Sunday, January 27, 2008

Final from Harbor Yard: Fairfield 73, Niagara 61

  • Final from Harbor Yard: Fairfield 73, Niagara 61
  • Fisher is now the one that heads to the line, as Fairfield refuses to go down without a fight. Fisher adds to his stats with a pair of free throws.
  • Herbie Allen hits a trey to keep the game respectable. The Stags call for a quick timeout to rally the troops. 71-61 Niagara.
  • Nelson goes one-of-two. 71-58 Niagara.
  • Fairfield looks lost in an attempt to put up a three-point shot. Niagara gets the ball back with time winding down. Anthony Nelson is now fouled with 31 seconds to play.
  • Nelson knocks down both shots with ease. 70-58 Niagara.
  • Yorel Hawkins misses a three, and Herbie Allen is forced to foul quickly as a result. Nelson goes to the line for two shots.
  • Hodge hits both shots to put the nail in the coffin. 68-58 Niagara.
  • The Stags attempt to manufacture a turnover because of a half-court trap - but no such luck. Han is forced to foul Stanley Hodge with time winding down.
  • Edney drives the lane and takes an ill-advised jumper. Niagara grabs the board and calls a timeout to regroup with 1:17 to play. The Eagles are up eight points, and the game appears as if its on ice.
  • Tyrone Lewis drives the lane and its a floater. 66-58 Niagara.
  • Edney takes another quick three and gives the ball back to the Eagles.
  • Fisher nails 'em both. 64-58 Niagara.
  • Charron Fisher takes advantage of a match-up against freshman Warren Edney by posting him up and drawing a foul call. Fisher to the line to extend the Eagles' lead.
  • Refs stop the game to take a look at a potential mistake in the game clock. We think it's 2:53 to play. Either way, the Stags are down four in crunch time.
  • Evanovich misses a three in the corner; nice defense for the Purple Eagles.
  • Tyrone Lewis fakes a three, then drives for an easy lay-up. Niagara takes a quick timeout to regroup defensively, as Cooley finally takes off his jacket in a fit of rage. Will it get them motivated? One can only hope.
  • Han misses an ill-advised three to give the ball right back.
  • In a stunning turn of event, Niagara misses one of their free throws as well! Must be something in the water her at Harbor Yard.

- Keith Connors

60-58 Niagara; 3:58 in the 2nd

  • Nero gets called now for a hold on the floor. That's the Stags' ninth foul - giving the Purple Eagles a "one-and-one" after the media timeout.
  • Nero gets a clean, beautiful-looking block on Anthony Nelson in the lane. Eagles' retain, but that was big.
  • Herbie gets the first, but whiffs on the second. Story of the night for Fairfield. 60-58 Niagara.
  • Herbie Allen fakes a shot, then drives base line and gets a foul call against the Purple Eagles. Herbie gets a pair on the shooting foul.
  • Charron Fisher buries a deep jump shot against Greg Nero to keep Niagara up. 60-57 Niagara.
  • Nero drives the lane hard on a fake feed and gets the lay-up to go. 58-57 Niagara.
  • Following a Niagara offensive board, Anthony Nelson is trapped in the corner anfd throws the ball off of Yorel to retain. Fisher whiffs on an air-ball moments later to hand the ball right back.
  • Once again, the Stags are struggling mightily from the free throw line. Herbie misses the first freebie, but makes amends by at least getting the second. If the Stags had converted a few more free throws, this would be a totally different game right now. 58-55 Niagara.
  • Herbie Allen tries to get the ball from Han in a perimeter post. Tyrone Lewis gets a little too frisky with him and is called for a hold. That's Niagara's eleventh team foul very early in this ball game.
  • Anthony Johnson gets called for a pick that was a little too strong. Eagles' ball.
  • Despite a ladies' game after it, there still is no strong showing of the Red Sea at Harbor Yard at this point. Hutch is here. But that kind of goes without saying.
  • Creepy announcer guy: "Hey, fans? Who wants a t-shirt?" The real answers: who doesn't?

- Keith Connors

56-54 Niagara; 7:28 in the 2nd

  • Evanovich called for a foul as Fisher drove the lane.
  • Herbie Allen keeps the game tight with a three-pointer. 56-54 Niagara.
  • Charron Fisher hits a J from twenty feet out. 56-51 Niagara.
  • Stanley Hodge and Anthony Johnson dive around and mess for the ball. The Eagles actually come up with it and force the turnover. Appears as if Tyrone Lewis got tangled in the melee and got hurt. We'll see.
  • Hodge goes one-of-two. 54-51 Niagara.
  • Anthony Nelson misses a runner, but Stanley Hodge grabs an o-reb and draws the foul. He goes to the line for two.
  • Evanovich luckily drew the Eagles' tenth foul, as he missed the first. He made amends, though, by converting the second and pulling the Stags to within two points. 53-51 Niagara.
  • Anthony Johnson gets the ball again inside and draws a foul. Once again, though, the Stags fail to capitalize at the free throw line. On the other side of the court, Kamau Gordon is called for a hold on the floor. The refs have been busy blowing the whistle on offensive fouls for both teams all day. In any event, Stags' ball with 9:45 to go.
  • Tyrone Lewis' attempted three misses far and bounces over the boards. Stags' ball.
  • Edney misses the freebie; another blown chance. Purple Eagles' ball.
  • Must be the Stags lucky day, as the inbound from Lewis goes right to Anthony Johnson. Demetrius Williamson is called for a hold on Warren Edney a few moments later. He'll go to the line for a "one-and-one".
  • A.J. only gets one-of-two, but Nero fights for the board and the Stags' retain possession. However, Warren Edney drives hard after the ensuing inbound and gives the ball away.
  • I'd like to think that Cooley's message in the huddle will be two-fold: relax and be patient on offense, and play your game on D. Niagara is trying to push the ball and create quick, open shots. The Stags took the bait early on, but can't get into that type of game if they want to win.

- Keith Connors

53-49 Niagara; 11:44 in the 2nd

  • Media T.O., baby!
  • Andrew Patterson called for a hold against A.J. - who has been a force in the paint today for Fairfield. Stags' retain on the foul call.
  • Herbie Allen hits a circus shot lay-up after a pump fake, and then Tyrone Lewis gets whistled for a double-dribble. Stags ball; can they build off the "Uncle Mo"? 53-49 Niagara.
  • Evanovich gets caught in a post with no dribbled and the refs nab him for traveling. Whammy. Things are certainly going the way/the pace of Niagara at this point in the game. Eagles ball.
  • Fisher knocks down both. 53-47 Niagara.
  • Fisher works against Warren Edney and draws the foul. 51-47 Niagara with 12:48 to play and Fisher heading to the charity stripe.
  • Han is called for a "push off" offensive foul" as he works against Tyrone Lewis. Purple Eagles ball.
  • Lewis finally misses a three, but Charron Fisher is right there to put in the miss. 51-47 Niagara.
  • A.J., who has improved tremendously in his free throw shooting, goes one-of-two. 49-47 Niagara.
  • Han hits a cutting Peanut Johnson again; he draws a foul in the act. The refs say it's a shooting violation, so he goes to the line for two shots.
  • Charron Fisher answers with a lay-in after the Stags botch a push up-court. 49-46 Niagara.
  • Han feeds Peanut Johnson on a cut, who dunks it over Demetrius Williamson. Can you say poster?

- Keith Connors

47-44 Niagara; 15:36 in the 2nd

  • Egemoyne is called for an over-the-back - that's his third foul on the game early in the second. 47-44 Niagara
  • Tyrone Lewis once again nails a three. He's been more dangerous than Fisher thus far this afternoon. 47-44 Niagara.
  • Egemoyne, knowing A.J. is guarding him, floats a jumper as high as possible and somehow gets it to go. Evanovich answers on the other end with a mid-ranger. 44-44.
  • Han picks off of a pass, but Herbie Allen mishandles it and throws it away. Another missed opportunity for the Stags - and that was a potential fast-break.
  • Han only converts one and is not pleased. Still, the Stags will take it. They also retain possession of the ball. 42-42.
  • Niagara's bench gets a mysterious technical foul? Charron Fisher seems as puzzled as I am. Anywho, Han to the line for two.
  • A writer that follows Niagara made the trip to Bridgeport all the way from snowy, western upstate New York. All I can say is: Why?
  • Dapper Cooley Watch: No red suit? No problem. Back to the black blazer, with a yellow shirt and a black striped tie. Classy, sir.

- Keith Connors

42-41 Niagara; 17:58 in the 2nd

  • Cooley is irate at the defense and the far too fast-paced tempo of this game and calls a timeout.
  • Fisher answers with a pull-up jumper. 42-41 Niagara.
  • Evanovich gets a pretty kick-out from Herbie and nails a trey. They're going to need him to shoot like that the rest of this game to pull it out. 41-40 Stags.
  • Fisher goes one-of-two. Not too shabby. 40-38 Niagara.
  • Fisher hits a quick shot - the Eagles are coming out hot. Just as I type that, Charron Fisher drives the lane and draws a foul from Anthony Johnson. He goes to the line for a pair. 39-38 Niagara.
  • Evanovich misses an easy shot after an in-bound. Cooley: "I could've made that lay-up".
  • Tyrone Lewis picks up the second half right where he left off: Tyrone Lewis hitting a three after a screen. 38-37 Stags.
  • Stat o' the half: Charron Fisher was held to only six point (3-of-11 shooting). The Stags did a nice job with match-up zone on Fisher and his mates. Specifically, Anthony Johnson posed problems for Fisher one-on-one coverage.

- Keith Connors

; in the 1st

  • Halftime at the Harbor: Fairfield 38, Niagara 34
  • Just as it appears the clock is ready to wind down, Han heaves the ball down court to Herbie Allen. Allen drives the ball to the hoop on a two-on-one. Initially, Herbie comes up short, but Mike Evanovich hustles down court and gets the tip in at the buzzer. Big ovation from the Harbor Yard crowd.
  • Niagara tries to hold for the final shot, but Charron Fisher's shot comes up short. Stags' ball.
  • Anthony Johnson and the Stags force a turnover thanks to some hustle - much to the delight of Cooley. Han hits Evanovich on a lay-up as Mike really breaks it down the court.
  • Yorel Hawkins tosses away a potential rebound, which results in Tyrone Lewis hitting yet another three. He's slowly morphing into Milan Prodanovic before our eyes. 34-32 Niagara.
  • Han hits both free throws to put the Stags back on top. Let's see if the defense can make a stand. 32-31 Stags.
  • Kamau Gordon stepped out to trap Jon Han - an attempted pick and roll from Fairfield. The play was botched, but Han got the foul call.
  • Tyrone Lewis answers (once again) from behind he arc. 31-30 Niagara.
  • Just before the media break, Yorel Hawkins was fouled on the floor trying to aide the Stags in breaking the press. Niagara had ten team fouls, so Yorel turned a loose ball foul into two points from the line. 30-28 Stags.

- Keith Connors

28-28; 3:31 in the 1st

  • Media T.O. as things are just heating up here at Fairfield.
  • A.J. misses the first of a one-and-one. Niagara misses the rebound, but retains possession after it bounces off of Fairfield. Very quickly on the other end, Demetrius Williamson breaks the half-court trap and lays the ball in. 28-28.
  • Anthony Johnson shows his athletic side by corralling a pass and laying it in off of the glass. If he is going to play like this more of late, the Stags are in good shape. 28-26 Stags.
  • A pair of turnovers from both teams ends in a two-on-one for Han and A.J.. The end result: an Anthony Johnson dunk. Unfortunately for the Stags, Tyrone Lewis answers quickly with a lay-up of his own. 26-26.
  • A.J. hits one-of-two from the line. 24-24.
  • A.J. gets the ball in the paint and is fouled in the process. Nice to see that Cooley and the staff feel comfortable enough with Johnson to get him the ball early and often in these big games. It would certainly would be a huge boost if he could become a consistent scoring threat.
  • Egemoyne misses a "one and one" attempt, and the Stags pull down the board.

- Keith Connors

24-22 Niagara; 7:53 in the 1st

  • Benson Egemoyne draws a foul as Anthony Johnson goes up to meet him, and he gets the shot to go. Nice and-one from the Eagles. 24-22 Niagara
  • Nero forces an awkward three; Cooley checks him out as a result. Evanovich checks back in following a Niagara turnover.
  • Once again, though, Niagara responds. Stanley Hodge hits a quick three that was way too open. 22-22
  • After Edney grabs an offensive carom, Han hits A.J. on an easy lay-up. Beautiful no-look pass from Jon Han, who continue to show how point guard play is done.
  • Han hits Edney on an alley-oop, but Tyrone Lewis ends any thought of Stags' momentum by drilling a three-pointer. 19-18 Niagara.
  • Gordon misses bad on both, despite some in-between shots encouragement from his teammates. Both teams have left some pint on the board in this one.
  • Kamau Gordon misses a "gimme" lay-up, but draws a foul from Herbie Allen. Gordon heads to the charity stripe.
  • So-so crowd at Harbor Yard. Hopefully the one's who braved the cold January morn will get more than just a so-so game.

- Keith Connors

16-16; 10:56 in the 1st

  • Fisher and Lewis cause a turnover as Fairfield tries to move the ball around the perimeter. The Eagles grab possession and call for a timeout with a man on the floor. Niagara ball.
  • Fisher tries to force a shot off of a "push" call from Mihalich. Anthony Johnson does a great job guarding him and forces a miss. Stags' ball.
  • Nero hits one-of-two to tie the game. 16-16.
  • Nero gets a deep, Tom Brady-like pass from Han on the in-bound, grabs it over Egemoyne, and draws a foul. He goes to the line for two..
  • Demeterious Williamson goes to the line for a pair after an Edney foul. That happened before the timeout. Williamson knocks down both shots. 16-15 Purple Eagles.
  • Pre-game meal: self-serve cold cuts and chips. A little surprised, but I made a decent turkey sandwich. Hopefully we get something hot in between games here.
  • Francis Romano leaves the pep band hanging for some television coverage today, as the Fairfield game is being broadcast on local Cablevision channel CT-83. I see how it is, Frank. Reminds me of the old saying: Bands before broadcasts.

- Keith Connors

15-14 Stags; 11:58 in the 1st

  • Media timeout after a Stags' foul.
  • Evanovich gets a pair after he's fouled hard by Egemoyne. Only one shot bounces in. 15-14 Fairfield.
  • Just as Greg Nero looks like he's going to turn it over, he toughts it out, hits Herbie with a pass, and then Warren Edney drains a three after a nice feed. Fisher answers quickly on the other end, showing how good this Niagara team can be. 14-14.
  • Edney gets fouled after a pretty feed from Jon Han, who was running the baseline. Edney hits a pair of free throws to keep the Stags' momentum rolling. 12-11 Niagara.
  • Herbie Allen gets a runner in the lane, after Lewis only hits one free throw. Stags, who are trying to find some rhythm, get Nero in the game. 12-9 Niagara.
  • Evanovich is forced to foul Tyrone Lewis, who would've had an easy lay-up. A.J. turned the ball over thanks to some strength and hustle from Benson Egemoyne.
  • Turnover for Niagara as Hodge tried to force the ball inside to Benson Egemoyne. Full-court pressure from the Eagles, but the Stags break the press.

- Keith Connors

11-7 Niagara; 15:32 in the 1st

  • Herbie Allen has to force up an awkward three with the shot clock winding down. Jon Mihalich is pleased with his defense's effort. Media T.O. as the Stags try to rebound.
  • Hodge hits both freebies, and Niagara's up four early. 11-7 Niagara.
  • Egemoyne called for a hold on A.J. underneath - the first foul of the afternoon. Stags retain possession, but the Eagles pick off the pass and go coast-to-coast. Yorel Hawkins focus Stanley Hodge, who would've had the easy lay-up on a breakawy.
  • Tyrone Lewis gets a kick-out pass and drains a trey. Nice look. 9-7 Niagara.
  • Han and A.J. get the trap and force Stanley Hodge to turn the ball over. On the other side, Yorel Hawkins uses his agility and speed to take Fisher to the hoop. Fisher answers a few ticks later with a jumper of his own. This kid can sohot. 7-6 Stags.
  • A.J. matched Egemoyne with a post lay-in of his own. Power versus power right there. Charron Fisher hits a turnaround on Yorel. Han hits a three on the other end to even things out. Awfully good basketball thus far from both sides. 5-4 Stags
  • Egemoyne gets a feed in the paint and lays it in nicely. 2-0 Niagara.
  • Opening tip: Antony Johnson takes on Charron Fisher, who is HUGE. Tom said it best, "he looks like a fullback". Nevermind, he's taking on Egemonye, who wins with ease. Eagles ball.
  • Almost no energy from Fairfield as the announcer gives the starting five. Hopefully that's a sign that they are extremely focused. It's hard to believe that the Stags wouldn't be up for this big, big game
  • The Fairfield five: Jon Han at point, as always. He'll be joined by Herbie Allen at guard. As for the forwards - Yorel Hawkins, Mike Evanovich, and Anthony Johnson. It worked against Canisius; will it work today?
  • Harrison Lipton. Truly brilliant.

- Keith Connors

Hello from the Harbor: Fairfield/Niagara

Big-time MAAC game today, as Fairfield continues a rigorous, yet vital stretch of their conference schedule. Today, the defending MAAC champions come to town - as Charron Fisher and the Niagara Purple Eagles look to continue a thus far impressive season. Aside from a shaky loss to Canisius and a battle against top-ranked Siena, Joe Michalach's group has looked menacing thus far.

For the Stags, this contest gives them a chance to show they can play with the best in the MAAC. Which Fairfield team will we see?

- Keith Connors

Friday, January 25, 2008

57-43 Stags; 3:30 in the 2nd

  • 57-43 Stags with 3:30 to play in regulation.
  • Loose-ball foul on Hawkins following a miss by Jovan Robinson keeps the ball on the Golden Griffs' end of the floor.
  • Three-point shot from the corner by Frank Turner. 57-43 Stags.
  • Yorel Hawkins is the beneficiary of a fantastic feed from Jon Han in the lane. Hawkins does not convert the shot, but does go to the line for a pair. He'll hit them both. 57-40 Stags.
  • Allen hits a mid-ranger, but Pawel Malesa answers with a three-point shot of his own. Nice look. 55-40 Fairfield.
  • Next on tap: the Stags take on the Niagara Purple Eagles. The defending MAAC champs are on a tri-state area road trip, as they take on Saint Peter's College as we speak. They'll be used to the territory, but hopefully the Stags will be ready for an important, challenging conference game.

- Keith Connors

53-37 Stags; 5:06 in the 2nd

  • Stags ball as the Griffs throw it out of bounds.
  • Canisius reminds me of that team that plays against the Harlem Globetrotters. They try... they really do try. Except they can't execute. Fastbreak? Let's toss the ball out of bounds. Easy lay-up? Let's miss it. Sad, really.
  • Herbie knocks down both attempts. 53-37 Stags.
  • Herbie gets a blocking foul, though. He'll go to the line for a pair of freebies.
  • Bathroom break. "When you gotta go, you gotta go". It's not 51-37 Stags with 6:27 to play. Herbie Allen went down hard on what appeared to be a flagrant foul. No flagrant foul called on the play, as the referees deem it incidental contact.

- Keith Connors

51-34 Stags; 7:44 in the 2nd

  • 51-34 Stags with 7:44 to go.
  • Turner goes yet again goes coast-to-coast following a Greg Nero miss. He hits the lay-in and gets the foul, as well. Canisius finally feels good about themselves, as the bench gives a mini-ovation. Cooley, not so much.
  • Yellow shoes, bad game? Coincidence? Hardly.
  • Vazquez hits the extra point for the old-fashioned three-point play. 51-32 Stags.
  • Just as the Stags seem to have the Griffs on the verge of an ugly turnover, Tomas Vazquez dunks it in and draws a hack to go with it. Coach Cooley's not liking this at all.
  • Jon Han hits a three in the corner. Looks like a point guard has to take action into his own hands. Ha! 51-29 Stags.
  • Han hit Warren Edney. Unfortunately for him, Edney missed the alley oop dunk. On the other side, Frank Turner hit Greg Logins quick for a lay-up.
  • Evanovich misses a three-pointer, but Herbie Allen hustles down the court and knocks the ball out of Frank Turner's hand to prevent a possible fast break.
  • Greg Nero gets a great feed from Mike Evanovich in a two-man game. Nero lays it in easily. 48-27 Stags.
  • Offensive foul called on Greg Logins, who threw a moving pick at Jon Han. Stags get the ball back.

- Keith Connors

46-27 Stags; 11:52 in the 2nd

  • Media T.O. as the Stags draw another foul.
  • Back-to-back misses on both sides (Yorel Hawkins and Pawel Malesa) leads to a hold on the floor by Elton Frazier. Stags retain.
  • Nero gets out on the perimeter and blocks a three-point shooter. Seconds later, that shooter (Malesa) tries it again on Nero an it comes off awkwardly. Luckily, the Griffs tip in the miss. 46-27 Stags.
  • Evanovich converts both from the line. 46-25 Stags.
  • The boys put pressure on the Griffs as they try to push the ball up-court. Nero steals it again, gets the ball to Evanovich, who is fouled in the process. Two shots upcoming for the big man with the big shot.
  • Canisius starts a feeble "Defense" chant from its bench. It's likely going to take more than that, boys.

- Keith Connors

44-25 Stags;14:44 in the 2nd

  • Here's the last ten seconds in a nutshell: Nero blocks Logins, Han drives the ball down the court, Evanovich hits a three, Turner's pass rolls out of bounds Story of the night right there for Canisius. 44-25 Stags
  • Harbor Yard's buzzer is far too harsh. Not a fan. Turn that volume down, sir.
  • Dapper Cooley watch: a custom red blazer! Nice! We haven't seen that in the repertoire since Sacred Heart came to town (or this side of town, I should say). White collared shirt, and a sterling red tie. Classy, all the way.

- Keith Connors

41-25 Stags; 15:51 in the 2nd

  • Yorel Hawkins is called for an offensive foul; the Fairfield bench is not a big fan.
  • Yorel Hawkins settles for a n open jump shot, but misses. Luckily, Jon Han picked off a pass, hit Herbie Allen on a long pass, and Yorel got to tip it in. Sorry if that was so confusing. It was a confusing play. Phew. 41-25 Stags.
  • Nero draws a foul in the paint; Rashard Johnson was "giving him the business". Stags retain possession.
  • As Cooley reprimands his troops, the pep band rocks out to the '70's hit, "Be My Girl". Ironic? I think so.

- Keith Connors

39-25 Stags; 17:10 in the 2nd

  • Uh oh.
  • Frank Turner puts the ball on the floor and drives for a lay-in. Cooley: not pleased, emphatically calls a timeout.
  • Yorel Hawkins is whistled for a foul as Han is pick-pocketed by Bob Bevilacqua. Bevilacqua hustled for that one, given him credit. Some free throws leads for Canisius are erased by a Yorel Hawkins three. 39-23 Stags.
  • Han shows off his other skill, as he leads a fastbreak following several Griffs' misses. In the end, Han hits A.J., who dunks it with authority. 36-21 Stags.
  • Jon Han answers with another three. Han, believe it or not, is actually fourth in the MAAC in three-point shooting percentage. Add that to it. 34-21 Stags.
  • Turner goes coast-to-coast with a rebound and lays it in. It's pretty clear what Canisius halftime adjustment is. 31-21 Stags
  • Frank Turner draws a quick foul as the half begins. He converts both from the charity stripe. 31-19 Stags.
  • Jimmy O'Sullivan, who is not suited up tonight, is wearing a bow-tie on the sidelines. No comment.

- Keith Connors

Halftime from Harbor Yard: FU 31, Canisius 17

  • Stat o' the half: After a game in which head coach Ed Cooley questioned his shot selection and aggressiveness, Jon Han played perfect in the first half. The junior point guard currently has eight points and six assists.
  • Halftime score: Fairfield 31, Canisius 17
  • Jon Han is forced to take an awfully long three-point shot, and converts it. Shades of Michael Van Schaick here at Harbor Yard. The Griffs can't get the shot off as time expires. 31-17 Stags.
  • The scene: 37 seconds left, the Stags off of a huddle, and a second chance to end the half on a nice note. Evanovich and Sean Grzeck comes back out for a perimeter threat.

- Keith Connors

28-17 Stags; :37.5 in the 1st

  • Just as Herbie Allen tries to force a pass inside (which was easily knocked down and stolen on site), head coach Ed Cooley grabs the ref and calls a timeout. Nice call from the Coach. That's why he gets the big bucks.
  • Han and Nero try to play a two-man give-and-go game on a drive, but the refs will have none of it. The call is traveling, and the ball belongs to Canisius.
  • Vazquez inadvertently knocks the ball out of bounds following an a'Nyam miss. Fairfield ball.
  • Marty O'Sullivan commits a stupid foul, as Vazquez gets a cross-court pass and lays it in. He's got a chance for a three-point play. To make amends, Marty airs the ball down court and hits a wide open Han, who lays it in nicely. 28-17 Stags.
  • Two free throws from a'Nyam pulls the Griffs to within eleven points. 26-15 Stags.
  • The fabled Merritt Canteen has ad advertisement in the rafter on Harbor Yard. If your ever in the neck of the woods, I recommend making a stop.
  • Our favorite Stag mascot gets some airtime on ESPNU, as he breakdown and dances next to our table to Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger". Good for him... good for him.

- Keith Connors

26-13 Stags; 3:04 in the 1st

  • Marty and Nero get into it as the team botches a play attempt and turn the ball over. Both of the guys were not communicating, and yelled right in front of Tom and I. Cooley throws his fist in anger. That escalated quickly.
  • Herbie takes over the play and hits a shot. He faked from the top of the arc, put the ball on the floor, and then hit the jumper. On the other end of the floor, Bob Bevilacqua does his Herbie Allen impression and does the same. 26-13 Stags.
  • Nero fight for a board, it goes off of Logins, and the Stags keep the ball on this end of the floor.
  • Canisius shows some full-court pressure. Not a bad job from them either. My question: why did it take so long?
  • Nero drives and has to settle for a leaning jump shot, which goes wide left. The fight for the rebound goes off of him, and the Griffs get possession.
  • Warren Edney called for an offensive, and finally the Golden Griffs have some long-awaited momentum in this ball game.
  • A.J. gets a little rambunctious waiting in the paint for the play to develop, as he steps outside and jumps on Turner. Moments later, Hassel makes a three-pointer. 24-11 Stags.
  • Lyndon Jordan misses off of a kick-out pass from Marty. Griffs ball.
  • Frank Turner: "I can't play these guys alone! Let's go!"
  • Marty O'Sullivan tries to post up Logins, but airs the shot. Luckily, it was a fantastic pass to Anthony Johnson, who hits the easy shot off the glass. 24-8 Stags.
  • Frank Turner finally finds some room in the lane and lays it in. Nice job. 22-8 Stags.
  • The inbound pass from Han goes right up to A.J. Peanut Johnson pulls it down, hits the jumper, and the foul. However, to stay true to form, he misses the free throw. 22-6 Stags.
  • Question of the night: What's worse - yellow Nike shoes or yellow cars? Talk amongst yourselves.
  • ESPNU is here tonight. As a result, Harbor Yard looks a little 'dolled up', to borrow a phrase from my grandmother. The players' bench seat have 'Aquafina' lables on top of them. The rolling ads thingy has been brought out of the closet, dormant since last year's MAAC tourney. And, of course, the pre-game food was fantastic.

- Keith Connors

20-6 Fairfield; 7:40 n the 1st

  • orel Hawkins gets the ball in the post, but a'Nyam swipes the ball away. Refs say that Fairfield maintains possession.
  • Nero airmails a three. Griffs ball.
  • That comes after Cooley yells "54" to the defense - Fairfield coaches must have telegraphed that play. Kind of funny, actually - every player on defense counted to four, waiting for the play to develop. When the fourth Griffs player got the ball, the team simply did not know what to go.
  • Herbie Allen hits a WIDE open three in the corner from Jon Han (already four assists early in the game). 20-6 Stags.
  • Michael Frazier called for an offensive foul on the floor; he hit Han pretty hard as he was going up for a long rebound. Stags' ball.
  • Only one point for Nero. 17-6 Stags.
  • Edney misses a mid-range J, but Nero grabs the board and goes up strong. Vazquez fouls him hared and Nero goes to the line.
  • 2-3 zone look from Canisius for the first time in tonight's game.
  • Jon Han. Open three. Top of the arc. You got it. 16-6 Stags.
  • I'm still mystified by Warren Edney's mohawk.
  • Griffs' foul Robbie Goldsberry is called for a moving pick on the offensive end. When it rains, it pours. Stags' ball.
  • So, I hear there's a Super Bowl game coming up with two local teams?
  • In other news, Raiders' owner Al Davis is making coach Lane Kiffin sign a resignation letter he didn't even write? Talk about the NFL's most dysfunctional franchise.
  • Frank Romano in the house! I miss that goatee, but he's still the man. Where's Waldo polo shirts never looked so good.

- Keith Connors

13-6 Fairfield; 11:50 in the 1st

  • Han had a breakaway, until the refs blew the whistle. Looks like they got Anthony Johnson on a hold. Jon was a little unhappy - he was that open dunk poster on his wall a mile away.
  • Anthony Johnson drives, pulls up, and hits a mid-range shot. Yes. Read that again. That just happened. 13-6 Stags.
  • Edney whiffs on both shots, as a Canisius ref was yelling "play this miss". That coach must have taken a basketball etiquette lesson from Jimmy Patsos. In the mean time, the Griffs finally hit a shot - a three, no less. Cooley is not pleased. 11-6 Stags.
  • Warren Edney shows his slashing scorer side, as he drives the lane hard and is fouled by forward Jovan Robinson.
  • Greg Nero makes his presence known quickly, as he steps behind the line and drains an open trey. 11-3 Stags.
  • David Johnson airballs a three. Ew. Then misses the next. Ouch. D.J. will see better days, no doubt.
  • Midget, jacked Stag in the house. Hide the kids.

- Keith Connors

8-3 Stags; 14:06 in the 1st

  • Media T.O. as Evanovich is called for a questionable shooting foul in the paint.
  • Elton Frazier hits a jumper, but the Stags push and Warren Edney drains a three-point shot. Nicely done, sir. 8-3 Stags.
  • Edney forces a post pass to go out of Logins hands. Han pushes up court, and Evanovich buries a three. 5-1 Stags.
  • A pair of misses from both sides, and an A.J. put back goes out of bounds. Certainly not like watching a Suns/Mavs NBA game here. 2-1 Stags and Griffs to inbound.
  • A loose ball reminiscent of a rugby scrum ends with Yorel Hawkins carrying the ball on an attempted drive. The Stags had numbers, too. 2-1 Stags.
  • Anthony Johnson gets the ball in the post again, but is met by Greg Logins on a big time stuff. Little taste of his own medicine there for A.J. Griffs ball.
  • A.J. misses both. Whammy. Still 2-1 Stags.
  • Anthony Johnson gets the ball in the paint, posts up his man, and tries a hook. Shot misses long, but the guys in stripes call the foul. Two shots for Peanut.
  • Logins makes one-of-two. 2-1 Stags.
  • Evanovich called for a shooting foul after a Griffs' offensive board. Greg Logins goes to the line for a pair.
  • Han and Herbie complete a two-on-one fast break to perfection after an up court push on a rebound. 2-0 Stags.
  • Han tries to hit Yorel Hawkins in the post, but the pass goes wide. Griffs ball.
  • Peanut Johnson wins the tip and controls the board. We're underway here at Harbor Yard.
  • The Fairfield Five: Here's a quick look at the Stags' starters - Jon Han at point (duh). Herbie Allen joins him at guard. Yorel Hawkins continues to get starts for Coach Cooley. Anthony Johnson and Mike Evanovich round out the starting five. Seems as if Coach continues to want to mix and match his players.
  • The Griffs play a smaller, perimeter game - something that Stags have had trouble with all year. Look for a slow, defensive pace, just like Cooley wants it. Big men, be prepared.
  • Kind of interesting being here on the other side of the court. New perspective for Tom and I. Hopefully the change of pace can bring the Stags some good luck.
  • Painted yellow Nike's for the Griffs? I like some good kicks as much as anybody, but I think they crossed the line a little here. Last I checked, the Celtics don't roll out with kelly green Jordans.

- Keith Connors

Hello from the Harbor: Fairfield/Canisius

Hello from Harbor Yard! It's been a while, but we're all glad to be back here for Stags' basketball. Tonight, Fairfield takes on the Canisius Golden Griffs. The Stags will play them in two of the next three games; the two teams have yet to meet this season.

Fairfield comes off of an exciting, yet tense overtime victory against St. Peter's College. Following the game, head coach Ed Cooley said he was pleased with the outcome, but not with the overall tempo and the team's "unselfishness". Will the dangerous Stags come out tonight?

As for the oposition, the Griffs have only one MAAC victory this season. In Canisius' las contest, the Siena Saints handily won, 77-49. Frank Turner is the team's main threat, as he is averaging 12.1 ppg and comes off a strong 15-point effort against Siena.

Some pre-game notes:
  • Fairfield will clearly look to shut down Frank Turner, the Griffs' only reliable scoring option. Expect Jon Han and Devin Johnson to draw that assignment early and often again against the 5'10" sophomore guard.
  • Winable game? Time will tell. If the Stags want to make a MAAC run, they need to start winning games like this.
  • X-Factor: Which Mike Evanovich will we see tonight? If it is the Evanovich we saw against Wake, or even against St. Pete's, the Stags will be in great shape. He needs to develop as a consistent scoring threat.
  • Mamadou Diakhate is dressed, warmed up, and is expected to play. Sources say he was still suffering post-concussion symptoms - but is now back and available to play.
  • Pre-game meal: Chinese style with beef and broccoli, egg roll, and rice. Confucius say: spicy food so good.
- Keith Connors

Monday, January 21, 2008

Final from Alumni: Fairfield 70, St. Peter's 64

  • FINAL FROM THE HALL: Nick Leon hits a lay-up to keep it respectable. Moments later, the Stags run the clock out and come home (literally) with the W.
  • Nero hits 'em both, and the Stags have this one in the bag. 70-62 Stags.
  • Great defensive stand from Fairfield results in a foul on Greg Nero. Nero will go the other end of the floor for a chance at a pair.
  • Herbie Allen gets a kickout from Jon Han and hits the three - that pretty much seals the deal. Great pass, great look, and an even better shot from Herbie. 68-62 Stags.

- Keith Connors

65-62 Stags; :31.3 in the 2nd

  • Cooley takes a T.O. to draw up a play.
  • After several misses for St. Pete's, Todd Sowell's arm flails in the air, somehow tips the ball, and it goes in. Nice break for the Peacocks. 65-62 St. Pete's.

- Keith Connors

65-60 Stags; 1:04 in the 2nd

  • St. Peter's takes a timeout to gather themselves down five with 1:04 to play
  • Peanut Johnson drives the lane and gets the bucket AND the foul. Ref called Orta on a block on that one. Back-to-back great possessions for A.J. and the Stags. 65-60 Stags.
  • Warren Edney gets St. Peter's to committ an offensive foul.
  • Anthony Johnson, for the first time all night, gets the ball in the post on Sowell and gets the ball to go. He's fouled and converts the three-point play. That's the A.J. that the Stags need to win games in the MAAC. 62-60 Stags.
  • Darrell Lampley htis a leaner - he's having a big night for this Peacocks' team. 60-59 St. Pete's.
  • Herbie misses a three on a decent look. St. Pete's get the ball.
  • Evanovich gets both to go, and puts the Stags back up. 59-58 Stags.
  • Mike Evanovich looks to continue his big night as he goes to the free throw line for two with 3:46 to play and the Stags down one.
  • Paul Simon from the Pep Band. I'm a big fan.
  • Nick Leon answers Herbie with a trey of his own. These teams are officially dueling. 58-57 St. Pete's.

- Keith Connors

57-55 Stags; 4:22 in the 2nd

  • Herbie Allen gets a kickout pass and drains it. 57-55 Stags.
  • Darrell Lampley does it again, this time an easy one off of an inbound. Definitely a blown assignment for Fairfield. 55-54 St. Pete's.
  • Han gives A.J. a long alley-oop, and it goes with ease. Red Sea is lovin' it! 54-53 Stags with five minutes to go.
  • New '20's big band song from the Pep Band. Not too shabby.

- Keith Connors

53-52 St. Pete's; 5:33 in the 2nd

  • Media T.O. as the Stags get the ball back following an errant pass.
  • Lampley hits a jumper - as these two teams are going boxing style with all these lead changes. Evanovich misses as I'm typing. 53-52 St. Pete's.
  • Han forces a steal, then finds Edney on a fastbreak for a lay-up. 52-51 Stags.
  • Pete's goes right back to Sowell, who goes right back to scoring in the paint. 51-50 St. Pete's.
  • Evanovich hits a jumper to answer. He's got his shot tonight, folks. 50-49 Stags.
  • Sowell to the line for a pair = two misses. St. Peter's retains possession, and Orta drains a three off of an inbound pass. 49-48 St. Peter's.
  • Sowell goes up in the post and a foul is called on Anthony Johnson. Questionable call, but certainly close enough. Red Sea.. not a fan of the ref.
  • Evanovich shoots quick off of a pass and drains the three. 48-46 Stags.
  • Raul Orta uses the glass and hits a twenty-footer. 46-45 Pete's.

- Keith Connors

45-44 Stags; 9:04 in the 2nd

  • Han adds the extra basket, and then a Pete's turnover leads to a Mike Evanovich turnaround jumper. 45-44 Stags.
  • Han hits a jumper AND the foul. Nice break for Fairfield - which may be exactly what they are looking for. Darrell Lampley is charged with the foul.
  • Sowell works hard underneath against Peanut Johnson and gets a leaner to go. 44-40 Pete's.
  • Edney whiffs on an open three, and Peter's grabs down the board with 10:30 to play.
  • Herbie Allen drives coast-to-coast and draws a foul. He knocks down both shots to make this a two-point affair. Full court press from the Stags. 42-40 Pete's.
  • Hawkins hits one-of-two from the line to pull the Stags to within four. 42-38 Pete's.

- Keith Connors

42-37 St. Peter's; 11:48 in the 2nd

  • Hawkins goes east-west and pulls up for a jumper; he's fouled in the process. He'll go to the line for two more.
  • Nero misses a trey, but Fairfield retains possession as Raul Orta is called for an offensive foul on the ensuing rebound. Stags' ball.
  • Ryan Bacon gets a quality look from Orta underneath and finishes it. 42-37 St. Peter's.
  • Ryan Bacon answers with some paint points of his own. 40-37 Peter's.
  • Nero gets a feed from Jon Han and hits the lay-up. 38-37 St. Peter's.
  • Good news for the Stags: #52 has signed a commitment for the Class of 2012.

- Keith Connors

38-35 Peter's; 14:24 in the 2nd

  • Herbie fakes a shot in the corner, drives on the baseline, and lays it in. Nice moves from Herbie on that one, followed by an offensive foul on St. Peter's that gives the Stags the ball right back. 38-35 Peter's.
  • Good news: the two little kids next to us are fine after a collision on the baseline. If #52 from halftime was there the players might be the ones needing some help.

- Keith Connors

38-33 Peter's; 15:04 in the 2nd

  • Ryan Bacon gets another shot in the paint. Looks like St. Peter's wants to go "down low" for points early and often - especially to Sowell. Cooley is displeased and takes a T.
  • Sowell goes back to work and hits a jumper. 36-33 Peter's.
  • Sowell drians them both. So much for the "smart foul" comment. 34-31 Stags.
  • Nero fouls Sowell down-low in a smart play. Sowell had clear position and would've easily layed it in.
  • Jon Han answers with the exact same shot on the other end, and finally the Stags are back on the board. 32-31 Peter's.
  • Nick Leon hits a mid-range jumper and increases the Peacocks' lead to three. 32-29 Peter's.
  • A nice move from Greg Nero is all for nothing, as it hits off the back rim and bounces out. Pete's ball - so far no points for the Stags in the first 2:30.
  • Sowell takes over underneath, pushes away Evanovich, and lays it in off the glass. St. Peter's now holds its first lead of the evening. 30-29 Peter's.
  • Nick Leon trips by accident in front of us. Whammy.
  • Airball number three on the night for Fairfield as Herbie misses long in the corner.

- Keith Connors

Halftime at the Hall: 29-28 Stags (part deux)

  • Stags missed five free throws. St. Peter's? Zero.
  • My favorite stat of the first half had to be Fairfield shooting 11-of-22 from the field (good enough for 50%, even though I'm not a math major). The Stags added a pair of three's from Evanovich and Hawkins, as well. Yet, somehow, someway, this is a one-point game. Don't ask me.
  • Highlight of my night: #52 in the Fairfield kids game. All 6-foot-4 of him. (Red Sea: "Steroids! Steroids!")

- Keith Connors

Halftime at the Hall: 29-28 Stags

  • HALFTIME AT THE HALL: 29-28 Stags
  • Multiple attempts to get a shot off (Herbie tried to square up AND Han tried to hit A.J. on an alley-oop pass) fail miserably. The ball bounces around as the horn sounds.
  • Following an Evanovich miss (Cooleywanted to go for the two-for-one.) Hakeem Gooding drives and converts a wide-open lay-up. 29-28 Stags.

- Keith Connors

29-26 Stags; :43.5 in the 1st

  • After his fifth yell, the refs finally give head coach Ed Cooley his timeout. Jeez. 43 ticks left in the first half and Stags' ball.
  • Nero is fouled on a drive, and misses both free throws. Rare occurrence for Greger. 29-26 Stags.
  • Raul Orta drives the lane, but misses long on a lay-up. A.J. pulls down the board, and then on the other ends lays it in from a Greg Nero feed. 29-26 Stags.

- Keith Connors

27-26 Stags; 2:39 in the 1st

  • Peter's forces a jump-ball and gets the "small break" from the possession arrow. Dunne must be pleased with the way his boys are playing in a hostile arena.
  • Ryan Bacon tips in a Lampley miss, and all of a suden it's a one-point game. 27-26 Stags.
  • Jordan Costner goes to the line for a pair after he's hit hard in the lane. Costner hits both, and suddenly the Peacocks are charging. 27-24 Stags. Oh, boy.
  • There he is! Ryan Bacon hits a jumper. 27-22 Stags.
  • Darrel Lampley with a drive and lay-in. 27-20 Stags.
  • Pete's sub: Ryan Bacon. Kinda catchy.
  • A.J. hits one-of-two. 27-18 Stags.
  • Two quick fouls for Sowell as he hits Anthony Johnson. Peanut was in the lane going up for a dunk. He'll head to the line for a pair.
  • Sowell is called for a foul on Herbie after a Gooding miss. He somehow seemed puzzled. If only this were football, that'd be legal. Stags' ball.
  • Yorel Hawkins is hacked on a jumper. He hits both shots from the line to increase the lead to eight points. 26-18 Stags.
  • Random fact of the night: Martin Luther King, Jr. had an honorary degree from St. Peter's College over in Jersey City.
  • Sowell banks it in the post. 24-18 Stags.
  • Evanovich gets a press-breaking feed and lays it in off the glass. 24-16 Stags.

- Keith Connors

22-16 Fairfield; 7:44 in the 1st

  • A pair of Pete's misses ends up out of bounds. Stags' ball.
  • 22-16 Fairfield with eight minutes to go.
  • Two great offensive possessions in a row for Fairfield: on the first, they came away empty, but had a great "ups" board from Warren Edney followed by an Evanovich miss (give-and-go with Jon Han). The next, Anthony Johnson dunked hard on a great backdoor cut.
  • Tom Cleary: Peanut Johnson has a mohawk too. Hmm..
  • Travel on Peter's to give it right back. "You can't do that," says the Red Sea.
  • In an awkward scene, Edney misses bad on both free throws, Anthony Johnson pulls down the board, and then is called for a travel.
  • Han breaks the press and finds Edney, who drives and is fouled awfully hard. Two shots for Warren.
  • At 10:32 and down six, the Peacocks start to show a full-court press - possibly trying to follow the Iona model.
  • Costner hits both free throws with ease. 20-14 Stags.
  • Jordan Costner fumbles a pass and turns it over, but Peter's gets the ball right back with a nice defensive move. Costner redeems himself by following an Orta miss hard, grabbing the board, and drawing a foul.
  • Devin Johnson's pass for Nero goes wide left. Looks like Nero got held underneath in the paint, but no call. Peacocks' ball.
  • Nice Leon goes to the charity stripe for a shot at three. He hits hit to cut the Stags' lead to eight. 20-12 Stags.
  • "Indiana Kettlecorn: The Official Popcorn of the Stags".

- Keith Connors

20-11 Stags; 11:51 in the 1st

  • Loose ball at mid-court. Kinda like the G-men/Packers game yesterday. Long story short, Pete's pushes the ball up court and lays it in. Dumb foul by Han gives the Peacocks a chance for a three point play the old-fashioned way. 20-11 Stags.
  • Han senses the shot clock winding down and forces an ugly three. Pete's ball as it rolls out of bounds. Translation: airball.
  • Warren Edney, mohawk and all, gets an oop pass and lays it in off the class. Eh, whatever works.
  • Pete's turnover leads to a Mike Evanovich lay in on a fastbreak. These boys look awfully determined tonight .18-9 Stags.
  • Stags bury a three again - this time its Yorel Hawkins in the corner. The shooters are hot tonight. 16-9 Stags.
  • Todd Sowell outmuscles Mike Evanovich underneath and lays it in. Mike was trying to take a fall, but he got no love from the ref.
  • Evanovich pulls the trigger quick after a pass and matches Lampley's three. 13-7 Stags.
  • Darrel Lampley is the beneficiary of a kickout pass, andhe takes advantage and hits the three. 10-7 Stags.
  • Dapper Cooley watch: black suit, blue pinstriped shirt, red and blue striped tie, tons of class. As always.
  • Big VA in the house! Father von Arx takes in the action from a seat above the Stags bench. Nice sweater, as well.

- Keith Connors

10-4 Stags; 15:50 in the 1st

  • Media T.O., baby
  • After a Devin Johnson misses lay in, Peter's tries to push the ball quickly up court. Herbie Allen is called for a hold on the floor. Peacocks' ball.
  • Raul Orta follows a miss and tips it in off the glass. Nice hops for Raul. Yeah, I said it. 10-4 Stags.
  • Herbie cuts and dishes to Yorel Hawkins in the corner, who buries the three. Nice start for the Stags on both side sof the ball. 10-2 Stags.
  • Jon Han shows us a little Basketball 101 and takes a charge. Stags' ball on the turnover.

- Keith Connors

7-2 Stags; 18:10 in the 1st

  • John Dunne is not happy and calls a timeout to rally the troops.
  • Mike Evanovich gets a nice pick-and-pop and drains a three. Great look on the play. Hopefully that's a sign of things to come. 7-2 Stags.
  • Herbie Allen drives and hits an awfully athletic lay-in as he falls. Nicely done, sir. 4-2 Stags.
  • Hakeem Gooding hits a floater in the lane. 2-2.
  • Nice ball movement working the ball around the perimeter. Han hits a cutting Herbie for two. 2-0 Stags.
  • Johnson takes the tip and wins it. Devin, that is. And, no, that is not a typo.
  • The Starting Stags: Sending a message? Possibly. Greg Nero and Peanut Johnson are not starting tonight. Jon Han at the point, and is joined at guard by freshman Yorel Hawkins. Herbie Allen is back in the lineup after missing the Iona game with an injured left thumb. Mike Evanovich and Devin Johnson round out the starters. Hmm..
  • Harrison Lipton's national anthem only took about five minutes, but boy was it worth it. I'm speechless.

- Keith Connors

Hello from the Hall: Fairfield/St. Peter's

  • So-so turnout at Alumni Hall right now - partially due to the fact that its still early on in the night. I'm guessing it will pack up pretty soon.
  • Kudos to the pre-game roast beef wrap I had a few minutes ago. Quality.
  • Question of the night: Which Stags team will show up?
  • Hello from the Hall: Lots of intrigue heading into this one as the Stags take on St. Peter's. Both teams are coming off of difficult losses and a stretch of bad luck. The Peacocks lost to Loyola (Md.) by 5 in their last game after a fantastic second half surge. As for Fairfield, we all know what happened at the Hynes Center in a disheartening 67-52 loss.

- Keith Connors

Friday, January 18, 2008

Final from Hynes: Iona 67, Fairfield 52

  • Final from Hynes: Iona 67, Fairfield 52
  • Here's the game in a nutshell: Cooley ejected, Herbie is hurt, Prodanovic can shoot, and the Gaels win.
  • Geoff Middleton's three at the buzzer misses long, and the Gaels have themselves a victory.
  • Jason McPherson drives the lane and is fouled.
  • Jump-ball leads to Iona ball. As Fairfield's Jon Han checks in, John Hans subs into the game for Iona. Small world, huh?
  • Edney hits a three to keep this one respectable. 67-52 Gaels.
  • Yorel Hawkins hits a jumper. Springer answers with a jam. 67-49 Gaels.
  • Senior forward Geoff Middleton checks in for some time. The team looks like it won't risk a Nero injury for the rest of this one.
  • A no-look pass from Han goes off of a few hands and results in a turnover. Rough night all around for the Men in Red. 63-47 Gaels.
  • Fairfield cuts it to 16. 63-47 Gaels.
  • De'Shaune Griffin dunks on a defensive lapse. 63-43 Gaels.
  • "Mike"'s halftime antics are about the most fun I had all game.

- Keith Connors

61-43 Gaels; 3:24 in the 2nd

  • After a nice defensive showing that resulted in a Devon Clarke turnover, Warren Edney hits a three. 61-43 Gaels.
  • Rashon Dwight goes to the line for four shots. Yes, four shots. He only hits two of them, but the damage has been done to a Fairfield team that is already reeling. Bob Simon takes over the coaching duties.
  • Technical foul on Cooley, who is not plased. Moments later, Cooley is ejected from the game on another techincal. I'm not sure if he was trying to send a message or was genuinely displeased with the refs and the play of his team. Either way, bad news.
  • Newsflash: Milan Prodanovic nails a three. 59-41 Gaels.
  • A pair of misses from Greg Nero and Anthony Johnson somehow goes out of bounds off of Iona. Just as the Stags get ready for an inbound, Devin Johnson is charged with an offensive.

- Keith Connors

56-41 Gaels; 6:02 in the 2nd

  • Cooley looks like an angry poppa on the sidelines, as he prepares to check every starter out of the game with subs. It is just not Fairfield's night, and he clearly does not like that notion.
  • No scoring from either side in the last 1:21, and the Stags call a timeout to get a breather.

- Keith Connors

56-41 Gaels; 7:18 in the 2nd

  • Gary Springer gets a lay-in after an errant pass from Fairfield. Cooley is really, really not pleased now and calls a timeout. Really. 56-41 Gaels
  • Prodanovic actually misses a shot! Stop the presses! Apparently the Stags were confused too, as they allow Gary Springer to get behind them for a dunk. 54-41 Gaels.
  • Cooley yells: "Let's get our mojo working!" as the ref calms him down. Hmm.
  • Han hits a much needed three-pointer. Now, the Stags could use a much needed defensive stop. 52-41 Gaels.
  • As the Stags show some zone to shut down Iona's perimeter, Tarver travels on dribble penetration.
  • After working the ball on the perimeter, Yorel Hawkins is charged with an offensive foul. Gaels ball.

- Keith Connors

52-38 Gaels; 10:59 in the 2nd

  • Lyndon Jordan hits a jumper, and a Dwight shot bounces up and over. 52-38 Gaels.
  • Prodanovic three. Again. Good Lord. Is this Mike Van Schaick? Any more of these and he'll be entering J.J. Redick territory.
  • Shot clock violation from the Stags, who still can't seem to find a rhythm on offense.
  • Han's got some hecklers behind us. Who have been calling the "Jagerbombs" and "Blow-outs" chants all day. Last I checked, though, Han is not Italian. (For those who do not know what I'm referring to, check out YouTube)
  • Edney hits both shots. 49-36 Gaels.
  • Warren Edney drives and drawsa foul. He heads to the line for two. Cooley: "You better be ready to play some defense down there. I don't want a break".
  • Uh oh, the jacket is off. NOW the Stags can finally play, and all is right with the world. What took so long?
  • Prodanovich and three-point shooting alone are why the Stags are down. Think they are missing Herbie Allen right about now?

- Keith Connors

49-34 Gaels; 13:25 in the 2nd

  • Milan Prodanovic does it again. Then, Han inexplicably passes the ball off the backboard. That'll get the jacket off for Cooley, who calls a timeout.
  • Tale of two teams right now: Han forces an "oop" pass to Anthony Johnson that misses. Moments later, on the other end, Andre Tarver converts an open three in the corner. It's been that kind of night for Fairfield. 47-34 Gaels.
  • One-of-two from the line for Dwight. 44-34 Gaels.
  • Han called for a shooting foul and Rashon Dwight heads to the line.
  • Milan Prodanovic, Iona's resident sharpshooter, drains a three it yet again and drains a three. The Stags answer with an Anthony Johnson fast-break dunk. 43-34 Gaels.

- Keith Connors

40-32 Gaels; 15:56 in the 2nd

  • Hawkins has a memory lapse of how to play against a zone, and turns the ball over on a trap. Gaels ball.
  • Nero tries to force a drive and turns it over. The Gaels start a fastbreak, go the length of the court, and Prodanovic lays it in. 40-32 Gaels.
  • Gary Springer's hook shot goes in the paint. That followed about a dozen pump fakes and Fairfield jumps in a row.
  • Hawkins misses an open shot from the corner, but Anthony Johnson shows his size and tips the ball in the hoop. 36-32 Gaels.
  • Han hits Anthony Johnson on an alley-oop. Peanut snuck around back on the 2-3 zone and found a spto. Rashon Dwight again answers with a three-point shot. 36-30 Gaels.
  • Evanoich and Han show some nifty passing and find Nero underneath. Milan Prodanovic drains a quick three ten seconds later. 33-28 Gaels.
  • The Gaels won the tip, so Fairfield starts the second half with possession and will in-bound at half court.

- Keith Connors

Halftime thoughts from Hynes

  • Score: Iona 30, Fairfield 26
  • Joe Cefoli's observation: "Props to this old man pep band". They broke out the 'Family Guy' theme, so they deserve some bonus points in my book. (Joe is subbing tonight in his backyard since our own Tom Cleary had prior commitments).
  • Stat o' the half: 11 turnovers from Fairfield in the first half. Iona points off turnovers: 5. Definitely makes a bit of a difference.
  • Thought o' the half: Stags have been playing relatively clean, at least defensively. Only two foul shot attempts from the Gaels - in fairness, though, most of Fairfield's fouls have been offensive.

- Keith Connors

Halftime at Iona: 30-26 Gaels

  • Gaels tip it in, then turn the ball over on Han and lay it in. Nice play from Proadanovic. 30-23 Stags.... wait! Han gets a shot off with tenths on the clock and drains it! If not for that, the coach would not have been happy. Come to think of it, he probably still isn't happy. At least that eases the pain.
  • Nero hits one-of-two. 26-23 Gaaels with :45 left.
  • Han works the ball in the paint to Nero, who is hacked hard by Dexter Gray. The Gaels clearly fear Nero's presence in the post. Greg goes to the charity stripe to shoot two.
  • Here's the scene: Stag ball, down four, 1:10 to play in the half. Let's see what happens.

- Keith Connors

26-22 Gaels; 1:12 in the 1st

  • Cooley is displeased, to say the least. He takes a timeout. Somehow, that jacket is still on! This has got to be some sort of record here people.
  • Marty misses an open three, and then can't catch Dexter Gray down court. The Gaels heave it to him, and Gray lays it in. A little later, Andre Tarver does the same thing and runs the Stags down court. 26-22 Gaels
  • Iona's going with a 2-3 zone. So far, it seems to be effective.
  • Marty O'Sullivan gets some P.T. with Anthony Johnson in foul troulbe.
  • Tonight's game at Iona is brought to you by "". Who knew?
  • Half-court shot contest leads to a gift certificate to Buffalo Wild Wings? Sign me up! Just went to the one up at the Milford Mall. Must go if your a man/sports fan/wings guy/all of the above.

- Keith Connors

22-22; 2:48 in the 1st

  • 22-22 here in New Rochelle.
  • Dexter Gray hits an open lay-in after blow coverage, the Stags turn the ball over on the press, and then Gray dunks it. Seconds later, the Gaels manage to create a jumpball. Not what you want to see.
  • Han gives Yorel Hawkins a great look, and Hawkins shows soe athleticism on the finish. Han gets amped up and yells as he runs back down the court. That's the way you want to see it. 22-20 Stags.
  • Devin Johnson lays it in from the paint. 20-18 Stags.
  • Andre Tarver hits a three-pointer on a "pick and pop" play. And we're all tied up! 18-18.
  • Han and Devin Johnson combine for a steal, and then work the ball to Greg Nero, who puts a nice move on his Gray and finishes for two. 18-15 Stags.
  • Milan Proadnovic nails a second-chance shot for three. Gaels certainly working hard. Anthony Johnson gets his second foul a few ticks later. 16-15 Stags.
  • Anthony Johnson, somehow at the line again, hits one. 16-12 Stags.
  • Devin Johnson, the Stags' resident defensive specialist, works hard for a steal. Yorel Hawkins finishes. Seconds later, Dexter Gray works underneath on Anthony Johnson for two points. 15-12 Stags.
  • Gaels ball after the media break.
  • Iona Dance Team rocks to the '80's smash hit, "Tainted Love". Interesting selection. Anyone else think of the movie 'Coneheads' when they hear that song? No one? Okay. I'll keep it to myself next time.

- Keith Connors

13-10 Stags; 7:45 in the 1st

  • Johnson sinks both. 13-10 Fairfield
  • Tons o' misses. It's been two minutes without a basket. Now, Anthony Johnson drives in the paint and Clark fouls him hard. Peanut goes to the line for two.
  • More full-court pressure from the Gaels. Not a total press, but they are certainly make Fairfield work.
  • Iona gets frisky in the paint, and Gary Springer is called for an offensive foul. Whammy. Stags' ball.
  • Evanovich hits a pair. 11-10 Stags.
  • Evanovich makes a hard backdoor cut to the basket, gets the ball, and draws the foul in the possible lay-up. Looks like the Stags are going to him early and often in the game. Two shots for Mike.
  • Pep Band: "Rock around the clock". That song was #1 on the charts when those guys were still taking Bio at Iona.
  • Bubble-boys races? Sweet. That'd be a first for me.

- Keith Connors

10-9 Gaels; 11:05 in the 1st

  • Edney gets called on an offensive foul, and we go to a media timeout.
  • Devin gets a shot to redeem himself on a wide-open look underneath but whiffs on the lay-in. Dexter Gray hits a jumper a few moments later. 10-9 Gaels.
  • Anthony Johnson tries to hit Devin cutting on the baseline. He misses him and the Gaels grab possession.
  • Jon Han drains a three on a kickout pass. 9-8 Stags.
  • Good block from Devin on a drive by Dwight. Stags ball.
  • Greg Nero gets called for being a little tight on the ball after a miss. Cooley.. not pleased.
  • "Game of inches" - a ball that gets swatted away on a potential pass from Anthony Johnson leads to a three from Rashon Dwight in the corner. 8-6 Gaels.
  • The Iona Gael looks a little tired on the sidelines. Kinda just mosey-ing around. I'd say he looks like a combination of the Fighting Irish and SHU's Big Red.

- Keith Connors

6-5 Fairfield; i15:49 n the 1st

  • Iona tries to throw an alley-oop pass, but a miscue leads to a loose ball which leads to a Devin Johnson foul.
  • A misses shot from Camper bounces around and ends up in the hands of Dexter Gray, who lays it in. Nero answers moments later as the Stags push quick up-court. 6-5 Stags.
  • Peanut hits a pair. Eh, two outta three ain't bad. 4-3 Stags.
  • Anthony Johnson, on a very smart play, uses his size to get a foul. A.J. was only there to move the ball quick on the perimeter, but drew a foul with the shot clock winding down. He goes to the line for three (or tree, since we are in New Yawk).
  • Yorel Hawkins hits a fadeway from twenty and gets it to go. Good look. 3-2 Gaels.
  • Camper hits one-of-two. 3-0 Gaels
  • Kyle Camper telegraphs a pass, and Evanovich holds him on the play to prevent an easy, wide-open lay-in. The ref calls it an intentional foul giving Camper two shots. Cooley is enraged - but the jacket stays on.
  • Nero gets the ball stripped as Iona shows some early full court pressure. The Stags retain, though.
  • Dexter Gray hits a jumper. Quick look, quick shot. 2-0 Gaels.
  • Anthony Johnson tries to post-up his man down low and is called for an offensive foul. It'd be nice to get him back scoring in this one.
  • Nice defensive stop - good sign for Cooley and the gang early on.
  • Stags' corral the tip thanks to Peanut Johnson, but a travel gives the ball away. Gaels ball.

- Keith Connors

Pre-game notes: Iona/Fairfield

  • Stags' starting five: Nero and Evanvoich at forward, A.J. under center, and Jon Han and WYorel Hawkins at guard
  • Fairfield guard Herbie Allen has his hand wrapped up, and as we reported earlier is likely out for this game. One would assume it's merely precautionary.
  • My first Stags' action in a while - good to be back after the winter break.
  • Finally got into the gym after some mix-ups on a crazy night in New Rochelle. No pre-game meal... too bad. Looks like a slim turnout since Iona's kids are still on vacation. However, they did manage to breakout their pep band (average age 50). Here we go!

- Keith Connors

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Stags getting ready for key stretch

The Stags are about to enter into a fight to the finish against the middle of the pack of the MAAC. Starting Friday night, Fairfield heads into what should be the most important stretch of the season.

Five out of the next six games for the Stags all come against opponents with MAAC and overall records under .500, with two match-ups against Niagara thrown into the mix as well. Four of those games are at home, including this coming Monday's match-up against St. Peter's.

To establish themselves as a contender in the MAAC tournament down the road, Fairfield will need to win at least four out of these six games. Niagara is an extremely tough team to beat, but in the past few years the Purple Eagles have struggled after the long trip down from Buffalo to Fairfield and that game could provide the Stags an opportunity for an upset.

Getting the Siena series out of the way early could prove to be vital for the Stags post-season seeding, as they caught the Saints at a perfect time, without Alex Franklin. Only Marist and Niagara threaten the Saints top spot in the tournament and the win over them could give the Stags confidence if they happen to meet down the line.

Fairfield plays Rider twice and Marist once more, as well as the Niagara series, but have winnable games against Manhattan (twice), Iona (twice), St. Peter's (who they have already defeated on the road), and Canisius (twice). Iona, Manhattan, and Canisius will all play tough at home, but the Stags have not been intimidated on the road in the MAAC so far, with all three of their conference victories coming on the road.

Fairfield needs to find consistency to survive this stretch and put themselves in position for a fourth or fifth place finish. Each game one player has had a big game, but Fairfield needs a consistent scoring option and another player who can give them about ten per game. Jonathan Han has been a great point guard, but he is not consistent enough to be that scorer, neither is Mike Evanovich, who is much to much of a streaky shooter to average about 15-20 per game.

Big sophomores Greg Nero and Anthony Johnson need to step-up and fill those roles of consistent scoring and seem to be getting near that point. With the two of them scoring 10-20 per game and Evanovich, Han, and Herbie Allen rotating as a third option, the Stags will come out of this stretch with at least four wins.

Look for a practice update tomorrow, along with a preview of Friday night's game against Iona.

-Tom Cleary

(Credit SPM Sportspage for photo - Click on picture for link to site)

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Men's Basketball Rolls Along in 2008

Fairfield Mirror Sports Blog is YOUR place for coverage of the Stags. From this point forward, stay tuned to this site for up-to-the-minute news and game log coverage of Stags' basketball.

For coverage of previous games, log onto the Fairfield Mirror's Winter Sports Blog.

- Keith Connors