 60, Marist 54”