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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Thursday, January 23, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: MAC (4,100) -- West Long Branch, New Jersey. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Fairfield 3-5, Monmouth 6-4. Away Record: Fairfield 1-7, Monmouth 3-6. Neutral Record: Fairfield 0-2, Monmouth 0-0. Conference Record: Fairfield 1-7, Monmouth 3-5. Series Record: Fairfield leads, 2-0.
GAME NOTES: A pair of teams seeking a return to the win column meet tonight, as the Fairfield Stags visit their newest Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference rival, the Monmouth Hawks.
Fairfield is coming off 62-53 setback to Ohio Valley Conference powerhouse Belmont on Monday night. Marcus Gilbert scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds to lead the Stags, who have lost six of their last seven outings.
KJ Rose added 10 points and six assists and Maurice Barrow also recorded 10 points for Fairfield, which rallied to erase a 10-point deficit to tie the game at 53-53 with just under four minutes left. However, Belmont, the defending OVC champion, rallied to score the game's final seven points to escape with the win.
The Stags were trying to record consecutive victories for the first time this season. They had beat MAAC foe Manhattan last Saturday for their first conference win in eight tries.
Fairfield is led by Gilbert's 13.5 ppg. Barrow ranks second and is the only other double-digit scorer for Fairfield, averaging 12.3 ppg. As a squad, the Stags put up just 61.6 ppg, shooting a lowly 39.1 percent from the field, including 32.6 percent from 3-point land. Opponents score an average of 69.2 ppg against the Stags, who are just 1-7 in true road games and 1-9 away from home this season.
Monmouth ended a two-game slide last time out, as the Hawks edged Canisius to improve to 3-5 in their first year of MAAC action.
Junior Andrew Nicholas connected on two three-pointers in the final 10 seconds of action, including the game-winner with one second remaining, to lift Monmouth, which has split its last eight contests overall.
Trailing by 14 points in the second half, Nicholas drained a trey with 8.1 seconds left to pull the Hawks within 82-80. Canisius' Billy Baron then missed the front end of a one-and-one with 6.7 seconds on the clock and Monmouth junior Deon Jones hauled it in, pushed to mid-court and passed to Nicholas on the wing, where he drilled the go-ahead trifecta over three Griffs with 1.0 second showing.
Nicolas ended with 28 points, while Deon Jones added 20 points and 11 rebounds for Monmouth, which wraps up a two-game homestand with this contest. Max DiLeo chipped in with 15 points for the Hawks, who are 6-4 at the MAC this season.
Jones' 15.6 ppg and 6.7 rpg lead the Hawks this season. Nicholas adds 14.2 ppg. No other Monmouth player averages in double figures, as the squad scores an average of 71.6 ppg, but yields 73.9 ppg.
While neither team brings much fire power into the game, the Hawks have been the steadier of the two this season. The Stags are horrid on the road and although Monmouth isn't automatic at the MAC, the Hawks should be able to do enough to come away with their first win in three all-time meetings against the Stags.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Monmouth 72, Fairfield 62
01/23 10:22:30 ET
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