Peter Caty/The Mirror

The 2010-11 men’s basketball season started in a proper fashion Saturday afternoon at the Mohegan Sun Arena.

The Stags defeated cross-town rival Sacred Heart 62-45.

The game kicked off the Connecticut 6 Classic, a tripleheader featuring six Division I teams hailing from Connecticut.

Sophomores Derek Needham and Colin Nickerson led the way for Fairfield with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

After falling behind by six just 1:30 into the half, Fairfield rebounded nicely, starting with a Needham jumper to get Fairfield on the board.

The Stags especially hit their stride midway through the half, culminating with an 11 minute,  22-5 run that brought the crowd to their feet with just over three minutes left to play in the first half.

Nickerson put on quite a show during the run, adding two layups within 30 seconds of another, and finishing with three steals.

From there, it was smooth sailing as Ryan Olander ’12 pulled down eight rebounds, rejected three shots and added a thunderous alley-oop dunk in the second half from Needham.

All the while, the Stags did a great job containing the Pioneer offensive attack limiting them to just 31.5 percent shooting.

Pioneer point guard, Jerrell Thompson, was frustrated throughout the entire evening because of foul trouble, while Needham finished with 13 points on 5-13 shooting.

Although it deemed a neutral site, the Stags felt right at home, going ahead by as much as 20 points with 1:51 to play.

Fairfield never trailed from 14:21 on left in the first half.

A loyal fan of the men’s basketball team David Brancati ’11 said, “I can’t wait to watch this team on our home court.”

The Stags play their first home game at the Arena at Harbor Yard against St. Joesph’s University on Nov 23.

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