Manhattan (8-15) at Fairfield (15-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, February 11, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Webster Bank Arena (2,479) -- Bridgeport, Connecticut. Television: None. Home Record: Manhattan 5-3, Fairfield 5-3. Away Record: Manhattan 3-10, Fairfield 7-7. Neutral Record: Manhattan 0-2, Fairfield 3-0. Conference Record: Manhattan 6-7, Fairfield 7-6. Series Record: Manhattan leads 45-43.
GAME NOTES: After weather postponed the game originally scheduled for Saturday, the Fairfield Stags will finally host the Manhattan Jaspers in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference showdown at the Webster Bank Arena on Monday.
The Jaspers are coming off a 67-54 win over Canisius. It was the second win in a row for Manhattan and the third in the last four games. The victory over the Golden Griffins pushed Manhattan to a mere 8-15 overall, but inched the team closer to .500 in conference play at 6-7. The Jaspers will be on the road for this one but return home for a pair of games after this.
Fairfield most recently defeated Saint Peter's 61-44 to earn its fifth consecutive win. The recent surge for the Stags' has pushed them to 15-10 overall, and 7-6 in league play, good for sixth in the standings. This will be the Stags' second of a five-game homestand.
Manhattan leads the all-time series between these two squads, 45-43. The Jaspers won the last matchup 53-51 last January but the Stags had won the six meetings prior to it. The last time Manhattan won at Fairfield was in December of 2006, coming up short the last six attempts in Bridgeport.
Against Canisius, Donovan Kates led the Jaspers with 14 points, while shooting 5-of-8 from the field and knocking down a pair of 3-pointers. Rhamel Brown and RaShawn Stores added 13 points each, while Michael Alvarado managed 10. Brown also had three blocks and two steals on the defensive end and is now just one block away from tying the school's all-time career record. The squad shot 54.8 percent from the floor and was 7-of-13 from beyond the arc.
Brown is the team's top scorer on the season with 12.0 ppg from 57.5 percent field goal shooting. He is the only Jasper player averaging in double figures, as Manhattan scores only 58.3 ppg, offsetting solid defensive play. Their scoring offense ranks them 335th in the nation, with just 10 other teams scoring less.
Maurice Barrow led the Stags over Saint Peter's with 15 points and five rebounds, while managing a pair of blocks and steals on defense. Derek Needham added 13 points and six assists despite shooting just 1-of-6 from 3-point range. Colin Nickerson scored 14 points and hit two 3-pointers without a miss. Needham is the only Fairfield player averaging in double-figure scoring on the year with 14.5 ppg and is also the only player to start all 25 games, leading in minutes per game with 33.1. On the defensive end is where the team has been most effective, holding opponents to 60.2 ppg and just 40.6 percent shooting from the floor.
When not playing on its homecourt, Manhattan has won just three games in 16 tries. Needham will look to keep the Stags rolling and take care of business over a Manhattan team that really misses its star player George Beamon, who was the MAAC's top scorer a year ago but played in just four games this year before re-injuring an ankle to end all hopes of this season's repeat. The Stags should earn an easy win in this matchup.
Sports Network Projected Outcome: Fairfield 64, Manhattan 52
02/11 10:34:26 ET