On Friday, Nov. 11, the Fairfield Stags men’s basketball team fell short in their second game of the year losing to the University of New Hampshire 83-71 making them 0-2 to start off their season.
Fairfield was never able to pull ahead either being tied or down for the entire game. Both teams’ offenses fired on all cylinders throughout the first half. Ten minutes in, the Stags stood at just a three-point deficit keeping up with New Hampshire. The Wildcats then went on an 8-0 run and continued to dominate for most of the rest of the first half. Fairfield was down 14 towards the end of the half but they were able to muster up some offense to make it an eight-point margin with a score of 43-35 at half in the game’s official recap.
The Stags fought to come back at the start of the second half and got the score to 48-42 with some momentum. However, the Wildcats responded to the Stag’s fiery start to the second half with an 18-8 run including a 7-0 run to end it making the score 66-50 with just under nine minutes remaining. The Stag’s offense picked up late in the second half but defensively they could not stop the Wildcats from draining shots left and right. The Stags couldn’t muster a comeback and fell 83-71.
Fairfield was led by graduate student Caleb Fields who started off the season hot with 19 points, going seven-for-eleven from the field, seven boards and three steals against the Wildcats along with 14 points in Fairfield’s opening game. Senior Allan Jeanne-Rose also had 10 points, seven boards and four assists including going six-for-six from the line. Fairfield also got some help off the bench from James Johns Jr. ‘26 and Brycen Goodine ‘23, Johns Jr. played 21 minutes and put up 13 points and two boards, going two-for-three from the three-point line. Goodine had 10 points with three boards, also going two-for-three from outside the arc.
The Stags played a better first half than their second shooting-wise. In the first half, they went 11-for-23, shooting 47.8% from the field and 5-for-10 from three. The second half, however, would see them shooting just 42.9% from the field and 22.2% from three, going two-for-nine. One positive from this game is the much better Fairfield free-throw shooting, this game saw their free-throw percentage at 83.3% compared to their first game against Wake Forest where they shot 52.9% from the line according to the game’s official box score.
The story of the game, though, was not Fairfield’s offense missing shots, but rather the Wildcat’s offense barely missing. The Wildcats shot an even 50% from the field in the first half followed by 56.5% in the second. Neither of these is very impressive. However, their 53.3% and 55.6% shooting from the three won them the game with 13 total three-throws made. They shot a higher percentage from outside the arc than they did inside with 54.2% total from three and 52.8% from the field. The Wildcat’s impressive shooting display gave them the edge in this game.
“We knew that one of the keys for them was to knock down a lot of threes, and unfortunately for us, they executed and were able to do exactly that,” said Head Coach Jay Young in the game’s official recap. “I’m proud to see our guys continue to fight back, but UNH always had an answer. Credit to Coach Herrion and UNH for the way that they played, but certainly a frustrating day for us.”