The Fairfield Stags men’s basketball team garnered a win on senior night, Friday March 1, with a 59-44 victory over the Marist Red Foxes. The last home game of the season, could not have gone any better for Fairfield, as they sent the seniors out on a high note.
“Tonight was special,” said Jonathan Kasibabu ‘19 after the game. “You don’t know how fast this [his career] goes. I remember like it was yesterday when me and Matija stood right over there on this court and shot together the first day we came on campus,” explained Kasibabu, “And walking to the bench after getting the W and hearing the crowd’s support was very special to me.”
It was fitting that on senior night that all three seniors started, and all contributed to the victory. Fairfield was lead by Kasibabu, who would not be denied in his last home game at Fairfield. Kasibabu tied his career high with 22 points on 10-17 shooting, while also adding 11 boards to set the tone for the Stags. Senior Matija Milin put up double digit points for the first time all season, putting up 12 points on 5-8 shooting. Milin also grabbed four rebounds and dished out three assists. Senior Thomas Nolan played a season high nine minutes in his first start of the season.
Kasibabu and Milin scored each of Fairfield’s first 18 points, sending a sold out Alumni Hall crowd into a frenzy. The Stags dominated this game from start to finish, never trailing at all. The Stags went into the locker room after the first half up 32-20 while shooting a remarkable 50 percent from the field. Fairfield kept padding that lead in the second half, and extended their lead to 19 points after a 7-0 run to start the half, capped by a jumper from Kasibabu. Marist cut the lead all the way down to 5, but a 10-0 run finish by the Stags capped off their victory.
Head coach Sydney Johnson had a lot to say about his senior group. “All year, I’ve told anyone that would listen how important Jonathan is to this team,” said Coach Johnson.
“We can’t do anything without Jon offensively or defensively because he is that much of an influence on the team. Matija is team first, all day every day. All he cares about is winning. It’s been fun to see his impact on the guys because he just cares about the team,” explained Johnson. “Tom is one of my favorite people because he has work hard for us. He celebrates the success of his teammates more than anyone. And because he plays so hard every day, I’m going to miss him.”
Next up for the Stags is the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament that kicks off on Thurs. March 7 against the Manhattan Jaspers (10-20, 8-10). Now the success of the season is on the line every night, it is truly high stakes for the Fairfield Stags.