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Monmouth (10-13) at Fairfield (4-19)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Friday, February 7, 7 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Webster Bank Arena (10,000) -- Bridgeport, Connecticut. Television: ESPN3.com. Home Record: Monmouth 7-5, Fairfield 3-7. Away Record: Monmouth 3-8, Fairfield 1-10. Neutral Record: Monmouth 0-0, Fairfield 0-2. Conference Record: Monmouth 4-8, Fairfield 1-10. Series Record: Fairfield leads, 2-1.
GAME NOTES: The Fairfield Stags have lost five consecutive games, but will try to turn their fortunes around when they host the Monmouth Hawks in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action at Webster Bank Arena.
Monmouth has lost three games in a row, including an 89-71 rout at the hands of Iona on Tuesday. Iona is one of two MAAC leaders with Canisius at 10-2, while Monmouth finds itself six games back at 4-8 in the conference. In their last seven games, the Hawks have lost five.
One win against Manhattan separates the Stags from a 11-game losing streak. Prior to the win over the Jaspers, Fairfield had lost five consecutive games. Now the Stags are on another five-game losing streak, which has set them back to 1-11 in the MAAC.
Fairfield still holds the slight lead in the all-time series with Monmouth, 2-1. But the one Monmouth win came this season on Jan. 23 - a 63-60 Hawks victory. Prior to this season, the last time the Hawks and Stags met on the court was on Nov. 25, 1995.
Iona owned a 40-33 lead over Monmouth in the Hawks' last outing, and the second half wasn't any better. Monmouth shot a dismal 32.4 percent from the floor in the second frame, as the Gaels ran to a 49-38 second-half advantage for the double-digit win. Andrew Nicholas led the charge for the Hawks with 15 points, while Deon Jones contributed 14 and Max DiLeo added 12. Monmouth shot 36.5 percent from the floor in the game.
Jones and Nicholas are the go-to guys this season for Monmouth, as the two lead the team in scoring, and are the only two players to average double-digit scoring figures. Jones comes in at 15.1 ppg on 44.6 percent shooting from the floor, while Nicholas is a full point behind Jones with 14.1 ppg. Jones, with a 6.9 rpg margin, leads the team in rebounding, and guard Justin Robinson tops the squad with 79 assists on the year. The Hawks are scoring 71.3 ppg this season.
Rider only held a two-point lead against Fairfield in Monday's Broncs victory. But the Stags went in the opposite direction in the second half, allowing Rider to shoot 57.1 percent from the floor in the second frame. Maurice Barrow netted 22 points to lead Fairfield, adding eight rebounds to his stat line. Marcus Gilbert chipped in 15 points and eight rebounds, but also gave the ball away six times in the loss.
Like Jones and Nicholas for Monmouth, Gilbert and Barrow are the only two players averaging double digits this season for the Stags. Gilbert paces the squad with 13.5 ppg on 40.6 percent shooting from the floor. Barrow isn't too far off in the distance, netting 12.8 ppg. Amadou Sidibe leads the team in rebounding at 6.1 rpg, while K.J. Rose tops the squad with 73 assists on the year, but with 73 turnovers as well. The Stags are scoring just 61.3 ppg this season.
Monmouth already defeated Fairfield earlier this season, and the fact that the Stags have home advantage Friday doesn't change much. The Hawks have had a slightly below average season in the MAAC, but Fairfield's season is beyond recovery.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Monmouth 68, Fairfield 63
02/07 10:16:45 ET
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