When the Fairfield Men’s Basketball team suffered a tough loss to the first place Iona Gaels, the disappointment could not have been more visible. But after the dominating 81-53 victory the Stags had against the Marist Red Foxes this past Sunday, it’s clear that this team has no limitations when everyone is clicking simultaneously.
Four players scored in double figures for the Stags as they were firing on all cylinders in the second half against Marist, shooting a remarkable 81 percent from the three-point line and scoring 48 points.
Sophomore forward Maurice Barrow stood out for the Stags as he tied a career high 19 points and hauled in eight rebounds.
Coach Sydney Johnson liked what he saw out of his squad as he continues to adjust and work with his players, each with multiple different skill-sets.
“We struggled a bit in the first half but after the big shot Sean made, we came out after the break and were rolling,” said Johnson. “Our depth sticks out on defense, but offensively it’s all about mixing and matching. We can do a lot of different things and we have certain guys who can score in more than one way.”
In a season filled with many up and down moments, senior guard Sean Crawford has played tremendously off the bench. Although his numbers on the stat sheet may not stick out, his presence as a dedicated leader on the floor is undeniable.
“Sean’s impact on the team predates my arrival. The players on this team respect Sean and his constant energy,” Johnson said. “Whether it’s diving on the floor for loose balls or making clutch three’s, it’s obvious to the fans and supporters.”
With the MAAC schedule well underway, Coach Johnson and the Stags have played enough conference games to realize how deep the league is. No team is safe, and there is a constant pressure to perform game by game.
“There are a number of very good and capable teams in our league. The coaching is outstanding and the solid guard play many teams possess have allowed them to execute,” said Johnson. “That special thing (winning the MAAC tournament) can happen to anybody and that’s something we’re aware of.”
Fairfield will be able to enjoy three home games in a row as they continue to make their mark on the MAAC conference. Nevertheless, Coach Johnson maintains his game-by-game attitude, as there is no rest for the weary.
“We still want to take things day by day. It’s going to come down to how we prepare ourselves daily. Our chances have been significantly improved when we have a great week of practices. We do anything less and we are going to be disappointed,” said Johnson.
Fairfield will take on Niagara University this Friday night at 7 p.m. at the Arena at Harbor Yard.