Fairfield (3-4) at Austin Peay (3-3)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 1, 8:30 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dave Aaron Arena (7,257) -- Clarksville, Tennessee. Television: none. Home Record: Fairfield 0-0, Austin Peay 2-0. Away Record: Fairfield 0-4. Austin Peay 0-2. Neutral Record: Fairfield 3-0, Austin Peay 1-1. Conference Record: Fairfield 0-0, Austin Peay 0-0. Series Record: Fairfield leads, 1-0.
GAME NOTES: Fairfield will continue its long road stretch to open the season on Saturday evening when the Stags take on the Governors of Austin Peay.
The month of November included seven games away from home for Fairfield. The Stags, who won't play their first home contest until Dec. 7 against Canisius in the MAAC opener, are coming off an 85-78 loss to DePaul on Tuesday. Derek Needham played the entire 40 minutes for Fairfield and ended with a season- best 29 points and eight assists. Amadou Sidibe provided a double-double off the bench with 11 points and 11 boards while Keith Matthews chipped in 10 points in 17 minutes of action. The loss was the second in a row and third in four games for the Stags.
Needham, a 5-foot-11 senior guard, is the only player averaging double digits this season at 15 points per game. He needs nine more 3-pointers to break the school's career record, currently held by Greg Francis (230 from 1994-97). Sidibe, a freshman 6-foot-8 forward, averages seven points and a team-leading 5.9 rebounds. Sidibe leads the team with a .680 field goal percentage, making 17 of 25 attempts. He is the only Fairfield player to shoot better than 50 percent in every game this season. Josip Mikulic, a 7-foot freshman forward, averages 6.2 points in a starting role. Keith Matthews, a 6-foot-5 junior forward, is second on the team in scoring (9.3 ppg), while senior guard Desmond Wade (6.6 ppg) and junior forward Maurice Barrow (6.4 ppg) make up the remainder of the starting five.
Dave Loos, who is in the midst of his 23rd season as head coach of the Governors, has his team coming off a blowout win over Berea, 108-53, Wednesday night. Anthony Campbell and Corey Arentsen each netted 20 points. Travis Betran added 16 and Chris Horton 15, as Austin Peay shot nearly 57 percent from the field. Austin Peay's 12 total 3-point field goals were the most since it had 12 against Brescia, Dec. 28, 2010. Freshman guard AJ Lynch (6.0 ppg) and Horton (7.8 ppg) round out the starting five.
Campbell, who reached the career 1,000-point mark on Wednesday, is second on the team in scoring at 13.3 ppg, behind Betran (14.3), a 6-3 junior guard. Will Triggs, a 6-foot-6 junior forward, is third in scoring at 9.8 ppg, while Chris Freeman, a sophomore reserve forward, paces the team with 8.2 rebounds per contest.
This marks the second meeting between Fairfield and Austin Peay. The Stags won, 76-69, on Feb. 19, 2011 in a non-conference showdown as part of BracketBuster weekend. Needham led all Fairfield scorers with 19 points in that game that was played on Fairfield's home court.
Although the Stags are slated to play just 12 home games this season, five coming in a row between February 7-23, they should be able to ride the coattails of Needham on the way to a tight victory.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Fairfield 74, Austin Peay 70
12/01 10:44:13 ET