Siena (6-19) at Fairfield (15-11)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, February 14, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Webster Bank Arena (10,000) -- Bridgeport, Connecticut. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Siena 3-8, Fairfield 5-4. Away Record: Siena 2-10, Fairfield 7-7. Neutral Record: Siena 1-1, Fairfield 3-0. Conference Record: Siena 4-10, Fairfield 7-7. Series Record: Siena leads, 31-27.
GAMES NOTES: The Fairfield Stags will be looking to bounce back from an embarrassing loss as they continue a five-game homestand against the Siena Saints in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at Webster Bank Arena.
Also failing to earn a win in its last game was Siena which fell, 72-62, on the road to Saint Peter's. The setback was the third straight and sixth in the last seven outings for the Saints. Historically a contender in the MAAC, Siena has struggled this season posting a record of 6-19 overall to go with its 4-10 mark against league foes. This is the final game of this three-game road trip for the Saints who host Loyola to kick off three straight at the Times Union Center on Saturday.
Fairfield was run out of its own building as it was handed a 62-40 defeat by Manhattan on Tuesday. The loss ended a five-game winning streak for the Stags. Fairfield is a solid 15-11 overall on the season but has failed to pick up wins consistently against league foes with a record of 7-7 against the MAAC. Fairfield will host Iona next before the final home game of the season which is a non-conference bout with Albany.
These teams met earlier this month in the first matchup of the season with Fairfield coming away with a 64-54 victory at the Times Union Center. The win was the fourth in the last five meetings for the Stags. Siena still owns a 31-27 all-time series lead.
A 9-0 run by Saint Peter's near the end of the contest sank Siena in what was a closely contested battle until the final four minutes. The Saints managed to shoot just 20.7 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes while turning the ball over 19 times in the game.
Siena has been marred by offensive deficiencies and turnovers this season. The Saints are scoring just 59.2 points per game and shooting at a conference worst 39.4 percent from the floor. The Saints are also assisting on just 9.9 field goals per game, also last in the league, while ranking second in turnovers (15.1 pg). Depth has been another weakness for the Saints who have only four players playing more than 16 minutes per game. O.D. Anosike (13.1 ppg, 11.9 rpg) has been the best scorer and rebounder for the Saints as well as the top rebounder in the country as a whole. Anosike's 15 double-doubles this season are tied for the fourth most nationally as well. Rob Poole (12.3 ppg), Evan Hymes (11.1 ppg) and Rakeem Brookins (11.9 ppg) also score in double figures out of the starting lineup though none is shooting above 40 percent.
In the first half against Manhattan the Stags recorded just four field goals on a miserable 13.8 percent shooting performance. The Stags improved some in the second half (.367 FG percentage) but it was not enough to come back against the Jaspers who hit 52.3 percent of their shots in the contest.
Fairfield hasn't had much to brag about itself on the offensive end. The Stags are putting up just 62.7 points per game despite shooting the third best percentage from the field (.434). On defense however, the Stags have managed to keep teams in check ranking among the top 100 teams in the country in points allowed (60.3 pg) and opponent field-goal percentage (.410). Keeping teams from moving the ball has been the key as the Stags give up the eighth fewest assists (9 pg) in the country. Derek Needham (14.2 ppg) is the lone double-figure scorer for the Stags who do have eight players putting in at least five points per game.
With arguably the worst offensive team in the conference coming to town the Stags will be able to get back on track defensively. As long as they produce better efforts on offense that will lead to a win.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome Fairfield 68, Siena 60
02/14 10:48:25 ET