Sunday, February 11, 2007

Inside the Numbers: Breaking Down the Stags Victory Over Loyola

Another great win for the Stags over Loyola in a week. Fairfield is rolling again, as the loss to Marist did not seem to affect its momentum. The next game against Siena is shaping up to be another big one, as the Saints are another top MAAC team and the Stags must defend their home court. With the win already over Siena, it would be nice for Fairfield to sweep both Loyola and Siena, as well as Niagara. Its too bad Fairfield played Manhattan earlier in the season, because a loss like the two they had to the Jaspers would not come at this point in the year.

The Stags looked ready to play and came out on all cylinders, jumping out to a big lead in the first half. They gave that lead away, but came right back in the second half, as the team took what Michael Van Schaick called a "good break" during halftime. The Stags went on a 9-3 run to start the half and then extended their lead to as much as 19 points.

The lead almost slipped away, but Fairfield was resilient and held on.

Van Schaick is like a completely different player, he can not be stopped, even with the box and one and players hanging all over him, he still mananges to score.

Tough defense by Devin Johnson was a key to the win, as again he and the rest of the Stags perimeter defenders held Gerald Brown way under his season average, as he scored only 12 points in the game.

A few key stats from the final box score:

  • Fairfield shot 10-for-19 in the second half (52.6%) and 42.2% for the game. The Stags started the game slowly from behind the three point arc, with just 3-for-8 shooting in the first half, but were 5-for-7 in the second half, three of those by Van Schaick alone. Fairfield missed some key free throws, but had 24 opportunities in the second half, converting on 18 of those.
  • Loyola on the other hand shot just 30.8 percent from the floor. They made just six shots in the first half and ten in the second half, with just five threes in the game. 22-for-26 free throw shooting (81.5%) saved the Greyhounds from being blown out.
  • Fairfield held a rebounding edge most of the game, but could not come up with key rebounds down the stretch and finished with just 29 rebounds to 34 for Loyola, who had 19 one the offensive boards.
  • Turnovers also killed the Stags in the second half, as they committed 10, while forcing just three. The first half was a different story, as Fairfield forced 17 turnovers, leading to 11 points.
Check later tonight for a game story, featuring post-game quotes from Head Coach Ed Cooley, Michael Van Schaick, and Anthony Johnson.

-Tom Cleary


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