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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 1, 1 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Webster Bank Arena (10,000) -- Bridgeport, Connecticut. Television: None. Home Record: Canisius 8-0, Fairfield 3-6. Away Record: Canisius 5-6, Fairfield 1-9. Neutral Record: Canisius 2-1, Fairfield 0-2. Conference Record: Canisius 9-2, Fairfield 1-9. Series Record: Fairfield leads, 46-31.
GAME NOTES: The Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference-leading Canisius Golden Griffins attempt to keep their winning ways going on Saturday afternoon, as they visit the struggling Fairfield Stags at Webster Bank Arena.
These programs have a long history against one another, and although the Stags hold a sizeable 46-31 lead in the all-time series, they saw their nine-game win streak over Fairfield halted last season.
Canisius improved to 9-2 in league play with a wire-to-wire 86-74 road win over Quinnipiac on Thursday. The Golden Griffins made 53.3 percent of their field goal tries, including 7-of-12 from 3-point range, in the first half and did just enough down the stretch to secure their third straight decision.
Billy Baron logged 20 points, while Zach Lewis and Chris Perez each scored in double figures with 17 and 15 points, respectively, in the triumph.
On the season, Canisius shoots just over 46 percent from the field for 77.0 ppg, which is enough to support its rather lackluster scoring defense (73.8 ppg). Baron is the nation's third-leading scorer with 24.0 ppg, doing so on excellent percentages from 3-point range (.451) and the free-throw line (.908) while adding 4.8 rpg, 4.8 apg and 1.6 spg for good measure. Perez (11.5 ppg), Jordan Heath (10.6 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 2.4 bpg) and Lewis (9.8 ppg) are solid complementary pieces.
While the Griffins have hit their stride, Fairfield has been falling further into what looks to be a lost season. The Stags are mired in a 1-8 slump, with the latest setback coming in a 64-56 defeat against Siena last Sunday.
Fairfield led by as many as 11 points late in the first half, but Siena turned it around after the break, supplementing 45.8 percent shooting from the field with a near-perfect 16-of-17 showing at the free-throw line.
Maurice Barrow accounted for 15 points and seven rebounds in a reserve role, while Justin Jenkins led the Stags' starters with 13 points and six rebounds.
Fairfield's offense makes good on a mere 39.0 percent of its field goal tries for 61.2 ppg, which all but spoils its dependable play at the defensive end of the court (.414, 68.6 ppg). Marcus Gilbert pours in 13.4 ppg on 48-of-129 from beyond the arc (.372), while also chipping in 5.0 rpg. Barrow is the only other player in double figures with 12.8 ppg. The Stags are also committing more than 15 turnovers per game while doling out 11.3 apg.
Canisius should have no problem controlling Fairfield's suspect offense and staying atop the MAAC.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Canisius 77, Fairfield 63
02/01 11:49:00 ET
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