Fairfield (4-14) at Belmont (13-7)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Monday, January 20, 3:30 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Curb Event Center (5,085) -- Nashville, Tennessee. Television: None. Home Record: Fairfield 3-5, Belmont 5-1. Away Record: Fairfield 1-7, Belmont 6-6. Neutral Record: Fairfield 0-2, Belmont 2-0. Conference Record: Fairfield 1-7, Belmont 5-1. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Fairfield Stags finally ended a five-game losing streak with a win Saturday, and will look to make it two in a row as they travel to face the Belmont Bruins in non-conference action at the Curb Events Center.
This game was originally scheduled for Dec. 11, but was postponed due to inclement weather.
Fairfield had lost five in a row and six of its last seven matchups before taking a 71-67 win over previous Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference leader Manhattan. It was Fairfield's first conference win this season.
Belmont has been hot lately, winning five of its last six games and cruised by Tennessee State, 79-65, Saturday in Ohio Valley Conference play. The Bruins are a half-game up in the East Division of the OVC entering this contest.
This will be the first-ever meeting between Fairfield, of the MAAC, and Belmont, an OVC contender.
The Stags were able to get two clutch free throws from senior forward Maurice Barrow with under a minute left that gave Fairfield a four-point lead over Manhattan. The four-point lead stood up, as the Stags claimed their first conference victory. Barrow finished with 18 points and four rebounds, leading the Stags. Marcus Gilbert netted 17 points and grabbed six rebounds, while Sean Grennan scored 12 points. Fairfield shot 44.4 percent from the floor in the game.
Gilbert leads the team this season in scoring average, netting 13.4 ppg on 36.6 percent shooting from the field. Barrow isn't too far off Gilbert's pace, averaging 12.4 ppg playing a key role coming off the bench. Barrow is second on the team in rebounding, at 5.1 rpg, to Coleman Johnson, who pulls down 5.4 rpg. The Stags average 62.1 ppg on 39.3 percent shooting this season.
Belmont jumped out in front of Tennessee State quickly in the first half, then used a 9-0 run to take a 27-7 lead with 11:23 left to play in the first half. The Bruins ran away with the game, taking the OVC victory. J.J. Mann scored a team-high 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field, while Craig Bradshaw netted 14 points, grabbed five rebounds and dished out four assists for the Bruins. Belmont shot an impressive 50.9 percent from the floor in the game, including 10-of-24 from 3-point range.
Mann and Bradshaw top the Bruins this season in scoring, with Mann netting 16.4 ppg on 42.5 percent shooting, while Bradshaw nets 15.5 ppg on 52.5 percent shooting from the field. Mann and Bradshaw complete their all-around stats with a one-two punch in steals (45-23, respectively), and are second and third on the team in assists, with 56 (Bradshaw) and 55 (Mann). Belmont has been on a torrid scoring pace this season, averaging 79.6 ppg on 50 percent shooting.
Fairfield has struggled this season, while Belmont has enjoyed the complete opposite in terms of success. At home, Belmont should have no trouble scoring at will against the Stags, who give up 69.6 ppg.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Belmont 78, Fairfield 62
01/20 10:34:09 ET