Saturday, December 9, 2006

Men's Basketball Capsule: A preview of the Fairfield vs. Canisius game

This Sunday, the Stags square off against conference rival Canisius at 4:30 pm at Harbor Yard.

Fairfield (2-10) is 0-1 in the MAAC, while the Golden Griffins (2-5) are also 0-1 in conference play.

So far this season for the Griffs, Corey Herring has led the offense with a team-high 13.9 points per game.

Joining him in double figures is Chuck Harris with 13.6 points per game and Darnell Wilson with 10.9.

On defense, Wilson leads the way, averaging 5.6 rebounds per game.

The Griffs have a strong core of senior ballplayers, four in total and all starters.

Three out of the four seniors—Herring, Harris and Wilson—make up the bulk of the offensive threat.

Their X-factor however, may very well be freshman and standout guard Frank Turner.

In the team’s first conference outing versus a solid Marist squad, Turner tallied 11 points, nine rebounds and eight assists.

A major problem in the Griffs’ loss to Marist was poor transition defense, which allowed the Red Foxes to put together a 14-3 run at one point.

Should problems continue into Sunday, look for the Stags to use their strong fast-break offense to capitalize on Canisius’ mistakes.

To win, Fairfield must recover from its three-point loss to Manhattan this Friday, where the team shot a season-low 27.7 percent from the field.

Both teams came off to a slow start in the first half, but each turned things on in the second.

Key outside shooting kept the Stags within reach, but a series of turnovers allowed Manhattan to pull ahead at the end.

On Sunday, the Stags must continue to use their hot-handed outside shooters, but in conjunction with cuts to the basket.

Fairfield is at its best when all players drive to the lane, whether it be to ultimately kick the ball back out or take it to the hole.

The Stags draw more fouls this way and put pressure on the opposing team’s defense—an essential versus Canisius’ experienced squad of big men.

Coming into Sunday’s game, freshman Greg Nero leads the squad with 11.5 points per game.

Senior Marty O’Sullivan continues to lead the team on the boards, averaging 5.8 rebounds per game.

-Frank Romano

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