Stags Outshoot Saints

evan hymes

Shooting red-hot and capitalizing on Saints’ miscues were the keys for Fairfield as they beat Siena, 79-67 on Sunday at the Times Union Center. With the Stags hitting 55% (26-47) from the field and 53% (9-17) from three-point range while scoring 20 points off of 15 Siena turnovers, they were able to avenge a one-point loss to Siena just 12 days ago in Bridgeport.

“It’s been a very interesting year,” said Siena coach Jimmy Patsos. “Every time we seem to get something going good, something happens. There’s an old saying of, you think you have life planned out, boy is God laughing. And, boy is He laughing.”

Siena held the lead for much of the early going until Steve Johnston hit a three with 10:37 to go in the first half to give Fairfield a 19-18 lead. The Stags stayed in front carrying a 37-32 lead into the half-time break.

With a 9-0 run the Saints were able to retake the lead, 47-45 with 15:39 remaining on an Evan Hymes lay in. The lead switched hands five more times, the last coming on a Marcus Gilbert lay in with 10:53 to go and Fairfield never trailed the rest of the way.

Gilbert led Fairfield (5-10, 3-2) with a game-high 23 points (7-11 FG, 3-6 3-pt.) along with eight rebounds. Tyler Nelson scored 14 points hitting four of six three-pointers. Fairfield nailed nine three-pointers for the game. Mike Kirkland added 13 points in 21 minutes.

“There were times I thought we could have turned the corner and we’d miss a free throw (15-24) or say, ‘Box and 1 on Marcus Gilbert’ and he’d get a wide open three,” said Patsos.

Hymes led Siena for the second straight game scoring 18 points while shooting 6-8 from the field. Rob Poole, who exited the game with a twisted ankle early in the second half, returned with 13:47 remaining and finished with 17 points, 4 rebounds and 3 assists in 17 minutes played. Lavon Long added 14 points and 6 rebounds and Javion Ogunyemi tallied 12 points. Marquis Wright was held to just 3 points but handed out nine assists with 3 rebounds and 2 steals.

“We are what we are and if we all play together we have a chance,” Patsos said. “If everybody is not going to row as hard as they can, we’re not going to do anything this year. We’re not talented enough.”

The Stags bench out-scored Siena’s 16-3, making up for the Saints’ 17-0 edge in second chance points. Siena out-rebounded Fairfield 29-28 and shot 59% in the second half.

Siena heads on the road this weekend in the annual western NY trip and will take on Canisius on Friday night. Tip off in Buffalo is at 7 p.m. They will then head over to Niagara on Sunday for a 2 p.m. tip.

For more postgame comments from Jimmy Patsos: Click Here

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