Friday, February 29, 2008

  • Anthony Johnson gets ahead of the pack on the inbounds and dunks it down hard, 74-64 Fairfield.
  • On the other end, Han picks up his third foul, sending Chris Smith to the line for two shots ... the first rims out and so does the second, giving the ball back to Fairfield.
  • Han dishes to Peanut for another dunk, and he slams it home, 76-64. On the other end MOS grabs a rebound and all but locks up the victory.
  • Allen is fouled and he goes to the line for two shots as it is the Jaspers tenth foul ... Allen sinks both 78-64
  • Geoff Middleton, Mamadou Diakhate and Joe Bajda (seeing his first action at home of the year) checks into the game.
  • Middleton gets a rebound and is fouled, sending him to the line for two shots to finish out his career at home ... probably a few nerves involved as he clanks the first and then swishes home the second, 78-64 Fairfield.
  • Mamadou leaves to a great hand and Jimmy O'Sullivan checks in as Cooley empties out his bench.
  • Austin hits a three to bring the lead to 79-67 and then Han is fouled, sending him to the line for two shots.
  • Han hits both to give him 21 points and its 81-7 Stags.
  • Lob to Smith who lays it in, 81-69. Joe Bajda is fouled and the bench loves it, giving him a chance to score some points in his final game.
  • Bajda swishes through the first and the bench loves it and then he hits the second, 83-69 Fairfield.
  • Pearson scores 83-71, no fouls by Manhattan and the clock runs out as the Stags move the win streak to seven and close out the home season.

Final score: Fairfied 83, Manhattan 71


1:46 Remaining Second Half; Fairfield leads Manhattan 72-64

  • Long three by Pearson from NBA range and Manhattan quickly calls a timeout, 72-64 Fairfield.
  • Marist leading Iona 59-55 heading down the stretch in Poughkeepsie, 2:53 remaining in that game.


2:07 Remaining Second Half; Stags lead Jaspers 72-61

  • Meanwhile, Marist is pulling away from Iona (60-53 with under five to go), while Rider and Siena both wrapped up wins. So if Fairfield wins, they move into a tie with Niagara behind Rider, Siena and Loyola, ahead of Marist.
  • Green hits the first, but misses the second and Peanut grabs the rebound. On the other end Evanovich hits a three, which may be the dagger and its 69-59 with 2:52 left.
  • Pearson drives and Allen is called for another ticky-tack foul and he goes to the line for two shots...the refs have really slowed the game down, calling everything now. Pearson makes the first shot and the second 69-61.
  • With the shot clock winding down, Han drives, pulls up and hits a three...72-61 and Barry Rohrssen wants a time-out. Han now with 19, 16 coming in the second half, tying Chris Smith for the game-high, who has just three in the second after 16 in the first.


3:12 Remaining Second Half; Fairfield leads Manhattan 66-58

  • O'Sullivan called for a foul on Austin, who goes to the line for two shots – He makes both and its 59-52 Fairfield.
  • Mocking cheer for the referees after they call a foul on Manhattan, lots of questionable calls in a row went against the Stags.
  • O'Sullivan drives to the hoop and is fouled, going to the line for two free throws. He checks is injured pinky, which he dislocated against Marist last week. But it appears to be fine, he makes the first, but misses the second. 60-52 Stags.
  • Foul on Manhattan sends Peanut to the line for a 1+1. He knocks down both, while Cooley yells out defense and tells the crowd to get into it, waving his arms up and down and they respond with loud cheers.
  • Meanwhile the Stags respond by forcing a turnover and get the ball back up ten with under five to go.
  • Evanovich is fouled and he will go to the line for another 1+1 for the Stags – He misses the shot and O'Sullivan is called for a foul on the rebound, sending Austin to the line for two shots as that is the tenth foul on the Stags. Austin hits both and its 62-54 with 4:27 left.
  • Allen turns the ball over in the back court and Green picks it up and lays it in...62-56.
  • On the way back up Han is fouled by Austin, the fourth for the Jaspers season-leading scorer, and Han heads to the line for a 1+1. He hits the first and the second after a short delay and its 64-56 Fairfield.
  • Pearson appears to have traveled, but the call is missed, and Cooley throws his arms out in disbelief as he knocks down a two. On the other end MOS drives to the hoop and scors, 66-58 Fairfield.
  • Allen grabs a loose ball before it goes out of bounds and throws it right to Jaspers' Green, who is fouled by Marty on a drive to the hoop. Two shots after the media timeout.

7:22 Remaining Second Half; Fairfied leads Manhattan 59-50

  • Great no look pass by Han to Allen and Brandon Adams picks up a foul on the rebound, and Fairfield gets the ball underneath.
  • But Mamadou can't get the ball in bounds and a five second call is made. Still 57-49 now for the Stags, who are trying to pull away.
  • Stags pick up two fouls on the other end, one on Mamadou and one on Nero and that is now seven on Fairfield, sending Smith to the line for a 1+1 – He hits the first, but misses the second and its 57-50 Stags.
  • Allen with a sharp pass to Peanut, who takes a second to control it and then lays the ball in, 59-50 Fairfield.
  • Media timeout.


MAAC Update

  • Iona and Marist locked in another tight game, 38-38 with 13:21 to go in the game. Meanwhile St. Peter's has cut Rider's lead down to 75-66 with 5:21 remaining. Niagara still trails big, 88-70 with 3:05 left.

9:18 Remaining Second Half; Fairfield leads Manhattan 54-49

  • Crawford with a quick two after the timeout.
  • On the other end a very questionable call after a miss by Evanovich. Mamadou appeared to be held, but the foul was called on him instead, leading to a loud boo from what has been a relatively quiet crowd.
  • Crawford makes the Stags pay with another two to retake the lead 49-47.
  • Han with a pull up jumper to tie the game back up at 49 with 10:10 left in the game. Han now leads Stags scorers with 11. Herbie second with 10 and Nero and Johnson both have 7.
  • Nero with a nice play inside after Han dumped it down to him and then the Stags with a steal off of a combined effort by Mamadou and Han. On the other end Herbie finds an open Han who hits a three.
  • Manhattan calls a timeout.


11:56 Remaining First Half; Stags lead Jaspers 47-45

  • Bad news for the Stags first place hopes (other than the fact they are losing), Siena is blowing out Niagara 78-60 in Albany with 8:27 left in the game. With a win the Saints will all but lock up first place, needing only a win over Saint Peter's on Sunday to do so.
  • Evanovich misses a three, but Peanut grabs the board, misses a shot, grabs another rebound, passes to Evanovich and he lays it in to cut the lead to 41-40. On the other end Peanut rebounds a quick Jaspers miss and is then fouled, giving the Stags the ball right back with a chance to take the lead.
  • Evanovich almost throws the ball away as he is trapped driving it up the court, Mamadou hustles back to grab the ball and tips it ahead to Han, who passes to Nero and Nero is fouled – He hits both to give Fairfield the lead back, 42-41.
  • Han comes up with a steal and takes the ball all the way to the hoop for a lay-up, 44-41 Fairfield.
  • Green is open underneath and lays the ball in for two, 44-43 Fairfield.
  • Stags coaches seem a bit displeased with the officiating. After a non-call on Manhattan when Austin was all over Nero, Evanovich is called for a questionable foul and Green hits two free throws to give the Jaspers the lead back, 45-44 with 12:55 left.
  • Evanovich hits a three and the Stags lead 47-45.
  • Media timeout.


15:23 Remaining Second Half; Manhattan leads Fairfield 41-38

  • Herbie Allen hits a three to start the second half and ties the game at 32.
  • Manhattan retakes the lead and on the other end, Han drives to the hoop and seems to have an open lay-up, but chooses not to take it, instead trying to make a pass to Edney, who fumbles it away.
  • This time Han takes an open shot and hits it to tie the game at 34 with 18 minutes left in the game.
  • Smith adds two more and the Stags go back down 36-34. On the other end, Allen misses an open jumper from around the foul line and then picks up a foul on the other end, the Stags second so far in the half.
  • Austin hits a three to bring the lead to 39-34 and Mamadou gets off the bench.
  • Dapper Cooley Watch: Nice gold tie on tonight with a dark gray pinstriped suit, sans the jacket after the Austin three.
  • Fairfield answers back with a two and its 39-36, but Green drives to the hoop and scors, 41-36.
  • O'Sullivan lobs the ball up to Peanut who slams it down, waking up the crowd. 41-38 Manhattan, 15:40 left.
  • Manhattan's Pearson is forced to throw up a desperation shot as the shot clock expires and its an air ball, giving the Stags the ball back after the media timeout.


Halftime; Manhattan leading Fairfield 32-29

  • Patrick Bouli is fouled and goes to the line for two shots...he misses the first, but hits the second to bring the lead to 29-27 with under a minute left in the half.
  • Rob Fitzgerald, Mirror Chief Operating Officer in the building tonight.
  • O'Sullivan hits a two, but the Jaspers Devin Austin answers right back with a three to send the game into halftime leading by three, 32-29.


Iona-Marist Update

  • Update on Marist-Iona...Gaels leading 26-16 with four minutes left in the first.

1:03 Remaining First Half; Manhattan leads Fairfield 28-27

  • Smith hits one of two and Peanut grabs the rebound, but the Jaspers come away with the lead again, 25-24.
  • Smith hits another three, giving him 16 points and its 28-24 Manhattan. The freshman is on fire tonight for the Jaspers.
  • Han makes a nice pass to a slashing Allen, but his lay-up rims around and out. Smith misses a three on the other end and the Stags get the ball back. A few fans in the front row try and wake up the quiet crowd with a "Let's Go Fairfield" chant, for a good showing of fans, its been pretty quiet, the Stags lack of scoring probably has something to do with it.
  • Han dishes the ball to a wide open Allen, who hits the three, 28-27 Manhattan, who calls a 30 second timeout to talk things over. Herbie leads all Fairfield scorers with seven points.


3:47 Remaining First Half; Fairfield and Manhattan tied 24-24

  • Big night around the MAAC as six teams are fighting for positions in the tournament. Rider is blowing out Saint Peter's 46-33 at the half in New Jersey, while Niagara and Siena are in a tight game at the half, 50-43 Siena in front in Albany. Marist and Iona started at 7:30 with Fairfield and Iona is leading 16-9 with 10:02 left in the first. If Marist loses and the Stags win, Fairfield will clinch at least fifth place. With a win, the Stags game against Rider will also be an important one, as it will determine at least the fourth place position in the league.
  • Darryl Crawford knocks down a three and the Jaspers take the lead again, 22-21 with 5:43 left in the half, Fairfield has gone cold and needs to wake up a bit.
  • Allen slashes out towards the three point line, pulls up and knocks down a jumper, 23-22 Fairfield back on top.
  • Andrew Gabriel fights to the hoop and scores, 24-23 Jaspers.
  • Han finds Anthony Johnson down low and he is fouled, but misses the shot. Peanut to the line for two shots – The first rims out and the second swishes through to tie the game, 24-24, 4:08 left in the first.
  • Smith drives towards the hoop and pulls up for a jumper and is fouled by Warren Edney, sending Smith to the line after the media timeout.


7:04 Remaining First Half; Stags lead Jaspers 21-19

  • Offensive rebound by Austin who puts it back in to cut the Stags lead to two, 14-12.
  • Evanovich hits a three falling down to extend the lead to 17-12 Fairfield.
  • Crawford heads to the line for two free throws after he is fouled and he hits one of two, 17-13 Fairfield.
  • Herbie Allen hits a long two and its 19-13 Fairfield, 10:19 left in the first half.
  • Smith finds himself open and the freshman from Millstone, N.J. knocks down a three to make it 19-16, Stags still in front.
  • Herbie Allen with a steal, he misses a lay-up but Marty was running the court and tips the rebound to Nero, who lays it in, 21-16 Stags.
  • Yorel Hawkins, who missed time with a wrist injury, checks into the game for Allen, his first game since the last time the Stags played Manhattan, leaving that game in the first half, he missed the next four games...Mamadou Diakhate also checks in after missing the last game, he wasn't expected to play until the MAAC tournament, so that is a good sign.
  • Stags give up yet another offensive rebound and Smith takes advantage with a three, giving him 12 points. Fairfield needs to lock down on the boards.
  • The return of Mamadou and Hawkins gives Fairfield a ten man rotation, should help the Stags stay fresh, not that it has been a problem during the win streak as Han and Allen have played almost every minute of the past few games and have done so with good success.
  • Media timeout after a Jaspers offensive foul.


11:54 Remaining First Half; Fairfield leads Manhattan 14-10

  • Smith plays off of Han after he fakes a pass and Jon nails a three, 11-8 Fairfield, 12:44 left.
    Both teams had gone cold for a few minutes and traded missed shot series.
  • Smith answers back with a jumper on the other end, 11-10, 12:19 to go.
  • After grabbing an offensive rebound and kicking it back out, Greg Nero takes a pass from Allen, drives to the hoop and scores, drawing a foul on Austin in the process...he goes to the line for one free throw...and hits it, 14-10 Stags, 12:04 left first half.
  • Media timeout after the ball is thrown off of Mike Evanovich.


14:35 Remaining First Half; Stags and Jaspers tied 8-8

  • 15:23 Austin grabs an offensive rebound and puts the ball back in for two, 6-6.
  • Greg Nero in for the first time spins to the hoop, but misses a lay-up. Peanut is there for the board and the put back mid-air, 8-6 Stags, 14:50 remaining.
  • Chris Smith lays the ball in around Edney after an offensive rebound to tie it back up at 8-8 and Cooley wants a time-0ut.

15:51 Remaining First Half; Fairfield leads Manhattan 6-4

  • Not a lot of student fans in the arena tonight, as everyone has pretty much headed home for the spring break, which has come early this year. But a large portion of the men's lacrosse team is in attendance and the crowd is pretty packed with alumni and people from the community, hopefully they can make some noise and support this Fairfield team that definitely deserves it, the way they have been playing lately.
  • Manhattan wins the tip to get the game underway. The Jaspers take the shot clock down under ten and then drives, missing the shot but the rebound goes off of the Stags. Manhattan misses a second shot and grabs a second offensive rebound.
  • Chris Smith cuts to the hoop, pump fakes and scores, 2-0 Manhattan.
  • Stags turn the ball over as Marty O'Sullivan's lob to Peanut Johnson is deflected away and stolen.
  • O'Sullivn with a block and a lead pass to Han who throws it to Peanut who dunks it down hard to tie the game, 2-2, 17:44 remaining first half.
  • 17:10 Herbie Allen misses a three, but Warren Edney grabs the board and lays the ball back in, Fairfield takes its first lead, 4-2.
  • Pearson drives to the hoop to tie up the game with a lay-up, 4-4, 16:10 left.
  • Tip-in by Marty O'Sullivan on a Allen miss to give the Stags back a 6-4 lead.
  • Clock problems again and the stoppage leads to a media timeout. It begins again, for a facility that looks high class and does most things right, they can't seem to get this clock thing down.

-Tom Cleary

Monday, February 18, 2008

Final score: 87-85 Stags in 2OT

  • Anthony "Peanut" Johnson back to the line for one free throw ... He is short on the shot and the clock appears to run out...Marist players never moved.
  • The ref makes Fairfield put players on the line and he makes what seemed to be his third free throw.
  • Marist throws the ball cross court and Mamadou deflects it to end the game.
  • Five straight wins for the Stags and they are now 10-6
-Tom Cleary

0.9 Seconds Remaining; Fairfield leads 86-85

  • Schneider drives and his shot rolls out and Anthony Johnson pulls down the board with 0.7 seconds on the clock and Stilphen fouls him, his fifth foul and the arena is louder than ever.
  • Peanut to the line for two free throws as a "This is Our House!" chant is picked up by the small student section and band.
  • Two-tenths of a second put back on the clock and there is 0.9 left.
  • Peanut misses the first to make it fun and Marist calls a timeout, their final timeout.

11.7 Seconds Remaining Second Overtime; Fairfield leads 86-85

  • Han drives to the basket and lays the ball in to give Fairfield a 86-85 lead with 11.7 seconds left and the Stags call their final timeout. Evanovich with a screen up top and Han drove around it for an easy lay-in. Big shot again. Now time for a defensive stop to end this game.

37.6 Remaining in Second Overtime; Marist leads 85-84

  • O'Sullivan catches the ball from Evanovich at the elbow and knocks down a turn-around jumper. 85-84 Marist, Marty with 23, still the game-high.
  • Schneider throws up a questionable three with nine on the shot clock and the Stags rip down the rebound. Fairfield brings the ball up court and Cooley calls a time-out to draw up a play.

1:38 Remaining in Second Overtime;

  • Five on the shot clock and Alen trapped, he steps on the out of bounds line, turning the ball over with 2:36 left.
  • Marist struggles to get the ball over half court and is able to reset with 20 on the cock.
  • Gavin has to throw up a three with the clock winding down and it is a miss, but the rebound deflects out of bounds off Fairfield and Marist has it back with a fresh 35.
  • Schneider drives on Marty, throws the ball to Benjamin who is fouled by Jordan and goes to the line for two again...The first shot bounces around and in and the second bounces out and to Peanut.

3:08 Remaining in Second Overtime; Marist leads 84-82

  • Anthony Johnson steps up with 19 seconds left to hit two big free throws, unexpected and clutch.
  • On the court for Fairfield: Han, Allen, Edney, Peanut and Marty. For Marist: Gavin, Devezin, Farmer, Schneider, and Benjamin.
  • Fairfield wins the tip once again and brings the ball up.
  • Edney misses a three from the corner, but O'Sullivan pulls down the rebound and scores...He has a game-high 21 and the Stags are up 82-80.
  • Gavin pumps and Han goes past him. He puts up a three and knocks it down, 83-82 Marist.
  • Lob to Peanut inside, but he blows an easy lay-up, wasn't sure whether to dunk or lay it in, and Marist has the ball back with 3:30 left and the one point lead.
  • Benjamin drives on O'Sullivan and draws a foul. Stags are in the penalty and Benjamin will shoot two...He rims out the first and sinks the second...84-82 Marist.

End of First Overtime; Fairfield and Marist tied at 80

  • With 20 seconds left, Devezin brings up the ball, guarde dby Han.
  • Farmer misses a three and Schneider grabs the rebound after a couple tips, but misses the shot, sending the game into a second overtime.

19.7 Seconds Remaining in Overtime; 80-80

  • Gavin throws up a jumper and is fouled by Han. The shot goes through and Gavin heads to the line for one free throw...Gavin puts the free throw through and its 80-78 Marist within under one minute remaining.
  • Han drives with ten seconds on the shot clock and misses the lay-up, but after the ball is tipped a few times, Peanut comes up with the ball. He goes back up and Gavin fouls him.
  • Peanut to the line for two free throws...He connects on the first and drops the second through to tie the game.

1:05 Remaining in Overtime; Fairfield leads 78-77

  • Marist uses their final timeout...Great play by ALlen, driving to the hoop and laying the ball in while falling away.
  • Mamadou gets called for a foul off the ball while playing tight defense on Farmer and that sends him to the line for a 1+1 as that is the Stags ninth team foul. Farmer sinks the front end to tie the game and then makes the second as well to give Marist a 77-76 lead.
  • Mamadou throws up a three-pointer, misses and is fouled. Also a technical foul on Stilphen, who shows his frustration. 
  • The Stags will have five free throws now, with Han taking the technical...He makes the first, but the second rims out.
  • Mamadou then goes to the line for three shots, with the score tied 77-77...He bricks the first, is short on the second and is able to drop in the third...78-77 Fairfield

1:41 Remaining in overtime; 76-75 Stags

  • Han, Allen, Mamadou, Anthony Johnson, and Marty start the overtime against Gavin, Farmer, Devezin, Stilphen, and Benjamin, who has four fouls.
  • The Stags win the tip, but Allen throws the ball away on a baseline drive.
  • Cooley calls out for the crowd to wake up and a "Let's Go Fairfield" chant starts.
  • Six on the clock and Devezin drives, knocks over Han, but no call and he finds Farmer for a huge three-pointer, 75-72 Marist.
  • Allen drives and his shot spins out, Marty grabs the board but he is stripped on the put back by Gavin.
  • Farmer with another open three, bit this one misses...O'Sullivan with the rebound, he gives to Han, who throws it ahead to Mamadou for a lay-up...75-74.
  • Stilphen misses a jumper with two on the shot clock, giving the Stags the ball with just over two minutes to go.
  • Allen with a drive and lay-up, 76-75 Stags.
  • Marist calls a time-out to settle down.

End of regulation: 72-72

  • Marist now has no timeouts left and will look for a catch and shoot to win.
  • Middleton blocks Stilphen's shot and the clock expires (even though he didn't stop) and the game is heading to overtime.
  • Huge play by Middleton, he is in the game for 2.1 seconds and he makes what could be the play of the game on his senior night. Wow. What a game so far and five more minutes.
  • The Stags have a chance to make a big move in the standings with a win. Siena and Rider both lost, while Loyola won, along with Niagara. That means a four-way tie at the top of the standings with 11-5 records, while the winner of this game will be one game behind with a 10-6 record.

Marist calls timeout just before five second call

  • Marist just gets a timeout, before the five second call and they have only one left, with 2.1 still on the clock.

2.1 Seconds Remaining Second Half; 72-72

  • Half court discussion between the refs, while Brady and Cooley meet at the stripe as well and shake hands...Fairfield needs to make sure they don't foul here or that could be disastrous. 
  • 2.1 seconds now on the clock, making it a completely different situation. Not sure how only five-tenths of a second ran off on that play...

0.7 Seconds Remaining Second Half; 72-72

  • Mamadou catches the ball on a full court pass and falls out of bounds, giving Marist the ball with 0.7 seconds underneath. 
  • Middleton comes in on his Senior Night to prevent a lob pass and guard the in bounds.
  • Marist calls a timeout again to plan out there final shot.

2.6 Remaining Second Half; 72-72

  • Mamadou almost comes up with the ball out of bounds and ALSO nearly calls a timeout with none left, Stags avoid a mistake, Marist maintains possession with 19 on the shot clock.
  • Schneider misses three and the Stags have a final shot.
  • Han drives and scores to tie the game with 2.6 seconds left and Marist calls a timeout to set up one last play.
  • 72-72 Marist timeout.

45.6 Second Remaining Second Half; Marist up 72-70.

  • Lyndon Jordan back on the court to play defense and the Stags set-up a full court press...Jordan and Peanut trap Gavin in the corner and knock the ball away, but Marist is able to call a timeout before it goes out of bounds. Marist catches a break.
  • 32 seconds on the shot clock, Marist in bounding on the baseline again...Peanut on the ball...Marist breaks the press and Peanut fouls Devezin with 1:24 left, sending him back to the line again for another 1+1 ... The first free throw rolls around and in, and the second goes right through...72-66 Marist.
  • Han drives and misses a lay-up, but is fouled after grabbing the rebound and he goes to the line for 1+1 with 1:05 remaining...He sinks the first and the second, 72-68 Marist.
  • Gavin swings an elbow and is called for an offensive foul after knocking Han over, Stags have the ball back with 1:00 left. 
  • 72-68, 1 minute left, Stags need a big shot here.
  • Evanovich nearly delivers, but the ball just rims out. O'Sullivan is there for the tip and he puts it back in. 45.6 seconds left and the Stags are down two, but Marist has the ball and will shoot two free throws on a foul. 
  • Cooley calls his final timeout.

1:36 Remaining Second Half; 70-66 Marist

  • Stilphen comes to the line for two...He hits both and its 70-63 Marist.
  • Herbie can't hit a three on the other end and Scheider pulls down the board.
  • Schneider has to throw up a shot as the clock winds down, but he is able to get his own rebound and maintain possession.
  • Marist taking as much time as possible and with 2 minutes left, Devezin drives and is fouled by Han, sending him to the line for a 1+1...He misses the front end and Mamadou grabs the rebound.
  • Needing a big shot, Mamadou hits a three and cuts the Marist lead to four, 70-66 with 1:36 left in the game, Cooley calls a timeout to set up the defense.

3:24 Left Second Half; Marist leading 68-63

  • Schneider knocks down a big three out of the timeout to put Marist back up six, 65-59.
  • But on the other end Benjamin picks up his fourth foul, knocking over Mamadou as he takes a three. Benjamin hits the bench, while Mamadou has three free throws...he hits the first, misses the second short and knocks down the third. 65-61 Marist.
  • Stags turn up the pressure with a foul court press...but Marist breaks it relatively easily.
  • McNamara misses a shot and O'Sullivan rips down the board. He drives to the hoop on the other end, but his shot rims out and Marist has it back, up four.
  • O'Sullivan tries to draw a charge on Stilphen, but no foul is called. A.J. has to come over for help, and he fouls Stilphen as he drops through a lay-up. He hits the free throw and Marist is up 68-61 with just over five minutes left.
  • O'Sullivan backs down McNamara and knocks him over, misses his shot, but draws a foul...At the line he hits both and its 68-63 Marist.
  • Lyndon Jordan in for the first time, with the Stags needing a stop.
  • LJ plays tight defense on Devezin, who steps on the baseline and turns the ball over. Evanovich and Allen back in, for Mamadou and LJ. Looks like Cooley will try and go offense/defense with those four when possible.
  • After a Herbie miss and no call by the ref, Stilphen pushes the court and draws a foul on Han. After the media timeout he will head to the line for two.

7:05 Remaining Second Half; Marist leads 62-59

  • Han heads to the charity stripe and hits both to tie the game back up 51-51.
  • Dapper Cooley Watch: A black suit with a white shirt and red tie, now sans jacket after the Edney foul call.
  • McNamara answers back with a three and its 54-51, Marist on top.
  • Herbie dumps the ball down to Peanut, who lays it in and draws a foul on Benjamin. A.J. to the line for one – but he clanks it. 54-53 Marist.
  • On the other end Gavin slashes to the hoop, showing his great speed, and Peanut is called for goaltending on a lay-up. 56-53 Marist.
  • Marty dumps it to Peanut, who is blocked by Spongy.
  • On the other end Devezin drives to the hoop and scores, 58-53 Marist, and they have the momentum.
  • O'Sullivan drives to the hoop and is fouled by Benjamin, his third, and will go to the line for two free throws...He misses the first, but sinks the second 58-54.
  • Mamadou in, Cooley thinking he can swing the momentum back.
  • Devezin dribbles around a trap and dumps the ball to McNamara who scores, 60-54 Marist.
  • Edney tosses the ball to Han, who can't control it and Marist gets the ball back. Benjamin is fouled by Mamadou on the break and will have two shots...He misses the first, and the second and Mamadou pulls down the board.
  • O'Sullivan drives and misses a lay-up, but pulls down his own board and puts it back in. 60-56 Marist.
  • Devezin drives and scores, he has 12 and has been a killer in the second half, 62-56 Marist.
  • Evanovich hits a clutch three and its 62-59, cutting the lead in half. Cooley calls a thirty second timeout to talk things over with his club.


11:21 Remaining First Half; 51-49 Marist

  • Devezin drives and lays the ball in to tie the game up for the first time since 0-0 with 14:47 left in the second half. Its a 15 minute game now.
  • Meanwhile around the MAAC, every game is within five in the second half. Shocker so far, Saint Peter's up five over Niagara with just over five left.
  • Evanovich hits a two to give the Stags the lead back, 47-45.
  • A Stilphen shot rims out and he shakes his head as he heads back up the court. Allen misses a three and Peanut tips the rebound out of bounds, giving the Red Foxes the ball back.
  • Jay Gavin hits a three and Marist grabs its first lead of the game, 48-47.
  • Peanut swings the momentum back to the Stags as Allen finds him for a huge dunk and the crowd, which had grown silent, erupts again. 49-48 Stags.
  • Stilphen misses a jumper and Peanut grabs the rebound. On the other end, he is fouled by Stilphen, his second and the team's third.
  • But Edney picks up an offensive foul, although Cooley can't believe it and Marist has the ball back.
  • Schneider is left open at the top of the key and he knocks down a three, 51-49 Marist.
  • Peanut with a turn-around that clanks off the back of the rim.
  • Schneider has another open look, but this time it misses. Han pushes the ball down the court and throws up a lay-up and draws a foul on Schneider, his second and will shoot two shots after a media timeout.

15:31 Remaining Second Half; Fairfield leads 45-43

  • After both Evanovich and Han pass up threes from the corner, Peanut turns the ball over. On the other end both Jay Gavin and Ben Farmer miss threes that could have given Marist its first lead of the night.
  • Media timeout...Stags need to find a rhythm again, but Marist will have the ball out of bounds after the break.

16:07 Remaining Second Half: 45-43 Fairfield

  • After the Stags increase the lead to 45-35, Marist cuts it to 45-37 and then gets the ball back, but O'Sullivan takes a charge and gets the Stags the ball back, two minutes into the game.
  • Stilphen backs down his man and lays the ball in, 45-39 Marist, gets the deficit back to six.
  • Han finds Allen who misses a three, leading to a Ben Farmer miss on the other end, but Benjamin rips down the board and kicks the ball out to Dejuan Goodwin, who takes another three. Edney charges at him and knocks Goodwin over, sending him to the stripe for three free throws: He connects on the first, is short on the second and swishes home the third. 45-41, the closest Marist has been in awhile.
  • Allen nearly turns the ball over, but gets control back before Devezin strips it. Edney misses a jumper from the free throw line anyways and Marist has the ball back.
  • Devezin drives on the other end and scores, leading to a Cooley time-out, 45-43, first time the Red Foxes have been within two since the 17:08 mark in the first half.


At the half: Fairfield leads Marist 41-35

  • Benjamin takes a pass from Farmer and lays the ball in out of the time-out and its 32-26.
  • Mamadou into the game for his first action of the night and he misses a three, his first shot taken.
  • On the other end Mamadou deflects a pass to Han, who races down the court and throws up a circus lay-up that misses badly, but Gavin fouls him, his second foul and Han heads tothe line for two. He rims in the first shot and swishes the second, 34-26 Fairfield.
  • Schneider is open again and knocks down a three after a series of screens at the top of the key and the lead is now 34-29.
  • Schneider picks up a foul on the other end, the team's seventh, and Marty heads to the charity stripe for a 1+1. He hits both to give him 10 points and the Stags a 36-29 lead.
  • Han with a interception on the other end. He drives the floor and collides with Farmer, but no foul is called as the ball rolls out of bounds, giving the Red Foxes the ball back.
  • Mamadou on Jay Gavin, playing the frosh with tight, in-your-face defense as usual. Gavin has been pretty much quiet so far, with two points, but also two fouls.
  • Farmer heads to the line for a 1+1 after Edney fouls him away from the ball. Farmer sinks both and its 36-30, back to a six-point Stags lead.
  • O'Sullivan with a pump and turn around jumper, 38-31 Fairfield.
  • Former CT Post writer Mike Puma in the house tonight, now representing the NY Post.
  • Gavin drives and scores, 38-33 Fairfield.
  • Han knocks down a three to give him 12 points, tied for the team and game-high with O'Sullivan. Now 41-33 Stags with the shot clock off and Marist in possession.
  • Devezin drives and misses, but Benjamin tips it in. Cooley quickly calls a time-out to draw up one final play with 3.6 seconds left in the game.
  • Too bad not more students showed up tonight, somewhere in the ballpark of 30-50 are in attendance, I guess not many realize how well Fairfield has been playing.
  • Han throws up a half-court shot which misses and the Stags head into halftime with a 41-35 lead.


3:48 Remaining First Half; Fairfield leads Marist 32-24

  • Allen drives to the hoop and lays the ball in, 30-20 Stags.
  • On the other Peanut goes for a block, but fouls Gavin for his second foul. Gavin to the line for two shots, while A.J. heads to the bench. Gavin hits both and its 30-22, Marist back within eight.
  • Farmer with a drive and lay-up to bring the Stags lead back to six, 30-24.
  • Marty drives, spins to the hoop and lays the ball in, 32-24. Where has he been all this time?
  • Gavin forces up a long three and it clanks off the rim, and Han pulls down the board.
  • Han steps on the baseline after an errant pass and turns it back over.
  • Media timeout.


6:15 Remaining First Half; Fairfield leads 28-20

  • Han hits another jumper and its 21-13. Great steal by Allen at the other end and he drives the length of the court for a lay-up, 23-13.
  • Offensive foul called on Benjamin gives the Stags the ball back.
  • Edney knocks down his second three of the game and its 26-13 Fairfield.
  • Vermont transfer Ryan Schneider with a pump fake and then knocks down a three, Fairfield still up 10, 26-16.
  • Benjamin with a two after Nero turns the ball over and its 26-18, but Nero gets two back on the other end and its 28-18.
  • Peanut's turn-around rims out and he shows he is upset about it with swing of the fist. On the other end great pump by Benjamin who lays the ball in over Nero.
  • Han turns the ball over with a no-look pass to an unprepared Warren Edney, and the ball ends up in the Marist bench.
  • Media timeout.


11:37 Remaining First Half; 19-13 Fairfield

  • Allen misses the first free throw, but sinks the second and increases the Stags lead to 10-4. Brady seems frustrated already. Marist is on a skid, they want this win bad, but so does Fairfield and so far the Stags are looking like they want it more. A lot more energy out of the men in white, then the Red Foxes.
  • Stilphen battles inside and lays the ball in, 10-6 Fairfield.
  • O'Sullivan backs down Stilphen and scores, 12-6, Marty with 4 points so far. His dad accompanied Mamadou Diakhate during the Senior Night Ceremony.
  • Edney draws a foul and Anthony Johnson heads to the bench, replaced by Nero, the first sub of the night for Cooley.
  • Marty working inside again, making an interesting move on Shae McNamara and drawing a foul. He connects on both free throws and its 14-8. O'Sullivan heads to the bench to a great ovation, as Mike Evanovich checks in for the first time.
  • Spongy gets elevation on a rebound and lays it back in, 14-10 Marist.
  • Han hits a three and extends the lead to seven, 17-10 Stags.
  • McNamara goes right by Evanovich, but O'Sullivan steps up to block his lay-up out of bounds.
  • Evanovich plays off of McNamara and he knocks down a three-pointer, 17-13 Stags.
  • Long rebound deflected over mid court to Allen by a Marist player and Herbie makes a long pass to Nero who lays it in, 19-13 Fairfield.
  • Media timeout.
  • From around the MAAC: Manhattan leads Siena 29-28 at the half, Rider with a comfortable 41-29 lead over Loyola, Iona is trailing Canisius 18-15 with 9:33 left in the first, and Niagara leads Saint Peter's by 4, 34-30 with 4:25 left in the first.


15:56 Remaining First Half; 9-4 Fairfield

  • Anthony Johnson with a big block on Spongy Benjamin leads to a Warren Edney three on the other end, and its 9-2 Stags. Great start for Fairfield on both ends.
  • Devezin drives and scores to cut the deficit to 9-4.
  • Matt Brady is called for a technical foul already and Allen will go to the line to shoot the foul shots. But first a media timeout.


16:50 Remaining First Half; Stags lead Marist 6-2

  • Both teams trade misses back and forth and Marty O'Sullivan is called for an over the back on a rebound on the second Fairfield miss, 18:21 to go in the half.
  • Stilphen misses a three and two minutes in, stilll no scoring.
  • Herbie Allen changes that with a jumper and its 2-0 Stags. Allen plays tight defense as Marist brings the ball up and the Red Foxes turn it over by stepping out of bounds.
  • Han hits a jumper just inside the three-point line and increases the lead to 4-0.
  • Nice passing by Marist finds Spongy Benjamin under the basket and the Best Name in the MAAC lays it in, 4-2.
  • O'Sullivan continues to play like a man possessed, driving to the hoop and scoring. Matt Brady is not liking the way this game is starting and he calls a timeout. 6-2 Stags.

-Tom Cleary

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Fairfield wins 88-76

  • Fairfield trapped and Han is forced to call a timeout. Mamadou checks in. Time for the closer.
  • Mamadou deserves a theme song everytime he enters the game, like a closer in baseball or a pro wrestler. He's that type of player. You expect something big or strange everytime he touches the court.
  • O'Sullivan fouled by JT, his fourth and Marty to the line for a 1+1 - he hits the first and the second, 81-73, Stags. Now the largest lead.
  • MOS with a bock of a Mansell three and Herbie with a rebound. Mamadou ahead of the pack for two and then Han with a steal, gets the ball to Mamadou, who is fouled and the crowd is louder than they have been all night.
  • Mamadou heads to the line for a 1+1...He sinks the first, but bricks the second and its 84-73.
  • Anthony Johnson with a lay-up after an Allen steal and its 86-73. A miss by Rider and the Stags have it with 40 seconds left and the Arena is rocking.
  • Five second call on Herbie gives Rider the ball with 26.8 seconds left as an Overrated chant begins. Mansell hits a three, 86-76.
  • A.J. is fouled with 11.1 seconds left, he hits the first free throw and the second.
  • Fan says: "Hey Thompson! Good luck with Duncan if you can't handle Marty!"
  • Stags with the steal and the final is Fairfield 88, Rider 76.
  • What a game.
-Tom Cleary

1:57 Remaining Second Half; Fairfield leads 79-73

  • Marty with a drive and two, 76-70. Marty wants this win. He wants it bad. 76-70 Stags.
  • Stags get on the floor and grab the ball, calling a timeout and sending the Stags back on offense.
  • With three on the shot clock, Han throws up a three and it bounces in, 79-70 Stags up nine.
  • Rider with the answer as Mansell knocks down a three of his own and Rider calls a timeout....79-73 Fairfield.


3:25 Remaining Second Half; 74-70 Fairfield leads

  • Thompson hits both and Rider back in front 68-66.
  • Mamadou with a three and Fairfield up 69-68.
  • Mamadou hits another three, wow....72-68 Stags.
  • Warner throws up an airball on a three with Herbie diving in his face.
  • O'Sullivan dives on the floor and secures a tie-up after Han is blocked by JT, Rider keeps the ball, but it turns the possession arrow around. Cooley wants a big stop here.
  • Ryan Thompson short on a three and Han lets it bounce out of bounds to get the ball back, and Cooley gets his stop.
  • Lob from MOS to Anthony Johnson who dunks it home, 74-68 Stags with their biggest lead and al the momentum.
  • JT with a clutch jumper to silence the crowd, 74-70 Stags still in front with the ball.
  • Final media timeout....the next 3:25 are huge for both sides.

7:26 Remaining Second Half; Tied 66-66

  • O'Sullivan is playing for the scouts in the building tonight. He drives and scores, 63-62. 14 points for MOS.
  • On the other end he draws an offensive foul on Jason Thompson, his third. He can't believe it, walking up the court with his hands on his head and questioning the ref.
  • Stags can't take advantage as Edney fumbles Han's pass out of bounds, still three fouls could be key. They need him to pick up one more.
  • Edney gets a steal and continues his great play this afternoon. But MOS makes his first miscue, with a walk.
  • Thompson is played tight by MOS, and throws the ball away. Funny story: Before in bounding the ball, JT talked to the ref about the charging call earlier. The ref told him he made the call because he knocked Marty over, to which JT responded, "That big boy?"
  • Mamadou off the bench, time for a game changing play?
  • Warner is fouled by Han, who quickly picks up two fouls and now has three. Warner hits the first, but misses the second. MOS heads to the bench, replaced by Nero and receives a nice hand.
  • Nice dump down to Nero from Han to tie the game at 64.
  • Great play by the Stags as Nero tosses it up to AJ, who lays it in . 66-64 Stags.
  • Warner picks up a charge on the other end, giving the Stags the ball back, Nero takes it hard.
  • Lob in to JT who lays it in to tie the game back up, 66-66.
  • Thompson is fouled inside and will head to the line after the media timeout.

11:44 Remaining Second Half; Rider leads 63-60

  • O'Sullivan with another two and Fairfield back in front 56-55.
  • J.T. penetrates and scores, he has 10, 57-56.
  • Edney from MOS and its 58-57. Stags need a stop.
  • They almost get it, but JT gets the tip in, 59-58 Rider.
  • Double team on Marty, who finds Allen who knocks down a jumper, 60-59 Stags.
  • JT controlling the offensive glass now with a rebound and putback over Marty, 61-60 Rider.
  • Rider ends the back and forth with steal and fast break lay-up by Griffin, 63-60 Rider. Peanut fumbles the ball on the other end and is blocked by JT, but after an outlet to his brother, Ryan, the younger Thompson turns it back over with a double-dribble on the break.
  • Media timeout.

15:26 Remaining Second Half; Rider leads 55-54

  • O'Sullivan with a two to cut the lead to 49-48 and is then fouled and hits one free throw a couple second slater. 49-49. O'Sulivan is 4-8 from the FT line, but has 10 points nonetheless.
  • Robinson with a lay-up and its 51-49 Rider back out in front.
  • Han with a nice drive and lay-up and its 51-51.
  • Alley-oop from Ryan Thompson to his brother who throws it down for two. 53-51 Rider.
  • Edney hits his third three of the game and Fairfield re-takes the lead 54-53.
  • The lead doesn't last long as Mansell lays it in on the other end and its 55-54.
  • We have a media timeout.

Halftime; 49-46 Rider leading Fairfield

  • Another big game on the MAAC slate heads to overtime as Loyola and Siena end regulation tied at 66. The game has implications for both Rider and Fairfield. Stags would love to see Siena win, while Rider would look for Loyola to win.
  • Johnson clanks the first free throw, but sinks the second and its 39-36.
  • J.T. back on the bench, so yet another key stretch for Fairfield to get back into the game.
  • Warner knocks down another three and its 42-36, biggest lead of the game for the Broncs.
  • Ryan Thompson drives and runs through Edney, who picks up the foul. R.T. with two shots, he makes the first and the second. 44-36 Rider.
  • Allen hits a key three and its 44-39 now.
  • Evanovich hits a three after a Warner miss and the Stags are right back in the game, 44-42 Broncs with a slim lead.
  • Rider gets two offensive rebounds and eventually Green scores, putting the Broncs ahead 46-42.
  • Allen with a miss, but Peanut with the rebound and put back and its 46-44.
  • O'Sullivan with the steal and Han runs the floor laying the ball in and scoring to tie the game at 46 and Rider calls a timeout.
  • Fairfield brings in the big defensive guys: Mamadou, Lyndon Jordan, and Devin Johnson to try and get a huge stop on what could be the last possssion of the half.
  • On the court: Han, Jordan, Mamadou, and the Johnsons, Anthony and Devin.
  • Robinson hits a three to send the Broncs into the half with a three point lead, 49-46.

3:14 Remaining First Half; Rider 39-35

  • The Stags have led the game pretty much the entire game, other than a few ties, until now. Its the first Broncs lead since 2-0. What Fairfield can do from here will determine the pace of the rest of the game. This next stretch before the final media timeout and the four minutes after that will be huge heading into the break.
  • Fairfield doubles J.T. but he still fights his way to the hoop and scores. 31-27 Rider.
  • A.J. knocks down Thompson and scores, no foul though. 31-29 Rider.
  • Thompson scores 2 and its 33-29 Rider.
  • Offensive foul on A.J. underneath, his first foul and the Stags sixth, Fairfield needs to maintain their composure here.
  • Edney hits another three, he has a game-high 13 and its 33-32, big shot there.
  • Ringold drives to the lane and dumps in two. 35-32 Rider.
  • Long three missed by Herbie as the shot clock winds down. O'Sullivan picks up a foul on the board and its the team's seventh, sending Warner to the line for a 1+1. He misses it short and Peanut pulls down the board.
  • O'Sullivan with a nice move, scoring and picking up a foul on Mansell. O'Sullivan to the line for a free throw: He hits it to tie the game. 35-35.
  • Robinson with the penetration and bucket. 37-35 Rider.
  • Warner breaks ahead after a rebound and has an easy fast break lay-up. 39-35 Rider back up four.
  • Peanut is fouled and he'll go to the line for two shots after the media timeout.


6:47 Remaining First Half; Rider 29-27

  • Scrappy play by the Stags, Allen stripped, A.J. grabs the ball, gets it to O'Sullivan who is fouled. He misses the first free throw, but connects on the second and its 23-20 Stags.
  • Fairfield with a steal after a nice press. Stags need to take advantage with the Thompson's on the bench.
  • Dapper Cooley Watch: Wearing a light brown suit with the pink shirt/tie combination for the Think Pink day. Nice look.
  • Mansell knocks down another three and Rider ties it back up at 23.
  • Evanovich and O'Sullivan miss open threes, but Marty grabs the board on the miss by Evanovich and is fouled on the put back. Seventh foul on Rider. MOS misses the first. Mamadou checks in for the first time a great reaction. Marty hits one of two again and its 24-23 Fairfield back in-front. J.T. back onto the court.
  • Edney catches and shoots, he has 10 points and its 27-23 Stags.
  • Middleton checks back in. His season-high is six minutes played.
  • Warner hits a three, cutting it to 27-26, Stags can't seem to pull away.
  • Behind the back pass from Griffin to Warner who hits another three and its 29-27 Rider.
  • Mamadou now on J.T. and he is playing him tough. I'm getting annoyed just watching, hopefully it works. Thompson has just two points so far.

11:10 Remaining; 22-20 Stags

  • Anthony Johnson with a big block to stop a Ryan Thompson basket, but Lamar Johnson comes up with a steal , misses the shot and Rider gets the rebound.
  • Another big play by Edney, who comes up with a steal. Nero takes a shot on the other end, misses, gets his own rebound and puts it back. 16-12.
  • Lamar Johnson with a three for Rider and Cooley calls a timeout, 16-15 Rider.
  • Nero with another miss and putback of his own shot, 18-15 Stags.
  • Justin Robinson hits two and its back to a one point contest, 18-17.
  • Ryan Thompson picks up his second foul and a seat on the bench. His brother picks up a foul on the other end, his first. The Stags would love to see him in foul trouble.
  • Marty O'Sullivan gets the ball, spins to the hoop and scores, drawing the foul on Thompson, who joins his brother on the bench. Cooley as pumped as ever and the Stags are really up for this game, as they always are for big games. Evanovich enters the game for the first time. 20-17 Stags. As someone in the crowd yells, "See you in the second half Jason."
  • Rider ties the game as Mansell knocks down a 3. 20-20.
  • Allen with a steal and fast break lay-up and its 22-20 Stags.
  • We have a media timeout.

15:03 Remaining; 14-12 Stags Lead

  • Mike Ringold gets the scoring started after Jason Thompson wins the tip over Anthony Johnson and its 2-0 Rider.
  • Jon Han has an open shot and he knocks it down from the top of the key 3-2 Stags.
  • Offensive foul called on Ryan Thompson, brother of Jason, and Han approves, yelling out.
  • Middleton helps break the press, gets a rebound down the court and scores 2. 5-2 Stags. As Keith says "What is going on." Its bizarro world. Keith is right, Middleton probably played as Thompson all week in practice and is getting the chance to start against him.
  • Middleton with an open jumper. Now a season-high four points.
  • Goaltending on Anthony Johnson on Ryan Thompson, slammed the ball off the backboard 7-4 Stags.
  • Edney gets fouled by Griffin and scores, after a quick Rider basket and its 9-6. Middleton leaves to nice applause after getting the job done. He hits the free throw and its 10-6 Fairfield.
  • Edney picks up his first foul of the game and Ryan Thompson heads to the line for two shots. Thompson hits both and its 10-8.
  • Edney gets the ball and drives to the hoop and scores 12-8 Stags.
  • Han with a block and "Get that s*** out of here" on Green. Nice.
  • Lob on the inbounds to J.T. and he scores his first two of the game, 12-10 Stags.
  • Han is stripped and it leads to a two by Mansell on the other end and its tied at 12.
  • Rider playing a very aggressive zone, attacking the guards as soon as they get across the line after the press.
  • Edney with a rebound and two, he has 7 and its 14-12 Stags.
  • Fairfield picks up another foul, this time on Nero and its already the third on the team.
  • Media timeout.

-Tom Cleary

Friday, February 15, 2008

Weekend Games with Rider, Marist the Perfect Test for the Stags

Three weeks from now, the men's basketball team will travel north to Albany, N.Y., for the MAAC tournament, an opportunity for the Stags to challenge the premier teams in the conference.

But they'll get an earlier chance to vie for MAAC supremacy.

This coming weekend, the Stags play host to Rider and Marist, who are currently first and third, respectively, in the MAAC.

If ever there was an opportunity for an unpredictable team to break the trend and assert themselves as a legitimate threat in the MAAC, then this may very well be that chance.

Consecutive comeback victories and an impressive road victory against Niagara have provided the Stags with a rare attribute: confidence.

"This [streak] was big for a lot of reasons," Cooley said. "I think that we are a very good road team, and we need to bring that same energy to our home base."

During a silent moment in the final 10 minutes of the second half, Cooley yelled to the crowd to wake up and make noise.

Cooley said that he is hoping for more support from the crowd this weekend.

"Coming down the stretch, we want to be playing our best basketball, which I think we are," said Cooley.

Based on Cooley's qualifications, the time may be right for Fairfield to confront the daunting task of facing Rider and Marist in the same weekend.

On Saturday, Fairfield will tip-off against Rider, the top team in the conference. Despite a recent loss to Siena at home, Head Coach Tommy Dempsey and the Broncs have looked nearly unbeatable over the past month of conference play.

Prior to its most recent game, Rider had won 10 consecutive contests and did so in dominant fashion. The win streak featured an average victory margin of 13.5 points.

Senior Jason Thompson, a 6-foot-11-inch NBA prospect, is the leading threat for the Broncs.

Like most teams with a single dominant player, Rider is at its best when Thompson is at his best. This season, the Broncs have won nine of 12 conference games, in which Thompson has scored at least 18 points per game.

Even after Rider leaves town, things do not get much easier for Fairfield. Two days later, a highly talented Marist team comes for a President's Day matchup at Harbor Yard.

On Jan. 13, the Stags lost to the Red Foxes, 77-70. At the time, Fairfield was struggling mightily, having lost eight of 11 heading into the game.

Even in the face on an imposing weekend of games, Cooley said he remains optimistic. He said that the team's emphasis on defense means that the Stags can compete with anyone in the conference.

"It all starts on defense - it's that energy," Cooley said. "Anything we can do to get energy points, or extra points, or effort points."

Cooley added that the prospect of playing the underdog role in the coming weeks does not faze him or his youthful lineup.

"I think our [energy] really sends a message," said Cooley. "You don't always have to be the most talented team to compete in games."

Fairfield's recent surge began last Friday night against Manhattan. Despite a lackluster effort early in the contest, the Stags overcame a 12-point, second-half deficit in only five minutes to secure a thrilling 66-61 win over the Jaspers.

A few days later, Fairfield erased a six-point Iona lead in the second-half and put away Iona, 68-59. The victory stretched the team's season-high winning streak to three games.

Cooley was quick to attribute recent success to increased production from the bench, especially the veterans.

"We have about five or six games left in our career," Marty O'Sullivan '08 said. "The only thing on my mind is to keep winning and keep that going."

However, it is possible that the true cause for the turnaround is that the young roster is finally buying into the unselfish, team-oriented approach that Cooley has preached from the start of the season.

"I think we are really starting to come together as a team," O'Sullivan said.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Mirror Homecoming: Q&A with Ben Doody

'Mirror Sports' Q&A with Ben Doody, "The Trentonian"
The Mirror: Having watched him all season, how impressive is Rider forward Jason Thompson?  Is the NBA-hype well deserved?  How would he rank among the best MAAC players you've covered in your career as a writer?
Ben Doody:
 He's very impressive, the hype is certainly well deserved, and I can say without hesitation that he's the best player I have seen in five seasons covering the MAAC. 

You can tell by looking at a stat sheet that he's the best player in the league. The only player in the country with a better rebounding average is Michael Beasely, who's probably going to be the national player of the year and the first guy taken in the draft. And he's averaging 20.1 points -- the second best total in the league -- even though he's double-teamed virtually every time he touches the ball. 

But what you can't necessarily tell from looking at a stat sheet is how athletic he is. His biggest asset as an NBA prospect is that he runs the floor like a guard and can handle the ball in the open court. Sometimes big guys end up with the ball in the open court after picking up a long rebound and look like they're about to trip over their own feet as they run awkwardly down the court. When Jason gets the ball, he actually beats people up the floor and has the vision and passing ability to find teammates and start a fast break. 

He's also become very good at passing out of double teams. Last week at Siena, Rider scored 59 points in the first half, and the biggest reason for that was that nearly every time Jason touched the ball, he either scored or kicked it out to a guard for a wide-open jumper. 

There are a lot of factors involved that make it difficult to predict where players will fall in the draft. You don't know which underclassmen will declare and which players will come over from Europe, for example. But if things break his way, he could be a mid-first-round pick. 

2. Mirror: As well as Jason Thompson has played this season, how much credit does head coach Tommy Dempsey deserve for Rider's success?
B.Doody: I wrote a column last week addressing that very question. My main point was this: everyone in the MAAC knew how good Jason was coming into the year, and the coaches still picked Rider to finish fourth in the conference. I think any time a team exceeds expectations or wins more games than the overall talent level might suggest they should, the coach deserves a lot of credit. 

Tommy has done a good job keeping Jason focused when there have been a dozen NBA scouts at every game, and he's also done a good job bringing along a pretty young team. The Broncs start two freshmen (Justin Robinson at point guard and Mike Ringgold at power forward)  and a sophomore (Ryan Thompson at small forward), and their best player off the bench and backup point guard (Matt Griffin)  is also a freshman. As Ed Cooley knows firsthand, winning with young player isn't easy. 

It certainly makes it easier when you have an NBA player on your team who's a leader in the locker room, but there's no question Tommy has done a very impressive job. 

3. Mirror: Is it safe to say at this point that the MAAC Championship (regular-season and postseason) is a two team race between the Broncs and Siena?
B.DoodyWith four games to play, it would certainly take something drastic and completely unexpected for anyone else to win the regular season title. Had Rider held on and beat Siena Sunday in Lawrenceville, it would have taken a collapse of '04 Yankees proportions (that one's for you, Keith) for Rider to not win it. Now, it's going to come down to the wire. 

As far as the tournament goes, I don't think that's a two-horse race by any means. 

This, I think, is the best way to sum it up: I don't think Rider or Siena is as good as Marist was going into the tournament last year, and the Red Foxes lost in the semifinals. I think as many as six teams have at least some shot at winning it, which means that....

4. Mirror: Who is your "sleeper" team to make a run in the MAAC tournament come March?
B.Doody: If by "sleeper" we mean a team that's totally off the radar but could be dangerous, I can't pick Rider or Siena, nor can I pick Loyola (picked second in the preseason poll), Niagara (defending tournament champion) or Marist (defending regular season champ that was tied for first place for a week during the regular season). 

That means Fairfield, the top team in the standings that I didn't mention above,  is the best option to be a sleeper. The problem with the Stags, as you guys know very well, is that for whatever reason, they have not showed up for close to all of their games. There is no excuse for losing games like the one they lost at Canisius, and if they hadn't bounced back by beating Niagara, people may have looked back on that loss as something that set the program back a year. But -- and it's a big but -- when they have come to play, they've posted a few victories that any team would love to have: at Loyola, at Siena and at Niagara. 

So I think if they show up to play for every game in Albany, they have an outside chance to catch a few breaks, pull a couple of upsets and come out on top. 

5. Mirror: Are you at all surprised by Fairfield's lackluster season and struggles in 2008?
B.Doody: I couldn't be much more surprised, and here's why: 

Name an ingredient that should lead to a major improvement over last year, and the Stags had it: 
1) All but one significant player back from a team that won 10 of its last 14 games last year. 
2) A team loaded with young players who one could expect to make major strides. (There are some different variables involved, most notably a big gap in talent, but look at where UConn has gone from last year to this year simply because a bunch of freshmen turned into sophomore and REALLY grew up in a year). 
3) A full year for the player to get used to Ed's system and style, and for Ed and his staff to become get a handle on which buttons to push and what it takes to do to win in the MAAC. 

When the preseason coaches poll came out, the first thing I thought was: wait a second; this team finished sixth last year, has everyone back, and is only supposed to finish sixth again this year? I thought the coaches really snubbed the Stags, and I also thought that since they had a better conference record last year than Rider and seemingly more room for improvement, they'd be better than the Broncs this year. 

So far, that obviously hasn't played out the way I thought it would or, I'm sure, anyone in Fairfield thought it would. 

But the best thing about the MAAC if you're a team in the middle of the standings is that with the exception of the teams that have to play in the play-in-round, everyone has the same opportunity to win an NCAA tournament bid. 

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Final from the Harbor: Fairfield beats Iona 68-59

  • Allen fouled by Camper and Herbie goes to the line for two free throws. He misses the first and gets a hug from Mamadou, who knows how it feels. He connects on the second and its 66-59 Stags.
  • Camper misses a three and the rebound is tipped out to mid court, where it bounces off of Marty and out of bounds, giving the ball back to the Gaels with 22 seconds left in the game.
  • With 14 seconds left Iona misses a three and Allen secures the rebound and is fouled. He heads to the line and drains both...68-59 Stags.
  • Prodanovic misses a three and Edney grabs the rebound to end the game.

48.6 Remaining; 65-59 Stags

  • Offensive foul called on Evanovich and Iona gets the ball back down four.
  • Mamadou with the steal and an intentional foul on Prodanovic, plus goaltending on the basket and it is good. Mamadou to the line, misses the first free throw and the second. But Fairfield retains possession...65-59 Fairfield in front.
  • Timeout called by the Stags.

1:23 Remaining Second Half; 63-59 Fairfield

  • Marty misses an off balance shot as the clock wears down, but tips the rebound and Evanovich secures it giving the Stags a fresh shot clock.
  • Marty banks in a three and the Stags take a 63-55 lead. His nine points are two off of his season-high, set at Saint Peter's when he scored 11 on Dec. 28.
  • Mamadou checks back in for Johnson as Dwight heads to the line for a 1+1, he hits the first...and the second. 63-57 Stags.
  • Foul on the rebound by Mamadou, his third, and Clarke heads to the line for a 1+1...he drops the first through and the second, 63-59 Stags.
  • Stags just get the ball over the half court line and Han calls a timeout.

3:32 Remaining Second Half; 60-55 Stags

  • Allen knocks down a three and the Stags grab a 52-50 lead and on the other end Marty draws a charge and the Stags regain possession.
  • Mamadou drills a is it good to have him back. 55-50 Stags and Iona calls a timeout.
  • Mamadou had a great game last time at Harbor Yard, scoring 12 against Sacred Heart and seemed poised to be a great sixth man for the Stags, but then he got hurt. Great to see him back and close to full strength, he's fun to watch.
  • A huge screen by Mamadou in the back court stuns an un-expecting Kyle Camper, another play that won't be on the box score but helps a lot.
  • Great look by Mamadou, finding Peanut as the shot clock winds down and he is fouled.
  • Mamadou...Mamadou...Mamadou...seems like all I have been typing, but every play he seems to be doing something. Evanovich checks in for Mamadou and he gets the loudest applause of the afternoon, the fans love him.
  • Peanut blows both free throws and Iona has it back.
  • Prodanovic knocks down a three, his first in awhile and cuts the lead to two, 55-53.
  • Peanut is fouled again and he returns to the line for two free throws...he makes both and its 57-53. Quick breather for Mamadou as he checks back in. No Yorel Hawkins so far this afternoon and he appears to have his hand wrapped on the bench, not sure what is wrong with him.
  • Cooley yells out to the crowd..."Wake up crowd we need you" and the few students in attednance answer back with a Cooley chant. Quiet Sunday afternoon here at the Arena, too bad more students didn't come out. 3:30 game against a rival team, Stags fighting for position, no NFL. Oh well.
  • Cooley removes his jacket and calls on his defense to make as top, which they do and the crowd is at its loudest, still not that loud.
  • O'Sullivan drives the baseline after taking a pass from Allen, scores and is fouled by Dexter Gray and he fouls out...Marty goes to the line for one and he hits it. 60-53 Stags, their biggest lead of the afternoon.
  • Mamadou has some blood on his shorts and he has to swith with Joe Bajda on the sideline...and he has a tough time doing so.
  • On the court...nice play by Han throwing the ball off of Prodanovic and getting the Stags the ball back.

7:49 Remaining Second Half; 50-49 Iona

  • Han drives and lays the ball off of the glass and in for two...45-43 Gaels.
  • Mamadou with a lay-up and is fouled...he misses the free throw, but its a 6-0 runs since Mamadou checked in and the Stags tie the game at 45.
  • Huge block by Peanut, sending it out of bounds, looked like goaltending and Cooley laughs and claps his approval, knowing that was the wrong call.
  • Mamadou screams "Let's go" as the shot clock hits ten...Iona forces a shot and Mamadou pulls down the board.
  • Great drive by Peanut and he lays the ball in to give Fairfield a 47-45 lead.
  • Iona answers back to end the run as Camper hits a three and its 48-7 Iona. But Mamadou returns on the other end with two and its 49-48.
  • Flurry of scoring as Springer pulls down a rebound and tips it back in, 50-49 Iona.
  • The Stags slow down the game after three back and forth possessions...Evanovich misses a three and Mamadou slashes through to grab the rebound, great hustle play and the Stags retain possession.

11:32 Remaining Second Half; 45-41 Iona

  • Han checks back in as Jack Jones informs us he is not hurt. Maybe in Cooley's dog house a bit with the five turnovers? But the Stags need him.
  • Bad shot choice by Peanut as he puts it off of the side of the backboard, but Edney comes up with a jumpball at halfcourt to get the ball back.
  • Nero drives to the basket and picks up a foul on Springer, his third and Nero goes to the line for two...He is short on the first and front rims it, but swishes the second through and its 42-39 Iona.
  • Iona swings the ball around and Gray is open and knocks down a three...45-39 Iona.
  • Edney can't connect on a three and Nero fumbles the rebound out of bounds.
  • The Stags get an offensive foul and a chance to cut into the lead. Mamadou gets off the bench and is set to check in. Good timing, the Stags need some energy, it was around this time in the Manhattan game he checked in and the Stags stormed back to pick up the win.
  • Blocking foul on Nero as he tries to protect the baseline and he checks out, replaced by Mamadou.
  • Mamadou tips the ball up and Peanut grabs the steal.
  • Allen dumps the ball off to Peanut who drives and dunks the ball. 45-41 Iona.
  • Mamadou baits Clarke into driving and he travels. Media timeout.

15:42 Remaining Second Half; 42-38 Iona

  • Quick chat with Mamadou as he stretched on the sideline, he practiced for the first time yesterday and feels good. He is great at motivating his teammates and its good to see him back on the court. As he walked back onto the court he yelled to his team..."Come on white, if you are scared go the F*** home." The young Stags need that kind of kick in the tail.
  • Whoever the mascot is has been doing a great job, more energetic than ever, dancing, talking to kids, what a mascot should do. Mirror photographer Jon Ollwerther thinks he'd make a great Stag, maybe someday his dream will come true.
  • Nero runs the floor and gets a fast break lay-up and the Stags regain the lead 35-34.
  • Dexter Gray with a bucket and foul. He sinks the free throw completing the three-point play and its 37-35 Iona back on top.
  • Stags feel the pressure as the shot clock wears down and Han throws the ball away. He has been struggling a bit more with turnovers lately, that's five on the game now and he takes a seat, while freshman Lyndon Jordan checks in.
  • Gray is fouled and gets two shots...he misses the first, but sinks the second and its 38-35 Iona.
  • Allen knocks down a three from the top of the key to tie the game at 38. Allen with 10 ties for the game-high with A.J.
  • Han is on the bench...not sure why, but the injury may be bugging him. Fairfield turns the ball over, they need him to handle it.
  • Another questionable call, three in a row now, and Prodanovic is fouled by Peanut while taking a three....three shots...makes two of the three and the Gaels have a four point lead at 42-38.

Halftime: Iona 34, Fairfield 33

  • Stags just get ball over the court again, when Allen throws the ball to Evanovich who find s a cutting Anthony Johnson who slams the ball down and is fouled. He misses the free throw, but the rebound is tipped out to Herbie, who finds Evanovich and he misses a three. 29-29.
  • Clarke grabs a rebound and slams the ball down and a la Anthony Johnson is fouled...Unlike A.J. he makes the free throw and the Gaels take a 32-29 lead.
  • Han tries an alley-oop to AJ, but he can't corral it and the Stags turn the ball over.
  • Allen throws up an off balance shot, but it is an airball, but A.J. catches it mid-air and lays it back in. 32-31 Iona.
  • Allen steals the ball but has it stripped right back by Andre Tarver who slams the ball down and its 34-31 Iona.
  • Another leaner by Herbie falls unexpectedly and its 34-33, Stags back down one again.
  • Prodanovic to the line for a 1+1 and he misses the front end. Stags have the final possession with a chance to take a lead into the half.
  • Han misses the three and no one can control the rebound and Iona takes a slight 34-33 lead into the half.

3:44 Remaining First Half; 28-27 Iona

  • Rashon Dwight with a three and its 27-24. The Stags nearly get trapped in the back court, but the Gaels knock the ball out of bounds with 26 seconds on the shot clock.
  • Kelly with a rebound and put back, 27-26, the lead evaporates as quickly as it came, whatever Little Willard said in the uddle worked.
  • Devon Clarke gets a steal and is out ahead of the pack, he lays it in and Han fouls him. Jon is visibly angry with himself, slamming down the ball and saying a four-letter, bad word.
  • Media timeout...Clarke shoots one when we return.

5:14 Remaining First Half; 27-21 Stags

  • Devon Clarke scores and its 22-21 Stags.
  • Han misses a lay-up, but Anthony Johnson follows with a huge dunk follow and its 24-21 Stags.
  • Cooley yells for the Stags to dive for the ball, something I have heard a lot this season.
  • Dapper Cooley watch: A nice pinstriped black suit, white shirt and gold tie. Classy.
  • Nero listens to his coach and dives on the floor to come up with a steal, drawing applause from Ed and the bench.
  • Marty O' is fouled on a three, which he misses, but he will be at the line for three shots. Also the seventh team foul of the half, so that means Fairfield shoots for the final 5:30 of the half. O'Sullivan knocks down all three and the Stags have there biggest lead of the game at 27-21.
  • Offensive foul on Kyle Camper and he can't believe it, but the Stags get the ball back. Little Willard is angry and he calls a time-out to try and settle down his troops.

7:45 Remaining; 22-19 Stags

  • 7-footer John Kelly scores underneath and its 15-13, but Anthony Johnson answers back with a lay-up of his own and its 15-15.
  • Herbie drives and pulls up for a jumper and the Stags take the lead, 17-15.
  • Nice passing by Iona leads to a lay-up for Springer to tie it back up at 17.
  • Steal by Iona and Gray scores, but Han breaks ahead oft the pack and picks up a goaltending call. But he seems to have hurt his leg or ankle and is grimacing a bit on defense.
  • Anthony Johnson with a leaner and its 21-19 Stags.
  • Han appears to be okay as he pushes the ball ahead after a steal and passes off to Nero who is fouled by Dexter Gray.
  • Nero hits the first free throw and misses the second, 22-19 Stags

11:57 Remaining First Half; 13-13

  • Springer finds himself open underneath again and lays it in...he has four and its 12-9 Iona.
  • Edney still a bit trigger happy takes an off-balance jumper from the foul line area, but luckily for the Stags is fouled and he shoots two...and makes both...12-11 Iona.
  • Springer is trapepd by Herbie and Evanovich and dumps the ball to Gray, who steps on the baseline and turns the ball back over to the Stags.
  • This is the second time a Willard has coached in the Harbor this season...hopefully the Stags have better luck than they did against Kevin's father, Ralph and the Holy Cross Crusaders, who knocked off the Stags 67-54 on Nov. 13.
  • One of two free throws for Iona and its 13-11 now. Mamadou checks in for Edney, his first appearance in the Stags lineup at home since Nov. 18 against Sacred Heart.
  • Evanovich hits a jumper falling down and ties the score at 13.
  • Huge block by Anthony Johnson as he rises over everyone to swat the ball out of bounds. Plays like that make him look amazing, he just needs to find some consistency and he could be dominant in this league.
  • Edney and Anthony Johnson check in as Evanovich and Devin Johnson take a seat.
  • Nero lays the ball in to cut the score back to one, 10-9 and we have a media timeout.
  • Devin Johnson has four points, the most he has scored since the first game of the season against Wake Forest when he scored six. He also played a season-high 21 minutes against Wake, but also played 20 at Iona, so we should be seeing a lot of him tonight. Although Mamadou should steal some of those minutes, as long as he is healthy enough to play.
  • Around the MAAC: Marist is clinging to a 57-53 lead at St. Peter's.

16:08 Remaining First Half; 10-7 Iona

  • Should be a good match-up this afternoon, Fairfield needs this win to get on a roll. I haven't done this in awhile, but Keith is trying to be Bode Miller, so I'm back on blog duty, should be a fun ride.
  • An interesting performance of the National Anthem. Faster than I have ever heard it before. Like Keith has said before, where do they find these people?
  • The house lights dim...for five seconds, why not keep them down during intros with a spotlight? Oh well.
  • Milan Prodanovic starts quickly with a three...he had a career-high five threes last time against the Stags. Edney seems a bit limpy and Devin Johnson comes off the bench.
  • Fairfield catches a breath when Gary Springer blows a lay-up and then picks up a foul on the rebound.
  • Butterfly bandage on the knee, but Edney is heading back next break.
  • Sweet pass from Han to a slashing Devin Johnson who lays it in...3-2 Iona.
  • The Gaels answer right back as Springer lays it in for two. 5-2 Iona.
  • Devin Johnson scores again and its 5-4.
  • Prodanovic hits his second three of the game, not a good sign and its 8-4.
  • Herbie answers back with a three and Cooley screams to his defense on the other end, but to no avail as Dexter Gray drives the baseline and scores. Cooley screams for a timeout as the Stags go down 10-7.

Welcome to the Harbor

Welcome to the Harbor as Fairfield returns from a three game road-trip to take on Iona, who they lost to back on January 18.

The Stags will go with a starting lineup of Jonathan Han, Herbie Allen, Warren Edney, Mike Evanovich, and Greg Nero.

Allen is coming off of his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds against Manhattan on Friday night. Look for Mamadou Diakhate and his fierce defensive attitude to play a big role in this game. Neither Allen nor Mamadou played last time out against Iona.

-Tom Cleary

Friday, February 8, 2008

Final from Draddy Gym: 66-61 Stags

  • Final from Draddy Gym: Fairfield 66, Manhattan 61. After Mamdou drained both free throws, Antoine Pearson's last attempt at a three falls short. Fairfield wins it, and does so in dramatic fashion on an unreal comeback.
  • Both shots fall for Diakhate, and this one is all but over. 66-61 Stags.
  • Fittingly, it's Mamadou Diakhate with a chance to put this game to bed with two free throws on the way. 5 seconds left on the clock
  • A kick-out from Devin Austin led to a great look (wide-open) for Darryl Crawford. Crawford, though, missed the three wide left. Mamadou, of all people, went up for the board and is fouled from behind.
  • Here's the scene: Manhattan inbounds the ball at half-court following a timeout. There's a little over 16 seconds to go. Fairfield needs a stop to win. Manhattan needs a three to tie, or perhaps a quick basket and a foul. Time will tell.

- Keith Connors

64-61 Stags; :16.2 in the 2nd

  • Manhattan takes a timeout to regroup and call a play. :16.2 seconds remaining in regulation
  • Han hits 'em both - and Fairfield is up three. 64-61 Stags.
  • Han hits the first - a big one for Fairfield. Now it's all gravy.
  • Cooley more than likely called up a play in that timeout, but it's not even necessary. Han is held by Chris Smith and heads to the line with a chance to put the Stags up three. 19 seconds on the clock.
  • Stags 62, Manhattan 61 with :29 to play. Evanovich to in-bound from half-court.
  • The Scene: Fairfield is up one with 29 seconds to play. The shot clock reads 19, giving Manhattan roughly ten seconds to make a shot to win/tie the game if they can contain the Stags here. If Fairfield hits a jumper or grab an offensive board, this one is all but over.
  • A.J. grabs a board off of a Smith miss, but then fumbles it away. A tip-in from Austin keeps the Jaspers within one. 62-61 Stags with :29.6 to go.
  • Mike Evanovich hits both shots, and Mamadou comes in for some help on the defensive end. 62-59 stags.
  • Evanovich pump fakes, attempts to drive, but is held on the floor by Darryl Crawford. That'll be two shots for Evanovic
  • Han breaks the press and Fairfield sets up a play up one-point with 1:05 to go.

- Keith Connors

60-59 Stags; 1:24 in the 2nd

  • Antoine Pearson his a long three-pointer (nearly draws a foul on contact, too). Manhattan calls for a quick timeout to regroup. 60-59 Stags.
  • One shot for Mamadou falls in. 60-56 Stags.
  • Brandon Adams takes offense to some of Mamadou's defensive tactics and takes a swing at him after a board. I think it was a punch, it may have been another intentional elbow. In any event, Fairfield gets another chance to add a few points from the line. Mamadou does it again.
  • Pearson breaks Fairfield's attempted help/slides on defense and heads Brandon Adams for a dunk. 59-56 Stags.
  • Han resists shooting as Manhattan's cheering section tried to pull a fake with the shot clock. Instead, an attempt to drive results in another foul call. Mamadou again comes in for defensive assistance.
  • After the Stags regroup, Han and company break Manhattan's press with ease. A basket here would be big.
  • Several missed second-chances fall in and out for the Jaspers under the glass. In the end, it is Marty O'Sullivan emerging with a rebound and a timeout call as he was falling out of bounds. Cooley nods in approval.
  • Devin Austin drives the lane and draws a foul. Austin converts both free throws to keep this one tight. 58-54 Stags.
  • Allen's second free throw is nothing but net. Stags but six here with 3:20 to play in regulation. 58-52 Stags.
  • Herbie's first shot hits the rim in every which way, and finally bounces in. Meanwhile, Mamdou Diakhate checks back in for defense.
  • Herbie Allen is held on the floor on an inbound pass. Seven fouls on Manhattan, so Herbie gets a one-and-one opportunity.
  • One-of-two for Crawford from the line. Hey, at least one Crawford in New York hits shots. 56-52 Stags.
  • Fairfield had plenty of games like this last season. No business winning, terrible first half, rough start after the break. Yet, in many cases, the Stags battled and clawed their way back into the game. Tonight, it may be happening again - for the first time in a long ime
  • Pep Band playlist tonight: 'Monty Python', "The Time Warp", and "The Chicken Dance". Check, please?

- K.C.

56-51 Stags; 3:33 in the 2nd

  • Media timeout. What a game here at Draddy.
  • Marty O'Sullivan airballs a shot with the clock winding down, and then reaches on the floor. 56-51 Jaspers - and a man heads to the line (Fairfield has 10 fouls)
  • 21-4 run for Fairfield with 4:00 to play. Wow.
  • Herbie Allen mishandles a pass from Marty, but tiptoes his way on the base line and keeps it end. Anthony Johnson ends up with it and banks the basketball in. On the other side, Fairfield manages another defensive stop. 56-51 Stags.
  • A near turnover for Fairfield bounces back their way, and Mike Evanovich makes the Jaspers pay for their mistakes. Three more for Mikey. 54-51 Stags.
  • The Stags get a defensive stop, Mamadou checks out. Job well done, sir.
  • Mamadou, the man who started it all a few minutes earlier, gets back on the court for Fairfield. Such is the Stags' rotation, given Cooley's constant emphasis on team defense and composure on the floor.
  • Niagara and Rider are dead-locked late in the game. We'll keep you posted.

- K.C.

51-51; 7:04 in the 2nd

  • Media timeout. Things are getting interesting here.
  • Jamal Ferguson goes the length of the court and gets the ball to fall in. Moments later, Jon Han gets whistled for an offensive foul - he clearly disagrees. 51-51.
  • Evanovich hits a leaner; a rare shot for him to take, but Fairfield will take anything at this point. 51-49 Stags.
  • Andrew Gabriel misses the first foul shot, but makes amends by converting the second. Stags and Jaspers tied here in the Bronx. 49-49.
  • Nero is called for his fourth personal foul - which could influence the tide of this game very quickly. Marty O'Sullivan checks in for him.
  • One-of-two for Darryl Crawford. Manhattan retakes the lead, but no for long. Greg Nero gets a feed after the Stags' push the ball fast up court. First lead in a while for Fairfield. 49-48 Stags.

- K.C.

47-47; 10:06 in the 2nd

  • Timeout taken by Barry Rohrssen to try to calm the storm. 47-47 with 10:06 to go in regulation
  • Han hits Herbie Allen in transition, and Herbie buries the shot. The Fairfield faithful here in Draddy Gym respond with a standing ovation. 15-o run here for Fairfield, and it could not have come at a better time.
  • One goes in for Han, the other bounces around and is eventually controlled by Fairfield. Evanovich forces a three that misses. 47-44 Jaspers.
  • Jon Han drives and is fouled hard by Chris Smith. Two shots for the junior point guard.
  • Antoine Pearson's open three falls short, and A.J. grabs the board. Stags' ball with all of the momentum in the Bronx on their side right now.
  • Herbie Allen makes it a four-point play with an extra foul shot. 47-43 Jaspers.
  • Fairfield has fought its way back into the game - thanks to a spark from Mamadou and some timely continuity. Making it competitive is not enough, though. Make no mistake: this game is a vital one. A must-win, if you will.

- Keith Connors

47-42 Jaspers; 11:49 in the 2nd

  • Timeout Manhattan on the floor.
  • An airball from Austin leads to a Fairfield fast-break. Jon Han hits Herbie Allen, who is told by his point guard to take the "shot". Herbie listens, hits the trey, and draws a foul along with it. Has the tide turned? 47-42 Jaspers.
  • A defensive stop here for Fairfield off of a Manhattan timeout would be important.

- K.C.

47-39 Jaspers; 12:19 in the 2nd

  • Herbie feed the ball to Nero in the post, and it was too easy after that. Seconds later, Han forces a turnover and Anthony Johnson finishes with an emphatic dunk. HUGE momentum change in the game there, all from Mamdou defense and an untimely elbow. 47-39 Jaspers.
  • Mamadou plays some unorthodox, annoying defense on Devin Austin, who elbows him and is called for an offensive foul. They don't call him the Claude Lemieux of MAAC basketball for nothing, folks. Fairfield ball.
  • Offensive foul called on Greg Nero. When it rains, it pours. 47-35 Jaspers.
  • Han's floater misses, Stags' swipes at the ball from Pearson misses. The only thing that hit was a Jaspers' three. 47-35 Jaspers.
  • Rashad Green buries a three after some miscommunication on defensive slides. 44-35 Jaspers.
  • Jon Han finally gets the Stags back in the swing of things with a three. 41-35 Jaspers.
  • Devin Austin's turnaround in the post is good to go. Jaspers now lead, 41-32. Oh, boy.
  • Dapper Cooley Watch: Well, he had a grey suit. No longer, as is the case when he gets angry when the Stags underperform. Blue shirt and a blue/red striped tie. Still classy, but very mad.

- K.C.

39-32 Jaspers; 15:57 in the 2nd

  • Media timeout.
  • Offensive foul on Edney = Cooley's jacket is finally dismissed in anger.
  • One free throw from Pearson extends Manhattan's lead to seven. 39-32 Jaspers.
  • Mamadou sighting here in the Bronx. It's his first action in weeks - Cooley must be looking for a defensive spark.
  • Draddy's Wireless kicks me off for a few seconds, but here's a recap: Manhattan isu up by six with 16:30 to play. Cooley has already burned two timeout trying to rally the troops. Fairfield must avoid falling in a hole early; the last time they traveled south on the Hutch it did not end well.
- K.C.

33-30 Jaspers; 19:05 in the 2nd

  • Cooley is not amused, and calls a timeout to talk to his boys.
  • Laurence Jolicoeur finishes a fastbreak with a lay-up. 33-30 Jaspers.
  • Stags and Jaspers trade a pair of three's as the second half gets underway. 31-30 Jaspers.
  • Oddities and Such: Herbie Allen leads the Stags with 9 rebounds! 9! In other news, Fairfield out rebounded the Jaspers by a 22-7 mark in the first half. Yet, the Stags find themselves down one at half.
  • Cool Eli Manning "CHAMPS!" poster from the Daily News on the Jaspers' S.I.D. office. Gotta love the G-Men.
  • Other MAAC action: Niagara's currently leading Rider, 37-36 at half.
  • Stat o' the Half: Manhattan took seven threes - in the first 8:30 of the game. Barry Rohrseen and the Jaspers clearly have a gameplan, and it's to hurt Fairfield on the perimeter. With a one-point lead at half against a superior team, I'd say it's working thus far.
  • Jaspers' dance team is a worldly group. First, Myley Cyrus. Now, we get Rhianna and Brittney Spears. Can't wait to see what's next!

- Keith Connors

Halftime from Draddy Gym: 28-27 Jaspers

  • Halftime from Draddy Gym: Manhattan 28, Fairfield 27
  • Manhattan heaves a half-court pass that is intercepted by Evanovich. Mike tries a long-distance three, but no luck tonight.
  • Han hits zero on a lob pass, which gave him great position underneath. Nero lays it in with five left to pull the Stags to within one. 28-27 Jaspers.
  • 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' music from the pep band. I'm pretty sure I'm the only one my age who picked that up too. Props to them, I guess?

- Keith Connors

28-25 Jaspers; :31.5 in the 1st

  • Cooley yells for a timeout to draw up a play with 31 seconds left in the half.
  • Antoine Pearson's three-point shot goes in-and-out with :40 to go. A.J. pulls down the rebound.
  • Herbie tries to force a shot against Patrick Bouli, but is denied twice. Evanovich grabs the board, but steps on the line. Jaspers' ball.
  • Brandon Adams does not convert a fast-break for Manhattan, and he's called for a foul. Stags' ball with 1:25 to go in the half.
  • Both shots are good from Crawford. 28-25 Jaspers
  • Mike Evanovich is the culprit of a shooting foul as Darryl Crwaford got off a leaner. Two shots for Crawford.
  • The 'Norbit' Look-a-like of the Year Award: Brandon Adams.
  • After Pearson misses a wide-open three, Fairfield fails to capitalize and gives the ball right back on a Peanut offensive foul.
  • Herbie Allen takes a long, NBA-range three - and he had to with the clock winding down. The shot bounces high and hits off of the top of the glass. Jaspers' ball.
  • Pearson misses a long, NBA-range three on a questionable take. Stags' ball.
  • The Manhattan Pep Band. Population: 10.

- Keith Connors

26-25 Jaspers; 3:56 in the 1st

  • Han gets called for an iffy foul; Cooley wants some answers as the game goes to timeout.
  • Goofball MAAC Player of the Year Award: Brandon Adams. And that's without the protective glasses.
  • Pearson called for a carry on the ensuing possession. Stags' ball.
  • Brandon Adams, rec specs and all, puts the ball in and draws the foul from Evanovich. He adds the free throw for an old-fashioned three. 26-25 Jaspers.
  • Evanovich passes from the post to Yorel Hawkins, who is whistled for a travel. Whammy. Jaspers' ball.
  • A pass to Nero goes off of his foot and rolls out of bounds. He gets subbed out literally one second later. Appears like he's still in Cooley's doghouse.
  • Nero's first show is good; the second is off but the Stags grab the board.
  • Nero draws a foul on a post-up. He seems to be asserting himself early and often tonight. Two shots for Greger.
  • Basket from Manhattan pulls the Jaspers to within one. 24-23 Stags.
  • Traveling violation on Nero as the defender fell on the post-up. Jaspers' ball.
  • Six days 'til pitchers and catchers report to Legends Field in Tampa. Sorry, I couldn't resist. After all, the House that Ruth built is only a few minutes away! Same with the New House that Jeter is Building.
  • - taking over Iona, and now they're invading Manhattan. They want you!
  • Lady Stags are in trouble: down six points with only a minute to play. Hopefully they can show a little Siena magic circa Women's MAAC tournament last year. (Too soon for a joke?)

- Keith Connors

24-21 Stags; 7:56 in the 1st

  • Warren Edney has a tough look, but hits a three with a defender in his face. Nice work from Fairfield working the ball on the perimeter. 24-21 Stags.
  • Darryl Crawford hits a three on a pretty kick-out pass. 21-21.
  • Ladies and gentlemen, we have a Marty O'Sullivan sighting! Marty hits a shot two steps in from the three-point line and buries it. Good look, good shot.
  • Manhattan has been using a half-court trap into a 2-3 zone against the Stags thus far tonight. Nothing new for Cooley and the gang.
  • Peanut Johnson misses a twenty-footer. Ouch. Not sure that's what Fairfield had drawn up on that possession.
  • Smith knocks down a deuce from the line. 19-18 Stags.
  • Peanut looks to have a clean block, but Marty O'Sullivan draws the whistle for a blocking foul. Chris Smith now turns a missed lay-in into free throws.
  • Nick Walsh hits a three in the corner quickly. Fairfield never even got a chance to set up their defense. 19-16 Stags.
  • Edney only converts on one. Can the Stags consistently start making free throws?
  • Warren Edney pump fakes, drives the lane, and gets the call. That's exactly what a slasher like Edney is designed to do in Cooley's BC flex offense. He'll go to the line for two.
  • Cooley seems to have some sort of hand injury. Not sure where that came from. Hmmm..
  • Shoutout to Ernie in the Manhattan S.I.D. department. He brighten up Tom and I this evening.
  • The Lady Stags are in triple overtime with MAAC rival Iona right now over in New Rochelle. Big game for Frager and Co. We'll keep you posted on the update.

- Keith Connors

17-13 Stags; 11:23 in the 1st

  • Herbie Allen gets in on the scoring hits a three of his own. 17-13 Stags
  • Evanovich tries a catch-and-shoot quick three and misses long. After an offensive board from Anthony Johnson, Evanvovich tries his favorite move again - but is called with a travel. Jaspers ball.
  • Ferguson and Anthony Johnson struggle for a rebound, with Manhattan gaining possession after a timeout on the floor.
  • Evanvoich pulls the trigger fast and nails a three. 14-13 Stags.
  • Antoine Pearson is the beneficiary of strong transition defense and an untimely Stags' turnover. It was a 3-on-none for Manhattan.
  • Jamal Ferguson works his magic again with another trey - this time in the corner. 11-11 here at Draddy.
  • Han keeps the zone honest again by throwing an alley oop, this time to Anthony Johnson. A definite Cooley trait is to throw the alley oop pass to keep the zone back a bit. Nicely done, boys. 11-8 Stags.
  • Han tries to throw an alley oop pass from well beyond the arc, which draws a foul on Manhattan as Hawkins went up to grab it. Stags' retain, and Manhattan is fourced to sun Laurence Jolicoeur out.
  • Jamal Ferguson breaks Fairfield's trap-zone D with a three. 9-8 Stags.
  • Draddy Gym is half-full - a nice, little facility here in the Bronx. A pretty, city ca
  • Four three's to start the game for the Jaspers. Looks like they've done their homework on Fairfield - given the Stags' M.O. to be poor on perimeter defense. However, to be fair, Manhattan is likely not the kind of team that can play a fast-paced game with Fairfield and expect to win.

- K.C.

9-6 Stags; 15:37 in the 1st

  • Timeout on the court.
  • Jon Han answers the Manhattan score with a three-point shot. Quick trigger from Han - a great sign for Fairfield if he's good. 9-5 Stags.
  • A Nero miss leads to an Antoine Pearson drive and lay-up. He was matched-up with Nero, and Pearson is the far quicker of the two. Nice call from the Jaspers' offense.
  • Nero hits one-of-two. Stags lead, 6-3.
  • Nero gets the ball in the post and is fouled after a nice turnaround move. Nero heads to the line for a pair of shots.
  • After two minutes of nothing, the Stags finally break-out. Yorel Hawkins buries a three, and, moments later, Fairfield forces a turnover. Nero finishes on a fastbreak look. 5-3 Stags.
  • 3-0 Jaspers after an early three-pointer from Laurence Jolicoeur.
  • Missed a little of the action due to some technical difficulties (a.k.a We didn't know that password for wireless at Draddy) but now we're back!
  • Pre-game meal: New Yawk pizza. Now that's what I'm talkin' about. World's best.

- K.C.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Conversation with Cooley 2/7/08

On this weekend's performance..."It really shows the signs of a team that is growing. We showed we can play against the best teams in the league and we showed that we can play against teams that struggle in the league."

On the Drexel game..."I like the matchup. It gives us a chance to get into the Philadelphia market and the alumni in the Northeast to continue to watch us play another non-conference game. I know Bruiser Flint, he is a very good guy and does a great job with a team. He is a very defensive minded coach and we will have our hands full against a tough CAA opponent."

On Jonathan Han's weekend (14 against Canisius, 16 and 9 against Niagara)..."We need Jon to be an offensive threat for us. He is our leading scorer and he doesn't even look to score which is really different. But we want him to take the right shots, when the ball is being moved, we run somethings to get Jon the ball. All and all we need him to be a little more aggressive with the ball."

On Manhattan game Friday night..."We want to make sure come March 7-10 we are playing our best basketball and playing against Manhattan on the road is going to be a very difficult game, you know they have had their struggles this year along with many of us in the league, so we are going to have to go there and hope to eek out a one, or two point win."

-Tom Cleary