Siena (8-12) at Fairfield (4-16)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 26, 12 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Webster Bank Arena (10,000) -- Bridgeport, Connecticut. Television: None. Home Record: Siena 6-2, Fairfield 3-5. Away Record: Siena 2-7, Fairfield 1-9. Neutral Record: Siena 0-3, Fairfield 0-2. Conference Record: Siena 4-5, Fairfield 1-8. Series Record: Siena leads, 31-28.
GAME NOTES: The Fairfield Stags will open up a two-game homestand at Webster Bank Arena on Sunday afternoon when they face off with the Siena Saints in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action.
Siena had lost three straight games prior to its Wednesday night contest with Saint Peter's, which it won, 64-47, to improve to 4-5 in the MAAC. The Saints are 8-12 on the season, with a noticeable success differential between home (6-2) and road (2-7) games.
Fairfield has been even worse than Siena this season, winning just four of its 20 games overall, while sitting alone in last place in the MAAC at 1-8. The Stags' futile campaign continued at Monmouth on Wednesday with a 63-60 setback.
The Saints hold a 31-28 advantage in the all-time series with the Stags, although Fairfield has won three straight, including 74-52 at home on Feb. 14, 2013.
The Saints enjoyed their most convincing win of the season in their latest contest. Even though they shot just 39.3 percent from the field, they held Saint Peter's to only 37 percent shooting and earned extra possessions by dominating the rebounding battle (48-29) in the 17-point triumph. Brett Bisping and Rob Poole led the way with 14 points apiece, with Bisping shooting 6-of-8 from the field and Poole going 5-of-6 from the foul line. Marquis Wright added 13 points and nine rebounds and Lavon Long tallied 10 points and seven boards.
Siena typically struggles offensively, as it shoots just 42.6 percent from the field for 69.3 ppg, which is not strong enough to support its lackluster defensive effort (72.8 ppg). It's also hindered by a disappointing -3.0 turnover margin. Poole posts 15.0 ppg and 6.0 rpg, both team highs. Long (9.2 ppg, 5.1 rpg) and Bisping (8.7 ppg, 5.8 rpg) are also strong in the paint, while Evan Hymes (10.7 ppg) does his damage in a reserve role.
The Stags held a lead for a large portion of the second half their last time out, but they lost the advantage with under three minutes to play on a 4-0 Monmouth run and were never able to recover. They shot just 37.7 percent from the field on the night and 8-of-12 from the foul line, but a 12-of-33 showing from 3-point range helped keep the game close. Maurice Barrow shined with 20 points in 23 minutes off the bench, Marcus Gilbert netted 19 points and KJ Rose tallied seven points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
Fairfield's offense has performed even worse than Siena's this season, as it makes good on a mere 39.1 percent of its field goal tries for 61.5 ppg, which all but spoils its dependable play on the defensive end of the court (.413, 68.8 ppg). Gilbert pours in 13.8 ppg on 47-of-124 from beyond the arc (.379) while also chipping in 5.0 rpg. Barrow is the only other player in double figures with 12.7 ppg.
Fairfield has shown such little promise this season that it is nearly impossible to trust, even on its home floor against the inconsistent Saints.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Siena 66, Fairfield 62
01/26 10:33:46 ET