On Sunday, Jan. 26 George Bisacca Court at Alumni Hall hosted a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men’s basketball matchup between the Fairfield University Stags (8-11,4-4 MAAC) and the Canisius College Griffins (8-12, 3-6 MAAC). That afternoon, money made from donations and raffle tickets sold were then donated to the Norma Pfriem Breast Center in recognition of National Coaches vs. Cancer week. The stands were packed, and each of the 2,479 seats in Alumni Hall were filled with roaring fans.
Fairfield’s free throw accuracy consistently remained something to praise, as they recorded a free throw percentage of 90 (9-10) in the first 20 minutes of play, and 90.91% (10-11) in the second half.
At the halftime mark, the Griffins were in the lead by a mere two points, 30-28, and the game was anyone’s to take. The Stags sensed the urgency of such a close contest and surged in the second half. Ultimately, they claimed the victory after a back-and-forth match with eight lead changes and narrowly upended the Griffins, 63-55.
Junior Jesus Cruz tallied a game-high of 21 points, making last weekend’s game marked his fourth 20-point game of the season, and the seventh of his career at Fairfield. Cruz’s contributions came largely from his precision from the line, where he made each of his 13 free throw attempts.
Rookie Chris Maidoh had nine rebounds, marking a game high for the forward.
Guard Landon Taliaferro ‘20 amassed 16 points in the 35 minutes he had on the court. He was instrumental in shifting the trajectory of the game when, with just over 12 minutes left of play, he gained possession of the ball and pioneered an upswing that the Stags desperately needed. The home team was down, 43-37, when Taliaferro’s jumper marked the beginning of what would be Fairfield’s 18-5 run. He scored a total of eight points, which all came from inside the three-point line, and put Fairfield in the lead, 55-48.
The Griffins scrambled to regain the upper hand, as they had five times that afternoon, but with 2:11 left in the half, their scoring ceased and Fairfield finished them off. The buzzer sounded with the Stags up by eight points, 63-55.
The Stags are slated to play the Rider University Broncs (11-8, 5-4 MAAC) next in Lawrenceville, NJ on Wednesday, Jan. 29 at 7:00 p.m.
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