Rider (11-11) at Fairfield (12-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 1, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Webster Bank Arena (9,000) -- Bridgeport, Connecticut. Television: SNY. Home Record: Rider 5-5. Fairfield 3-3. Away Record: Rider 4-6, Fairfield 6-7. Neutral Record: Rider 2-0, Fairfield 3-0. Conference Record: Rider 6-4, Fairfield 4-6. Series Record: Fairfield leads, 27-24.
GAMES NOTES: The Fairfield Stags will try to earn their third straight victory when they take on the Rider Broncs in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at Webster Bank Arena on Friday night.
Rider will be attempting to avoid a three-game losing streak in this contest after the Broncs were dropped by Canisius (67-50) and Manhattan (62-51) in consecutive home games. The two losses has dropped the Broncs to an even 11-11 this season and 6-4 in league play. The conference record has the Broncs tied with Canisius for fourth in the MAAC standings. In the second half of this two-game road trip the Broncs will square off with Marist.
After losing five straight contests the Stags have begun to pick up some steam with consecutive wins against Marist (71-37) and Saint Peter's (61-54). The two wins pushed the Stags back over .500 (12-10) on the season, while pulling them closer to the middle of the MAAC standings at 4-5. Fairfield has split its six contests at home this season but next up the Stags will head to Albany to face Siena.
Fairfield already bested Rider once this season with a 65-52 win in Lawrenceville on Dec. 9. The Stags have won three of the last four meetings and own a 27-24 lead in the all-time series.
Manhattan beat up on Rider on the interior on Sunday. The Jaspers had a 33-21 edge in rebounds, while outscoring the Broncs 24-14 in the paint. The Broncs shot just 39.6 percent in the game overall and hit only 6-of-22 shots from beyond the arc.
Right in line with their record this season has been the Broncs' scoring margin. It currently sits at a razor thin -0.1 with the team scoring just 64 points per game, while limiting teams to 64.1. Anthony Myles (12.1 ppg, 4.7 rpg) is the leading scorer on the roster but his erratic shooting (.384 FG percentage) has kept him from ascending to among the league leaders. Myles has really struggled in recent weeks as he has shot less than 30 percent from the field in three of the last five games. Jonathon Thompson (11.0 ppg, 3.3 apg) and Danny Stewart (10.2 ppg, 6.2 rpg) have each been more efficient scorers as each shoots better than 46 percent from the field.
Fairfield led for the entire second half against Saint Peter's, getting out to a lead of as many as 12 points. Although the Stags shot at just an even 40 percent from the field in the contest they managed to outscore the Peacocks 15-6 from beyond the arc, while holding them to less than 40 percent shooting.
For the season the Stags have also had a rather slim scoring differential. However the Stags' has been on the positive end (+2.2) despite Fairfield scoring just 63.5 points per game. Derek Needham (14.4 ppg, 3.4 apg) is the only player on the roster scoring in double figures. The 5-foot-11 guard has scored in double figures in four of the last five games but he isn't an extremely versatile scorer as he gets a bulk of his points from beyond the arc.
Though Needham is their only double-figure scoring threat the Stags have enough balance on the rest of the roster to outgun the Broncs.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Fairfield 66, Rider 62
02/01 10:30:59 ET