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Fairfield (11-10) at Saint Peter's (6-13)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 27, 2 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Yanitelli Center (3,200) -- Jersey City, New Jersey. Television: None. Home Record: Fairfield 3-3, Saint Peter's 3-6. Away Record: Fairfield 5-7, Saint Peter's 3-6. Neutral Record: Fairfield 3-0, Saint Peter's 0-1. Conference Record: Fairfield 3-6, Saint Peter's 1-8. Series Record: Fairfield leads, 50-49.
GAME NOTES: Coming off their most comfortable win of the campaign, the Fairfield Stags now try to log back-to-back victories for the first time in nearly a month when they hit the floor against the Saint Peter's Peacocks in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play at the Yanitelli Center on Sunday afternoon.
After winning six straight games between December and the first few days of this month, the Stags had been moving in the wrong direction with five consecutive setbacks, all against league foes. However, on Thursday night the team crushed the Marist Red Foxes in a 71-37 final to move to 3-6 in league play.
Meanwhile, the Peacocks are trapped all alone in last place in the MAAC with just one win in nine attempts, and that lone victory is now almost two months old. The last win of any kind for Saint Peter's was a 71-69 final versus Central Connecticut State back on Dec. 29.
Saint Peter's has gone on to drop seven in a row since that close call against the Blue Devils, the latest setback coming on Friday night in a 90-71 final versus Iona on the road.
In a series that now dates back more then six decades, the Stags are ahead by just a single game, 50-49. Saint Peter's has won just one of the last 15 encounters, a 62-48 decision during the 2011 MAAC Tournament.
The Stags scored the first points of the game against Marist the other night and never looked back, hitting on a stellar 59.2 percent from the floor and 11-of-22 behind the 3-point line in the home win. Josip Mikulic was high man for Fairfield as he tied a career-high with 16 points, shooting 4-of-7 on the outside, followed by Desmond Wade with 13 points for the hosts. Although he didn't reach double figures in the latest contest, Derek Needham is still the top scorer overall for the Stags with his 14.2 ppg. In fact, Needham is the only player in double figures for the program after 21 games and that makes sense since he is the only one to have started all 21 games. As a group, Fairfield is generating just 63.6 ppg, but at the same time permitting only 61.7 ppg.
The Peacocks shot 49.1 percent from the floor during their meeting with the Gaels a few days back, but they also knocked down just 10-of-20 at the free- throw line which prevented them from making a serious run at Iona in the 19- point decision at the Hynes Center. Chris Burke registered a double-double for the visitors with 18 points and 10 rebounds, followed by Blaise Ffrench with 14 points, four boards and four assists. With a different leading scorer in each of the last four outings, the Peacocks haven't been able to get much consistency on offense and that has certainly hurt them. Desi Washington continues to pace the team in scoring with 14.2 ppg, but at the same time he is shooting just 37.0 percent from the floor and is averaging less than one assist per outing.
Fairfield has been only marginally successful in conference play this season, but this might be the perfect opponent for the squad to perhaps generate some momentum heading into next week.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Fairfield 74, Saint Peter's 68
01/27 10:33:18 ET
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