FINAL: Fairfield 64, Siena 54

Monday, February 4, 2013
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ALBANY — Fairfield’s perimeter defense made it rough for Siena and held starting guards Evan Hymes and Rakeem Brookins to a combined 4-for-17 to beat the Saints, 64-54, at the Times Union Center tonight.

Derek Needham scored 18 points for the Stags, who improved to 6-6 in the MAAC and 14-10 overall, and Michael Barrow scored 11 points off the bench.

O.D. Anosike had 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Saints (4-8, 6-17), who wasted a chance to tie Fairfield for sixth in the standings and will be hard-pressed to avoid a first-round game in the MAAC Tournament even though they still have six conference games left.

Hymes has been suffering with a sore throat for the last two days, and Fairfield didn’t do anything to help him feel better. Averaging 12.0 ppg, he was scoreless in the first half and finished with five points in 34 minutes.

The game was very close, though, with 13 lead changes and 10 ties, until the Stags pulled away with a 14-2 run with 8:37 to play for a 59-45 lead.

“As the game wore on, we didn’t have the offense that we’ve had, and you have to credit Fairfield,” Siena head coach Mitch Buonaguro said. “They did get after us and really guarded Evan and Rahk well.”

“They did a great job scouting, they knew what our game plan was, what we wanted to do,” Hymes said. “They saw that we’re scoring a lot more points running the four-out, one-in offense. Credit goes to them. They pressured me and Rahk, and not just us, they were mugging O.D. on the inside.”

Siena will play Radford in its final BracketBusters game at noon on Sunday, Feb. 24, at the Times Union Center. The Highlanders are 4-5 in the Big South Conference and 10-13 overall.

Siena is 2-0 all-time against Radford. The Saints defeated the Highlanders, 67-59, in the first game of the 2000-01 season at Times Union Center and 74-72 in the championship game of the Holiday Inn Naismith Challenge on Dec. 30, 1989.

As part of the BracketBusters agreement, Siena will travel to Radford during either the 2013-14 or 2014-15 season. ESPN announced earlier this season that the BracketBusters series will be discontinued after this season.

FAIRFIELD (64)

Gilbert 2-8 1-2 6, Sidibe 4-8 2-2 10, Mikulic 2-11 0-0 5, Needham 6-10 4-4 18, Wade 3-7 1-2 7, Barrow 5-8 1-2 11, Johnston 1-3 0-0 3, Nickerson 1-5 0-0 2, Matthews 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 25-62 9-12 64.

SIENA (54)

Anosike 7-13 1-2 15, Burdine 4-8 2-2 10, Hymes 1-7 2-2 5, Brookins 3-10 3-4 9, Poole 3-7 3-4 9, Audu 2-6 0-0 6, Martens 0-3 0-0 0, Silas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-54 11-14 54.

Halftime — Fairfield 27, Siena 25. Three-point goals — Fairfield 5-23 (Needham 2-6, Gilbert 1-3, Johnston 1-3, Mikulic 1-8, Nickerson 0-1, Wade 0-2), Siena 3-12 (Audu 2-5, Hymes 1-3, Poole 0-1, Brookins 0-1, Martens 0-1, Burdine 0-1). Fouled Out — None. Rebounds — Fairfield 36 (Nickerson, Sidibe 6), Siena 32 (Anosike 8). Assists — Fairfield 11 (Wade 7), Siena 8 (Anosike 4). Total Fouls — Fairfield 14, Siena 16. A — 5,597.

Follow Mike MacAdam on Twitter at @Mike_MacAdam

 

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