Stags Stifle Saints

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A difficult season continued for Siena Thursday night as they dropped a 74-52 decision to Fairfield. Currently in 9th place and with three league games remaining, they have assured themselves of an opening round a.k.a. “play-in” game in the MAAC Tournament.

At a time of year when many teams are playing to reach the 20-win mark as a way of positioning for post season berths and positive seedings, the Saints (6-20, 4-11) reached the negative milestone of a 20-loss season for just the third time in program history.

Playing without their third leading scorer, Rakeem Brookins, for the seventh time this season, the Saints allowed the Stags to take control early. Senior guard Derek Needham hit 6 first half 3-pointers and with 17 points had out-scored the entire Siena team until the 3:06 mark in the half. Fairfield led at the break 36-23.

Without Brookins whose back trouble flared up during shoot around, back court make Evan Hymes was left to carry the load playing 39 minutes. He led the Saints with 14 points. Trenity Burdine scored 11 and Imoh Silas added 10. OD Anosike was held to just 5 points and 6 rebounds.

Needham finished with season-high 31 points, shooting 11-17 FG and 8-11 from three. Colin Nickerson added 10 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assist for the Stags (16-11, 8-7). Fairfield shot 51% for the game and 44% from beyond the arc.

“We just ran into a team that made everything,” Siena coach Mitch Buonaguro said. “That’s as good as I’ve seen Derek Needham play, and I’ve seen him play a lot.”

Siena returns home on Saturday in the first of a three-game home stand against Loyola at 7 p.m.

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