By Bill Hamm
February 13, 2013 8:25 PM

Siena will look to end its three game losing skid when they take on Fairfield in a Valentine’s Day matchup. The Saints are in desperate need of a win with any loss or win by Manhattan or Fairfield will relegate the Saints to the opening round of the MAAC Tournament. With four games to play the Saints chances of finishing in the top 6 have all but evaporated, and a more disappointing goal of avoiding finishing in 10th has emerged. The Saints enter the game at 6-19, 4-10 in the MAAC, only one game ahead of last place Saint Peter’s.

The Saints and Stags battled in their first matchup of the season only 10 days ago with Fairfield comin away with a 64-54 victory. A close contest was blown open by the Stags in the final 10 minutes of action with the Saints looking and playing with signs of fatigue. In that game the Saints played eight players, but two of those, Davis Martens and Imoh Silas, combined for only 4 minutes of action. Meanwhile Fairfield played a 9 man rotation, receiving 60 minutes of bench game play.

Key contributors for Fairfield in that game were Derek Needham, Maurice Barrow, and Desmond Wade. Needham scored  game high 18 points on 6-10 shooting. Barrow came off the bench to contribute 11 points, while Wade scored 7 points to go with 7 assists and 4 rebounds. Fairfield will be without Wade on Thursday night.

For the Saints OD Anosike had a 15 point 8 rebound performance, while Trenity Burdine added 10 and 7.

The Saints enter this game with more bench depth than they had in the previous meeting with all Saints expected to dress outside of Ryan Oliver, who will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury. For the Saints to be able to play a full 40 minutes with the Stags they will need fresher legs down the stretch. Fairfield played a physical defense in the first meeting, wearing down the Saints and allowing their press to become incredibly effective in that final 10 minute push.

Tip off is set for 8:30 pm and can be watched on ESPN3 or listened to on 1300 AM.

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