The Fairfield University men’s basketball team had themselves a strong weekend, with a 74-68 victory over Canisius College on the road on Friday, Dec. 3.
Graduate Students Caleb Green and Jesus Cruz both had stellar nights, with 14 and 16 points respectively, according to FairfieldStags.com.
In conference play, the Stags now improve to a 1-0 record. Their next game, which will also be taking place in the state of New York on Sunday, Dec. 5, will be hosted by Niagara University. In this second Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference matchup, the Stags will look to improve to 2-0 in-conference under the leadership of Cruz, Green and other upperclassmen on the squad.
After the first half of the game, the Stags did not relent on their pressure against the Griffins. According to the official box score, the Stags were able to hold a 37-36 lead going into the second half of the game, and were able to score another 37 after halftime compared to Canisius’s 32.
Green and Cruz had a very productive night behind the three-point line, where they both attempted three shots and made two. Among the scoring mix as well was Chris Maidoh ‘23, who made four buckets out of five total attempts. Graduate student Taj Benning and Supreme Cook ‘24 hauled in most of the rebounds for the team, with ten and eight, respectively.
Head coach Jay Young acknowledged the success of his team this past weekend, especially in an away-game environment. “Any road win is a good win in college basketball, and a conference road win is even better and even tougher to come by,” Young stated in an official press release from FairfieldStags.com.
The Stags and Griffins have faced off 91 times total, with the Stags taking the win in 51 of those matches. In back-to-back home games at Alumni Hall on Feb. 19 and 20 of 2021, Fairfield and Canisius split the decision, each taking one win apiece. Fairfield has now won two straight against the Griffins. The two will face off again at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Conn. on Monday, Feb. 14, 2022 at 7 p.m., which falls in the middle of a long list of in-conference home games in Bridgeport.
On Sunday, Dec. 5, the Stags traveled to Niagara University to face off against the Purple Eagles in an in-conference matchup. The Stags prevailed yet again, completing a weekend sweep against their New York competitors.
Just like the game against Canisius College, Fairfield went into the second half of the game holding a lead, this one by a score of 35-33, according to the official recap. With a final score of 81-71, Fairfield kept the pressure up the entire time and did not let go of their lead.
As the floodgates have begun to open for MAAC games, the standings have begun to fill in. With their two wins in the conference, Fairfield is currently tied for first in the division with Iona College and Monmouth University.
Caleb Green posted another incredible 16-point performance on Sunday, with teammate Zach Crisler ‘23 netting 14 of his own.
On Wednesday, Dec. 8, the Stags will host the College of the Holy Cross at home in Webster Bank Arena at 7 p.m. The last time the two played each other, Fairfield was able to sneak away with a 68-63 victory, so this matchup is sure to be an exciting one.