By Bill Hamm
February 5, 2013 9:10 AM

The Saints came up on the wrong end of a defensive battle against Fairfield last night, falling to the Stags 64-54.

The game was much closer than the final score would indicate. The Saints and Stags traded leads back and forth throughout the first 30 minutes of action, but a steady rotation of Stags wore down the Saints starting five to allow Fairfield to dominate the final 10 minutes of play.

The Saints and Stags found themselves tied at 41 with 10:08 to go, but a Maurice Barrow layup opened the flood gates. Fairfield would go on an 18-4 run over the next eight minutes to push the lead to 14 points, 59-45, and never looked back. Throughout the Fairfield run, the Saints looked worn down, being beaten on the boards and going ice cold from the floor.

The Saints bench saw only 19 minutes of action, with Rich Audu being the only Saint off the bench to see any minutes in the second half. All Saints starters played at least 34 minutes.

Following the game it was revealed that Evan Hymes has been battling a sore throat. Despite the illness, Hymes played 34 minutes. He was noticeably off during the game. Shooting 1-7 for 5 points while committing 5 turnovers.

The Saints were out-rebounded by Fairfield 36-32, including a 14-8 Stags advantage on the offensive glass.

Despite outshooting Fairfield in the first half, 42%-35%, and Fairfield shooting no free throws, the Saints found themselves down at the half 27-25. Siena committed 10 turnovers in the first half, resulting in Fairfield attempting 10 more shots, 34-24, than the Saints. For the game Fairfield outshot the Saints 40%-37%.

Noteworthy performances go to O.D. Anosike and Trenity Burdine. Burdine continued his inspired play, shooting 50% from the field enroute to a 10 point 7 rebound performance. Anosike led the team in scoring, rebounding, and assists with 15,8, and 4.

The loss drops the Saints to 4-8 in the MAAC, 6-17 overall, and makes their attempt to avoid the MAAC Tournament opening round incredibly difficult. Siena is now 2 games behind Fairfield for sixth, and finds themselves in eighth place. Their remaining schedule includes two games against Loyola, and a game a piece against Iona, Fairfield, St Peter’s, and Marist.

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