Fairfield (10-5) at Niagara (6-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, January 5, 3 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Gallagher Center (2,400) -- Niagara, New York. Television: LCTV. Home Record: Fairfield 2-1, Niagara 5-1. Away Record: Fairfield 5-4, Niagara 1-5. Neutral Record: Fairfield 3-0, Niagara 0-1. Conference Record: Fairfield 2-1, Niagara 2-1. Series Record: Niagara leads, 34-25.
GAME NOTES: The Fairfield Stags shoot for a seventh straight win on Saturday when they visit Niagara in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference matchup at the Gallagher Center.
Fairfield continued its early-season success on Thursday, as Maurice Barrow netted a career-high 21 points in leading the Stags to a 66-45 win at Canisius.
Barrow knocked down 9-of-13 shots from the floor and led all scorers for the Stags, who haven't lost since dropping their conference opener to the same Canisius squad back on Dec. 7.
Niagara, meanwhile, also enters on a winning note, as Ameen Tanksley posted a double-double with 22 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Purple Eagles past the Marist Red Foxes, 94-72. Juan'ya Green added 21 points, Antoine Mason finished with 17 and Malcolm Lemmons chipped in with 11 for Niagara, which has won three of its last four.
The Purple Eagles have had trouble of late with Fairfield, losing the last six matchups. However, Niagara has gotten the better of the series overall, as it leads by a 34-25 margin.
At the offensive end of the court, Niagara is the second-best scoring team in the MAAC this season in netting 74.6 ppg on 43.1 percent shooting. It is on defense however where the Purple Eagles falls short. They are getting lit up for 75.9 ppg. The backcourt duo of Mason (18.8 ppg) and Green (15.9 ppg, 4.6 apg) has been impressive for Niagara. Adding to the list of scoring options are Tanksley (10.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Marvin Jordan (9.0 ppg). The Purple Eagles aren't a very deep team though, with only one other player putting up more than six points per tilt.
Low-scoring games are nothing new for Fairfield which is netting only 62.8 ppg and shooting 43.9 percent from the field for the season. However, the Stags have been able to counteract that by tightening up on defense as they are only allowing 60.5 ppg. Derek Needham (14.3 ppg) is the leading scorer and the only player posting double figures. Barrow (8.5 ppg) is the only other player on the roster scoring more than seven points per game.
Niagara can score with anyone, but it can't stop anyone from putting the ball in the basket. That again figures to be the case on Saturday.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Fairfield 68, Niagara 65
01/05 10:38:23 ET