On Friday, Feb. 4, the Fairfield University men’s basketball team fell by only three points to the Monmouth University Hawks, who were able to secure a buzzer-beater with .6 seconds left to complete the game in regulation.
According to the game’s official recap page from FairfieldStags.com, the Stags were shaky when attempting to hold onto a lead against their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference competitor. At the end of the first half, they trailed 21-26, even though they were able to outscore the Hawks 35-33 in the second frame. Unfortunately, their impressive second half was not enough to complete the win.
With their win, Monmouth University currently stands in fourth place in the MAAC men’s basketball standings, whereas Fairfield fell to the eighth slot.
On a much more positive note, many of Fairfield’s players proved themselves on the court under the Friday night lights. First-year TJ Long, Graduate Student Jesus Cruz and Supreme Cook ‘24 took up most of the point-scoring responsibilities, with 18, 12 and 11 points respectively, according to the game’s box score.
According to the same recap, Long’s night continued in an impressive fashion; he was able to score four three-point shots on seven total attempts and had one block, one assist and seven rebounds. Long proved himself to be one of the best all-around players on the court for the night.
Cruz and Cook both had themselves quite the game as well. Each player posted three rebounds on the night. Cruz additionally tallied two assists.
An important statistic to look at from this game is the total number of points produced by players who came off the bench. The Stags were able to come up with 32 points from players who came off the bench, whereas the Hawks were only able to secure three of their own. This is a very good sign for Fairfield since it proves the worth of the roster’s depth.
More recently, on Feb. 6, the Stags took on the visiting Siena College Saints at Webster Bank Arena. The Stags unfortunately came up short by a score of 62-56.
Besides a nine-point performance by Cook, some other players had their turn to shine for the Stags. Graduate Student Taj Benning posted a team-high ten points on Sunday afternoon; other impressive performances included an eight-point afternoon for Chris Maidoh ‘23 and a seven-point showing for Jake Wojcik ‘22.
In their last eight contests versus each other, the Stags have not been able to stifle the Saints, who have won all of their contests since Feb. 4, 2019. Fairfield will look to next season to finally snap the streak.
After a three-day break, the Stags will face off at home yet again, this time versus the Quinnipiac University Bobcats on Feb. 9, 2022 at 7:00 p.m. The game can be streamed live on ESPN.