Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Swimming and Diving sees record breaking meet

Although it was a meet for the record books, Fairfield’s swimming and diving team did not come out on top of this past Saturday’s match against Stony Brook.

In his second ever meet as a Stag, sophomore Drew Kingman grabbed the spotlight by breaking three school records.

His first mark was taken in the 200m breaststroke, which he won with a time of 2:33:74. Next he tackled the 400m individual medley, smashing the old time by more than three seconds (4:50:33). Finally, Kingman worked in conjunction with Tom Kozlowski ’07, Sean McGonigle ’09 and Matt Rimmer ’09 to secure a time of 1:42:46 in the 200m freestyle relay.

On the boards, Fairfield dominated once again.

For the women, Katherine Yee ’08 took first in the 1 meter and 3 meter, followed by Jennifer Silva ’08 in third for both events. Taylor Stecko ’10 snagged first place in the men’s 3 meter as well as second in the 1 meter, while Russ Laub ’07 took third for both.

Other big female winners for the day included Brittany Hunter ’07, Jennifer Masi ’07, Liz Lawlor ’08 and Rachel Waldstein ’08.

In addition to Kingman and the other members of the 200m freestyle relay, Rob Devine ’08 and Tom Scappaticci ’07 also showed well.


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Connors Corner: January 30

The Week Ahead for Fairfield Men's Basketball (Jan. 30 Edition)

Last week, we dared to make the statement that the Stags had finally acquired some much needed momentum.

This week, it's not even a discussion.

After Sunday's dismantling of a talented Niagara team, Faifield's finally found "Uncle 'Mo". The Stags have won five straight games, ending January on the most impressive of streaks. At one point, Fairfield shared the cellar of the MAAC with the likes of St. Peter's and Iona; now, they're right in the middle of the hunt and can taste the top five.

Things did get a little crazy at times. An 0-19 (at the time) Iona team took Cooley and crew to the brink on Tuesday. It was heroics from senior Mamadou Diakhate that saved Fairfield in an overtime victory.

A few days after their win over the Gaels, the Stags took down St. Peter's, 66-58.

While the Peacocks are far from a powerhouse, don't underestimate the importance of this win. Aside from keeping the streak alive, they established that they are now a winning team. As the saying does, "good teams win the games they're supposed to win".

On Sunday, the Stags came out flying and impressed the Fairfield faithful with a statement win against the Purple Eagles of Niagara.

After the Peter's game, Cooley stressed defense. Apparently the Stags got the message. A team that had averaged 74.5 points per game finished with a meager 56. They only shot 33% from the field.

Despite the streak, the Stags currently find themselves facing a team that is as hot (if not hotter) as themselves.

Canisius is on quite a role lately. While their latest victory against Iona was dominant , the Golden Griffs most telling victories were against Marist and Manhattan, who both sit atop the MAAC standings as we speak.

The doubters will say that Canisius' recent string of successes is more impressive. In my eyes, a win is a win, especially considering Fairfield already holds one victory over the Griffins this season. The Stags can shut up a lot of people with a road victory in Buffalo on Friday.

A victory that would be extremely important, since they'll return home on Saturday preparing to face the MAAC's elite (four games against Marist and Loyola (Md.)) in the most important month of the season.

Let the stretch run begin.

Quick hits:

- Keith Connors

Monday, January 29, 2007

Michael Van Schaick Named MAAC Co-Player of the Week

Senior guard Michael Van Schaick has been named MAAC Co-Player of the Week, leading the Stags to a 3-0 week, averaging 17 points during that stretch. Van Schaick is averaging 19 points per game during the team's 5 game win streak which has moved their record to 6-5 in the MAAC.

-Tom Cleary

Sabra Wrice MAAC Player of the Week

Junior guard Sabra Wrice was named the MAAC Women's Basketball Player of the Week after her stellar play over the course of the weekend. She averaged 21 points, five rebounds, four assists, and three steals for the weekend as she contributed in every aspect of the game. This is the second time this year she has been selected as player of the week.

-Chris Simmons

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Stags Sweep Loyola, Win 63-51

The women’s basketball team came into its game Sunday looking for a season sweep of Loyola.

A win would vault the Stags in front of the Greyhounds for third place in the MAAC, based on head-to-head competition.

Fairfield did just that, beating Loyola 63-51.

Loyola struggled throughout the game to score. The Greyhounds are second in the MAAC in scoring with 65.6 points per game, led by Jill Glessner, who is second in the league in scoring at 14.8 ppg.

The Stags held the Greyhounds to only 51 points and Glessner to 12. She was the only player for Loyola to score in double-digits.

Vika Sholokhova, a dangerous center who can shoot behind the arc as well, was held to only seven points.

The Greyhounds only shot 37.7 percent for the game while Fairfield was able to shoot 49.1 percent.

Head Coach Dianne Nolan said she was pleased with the team’s defensive efforts.

“I thought that [Loyola] couldn’t find openings at times. [Our players] knew where the shooters were and they rotated out on them,” she said.

Junior guard Sabra Wrice echoed that sentiment.

“Defense is very important to us. We feel like everything starts from the defensive end. We get a stop and it helps us to focus on our offense more because we just got a stop,” she said.

Wrice had a game-high 19 points on nine of 15 shooting. She also came up with three steals and dished out three assists. Her 19 points also give her 916 points for her career.

While Wrice led the backcourt, the frontcourt also stepped up.

Sophomore Baendu Lowenthal was in double-digits as well in points with 10. In addition, freshman Stephanie Geehan did a little of everything. She provided tough defense with four blocks and three steals while also pulling down five rebounds and scoring six points. Overall, the Stags out-rebounded the Greyhounds 36-30 for the game, led by Lowenthal who had eight.

Nolan recognized the importance of the stellar frontcourt play.

“We talk about our frontcourt being played by committee,” she said. “They just keep banging in there. We can wear on people because we can bring in someone off the bench who can contribute.”

The Stags scored 40 of their 63 points in the paint compared to Loyola’s 30.

The win improves Fairfield to 11-10 overall on the year and 7-3 in the MAAC. Loyola fell to 7-3 in the MAAC and 12-8 overall.

However, the tie with Loyola is broken by the Stags' sweep of the Greyhounds during the regular season. The Stags are now in third place in the MAAC, one game behind Iona for second place.

-Chris Simmons

Party of Five: Niagara falls to Stags, 68-56

  • Stags win 68-56.
  • Han dribbles out the ball as the game ends.
  • The bench is loving it. The crowd is loving it.
  • Despite the comfy lead, Van Schaick still dives out of bound on a missed pass. Great effort from a great leader.
  • Shake grabs the board after a Rydell Brooks miss. Fairfield is in cruise control.
  • Marty misses the one-and-one.
  • The Eagles are not fouling. Sensing the win, the crowd is beginning to rumble at Harbor Yard. Not only will this be their fifth in a row, but it will be one of their bigger wins all year against a tough MAAC opponent. And they did so it emphatically.
  • Niagara won't go down easy; Cliff Brown covert a three to make it 68-56 FU.
  • Han drives on a pick and goes the distance. Stags are up 68-53.
- Keith Connors

66-53 Stags; 2:12 to go

  • A crazy play: On a three-on-one break, Jon Han saves the ball from going out of bounds. Han's no look save on a fast break to Anthony Johnson was pretty; Peanut' miss on the emphatic dunk was not. At least they're up big. That was almost the play of the year. Almost.
  • On the one-and-one attempt, Han makes the first, and also converts the second. The Stags are doing a fine job from the free throw line this afternoon, a big reason for their lead at this point. 66-53 Stags
  • Sensing that the end may be near, Niagra comes out of the timeout with a full-court press. Lewis is called for a foul on the floor with 3:03 to go. That's the team's eighth foul.
- Keith Connors

Connors Corner: Halftime from the Harbor

Some thoughts on the first half:
  • This is one of the bigger leads FU has had at the hal all season. Let's see how they react to it.
  • Anthony Johnson (12 points, 4 rebounds) is playing well. It certainly looks as if he will be a focal point of the offense this afternoon.
  • Coach Cooley mention he wanted the D to improve after allowing high percentages from the field and from long range in the past few games. So far, that message has come across: the Purple Eagles shot 29% (9-31 from the floor), in addition to a meager 2-of-12 from behind the arc.
  • Only three turnovers in the first. Han and Shake are doing a nice job.
  • Rebounding, which is always an issue with this team, was still an issue in the first half. Niagra out rebounded 22 to 18. They also let Niagra grab nine offensive board.
  • Niagra had 11 second-chance points.
  • The Stags looks very energized and pumped in the first half. They appear very energized, especially on the defensive side of the ball. They are doing a better job of hustling and sprinting to their spots. The first half D stats prove it.
  • During this four game win streak, they have only had one legitimate win (@ Sienna). After all, they did need overtime to defeat a winless Iona team twice and had trouble with a subpar St. Peter's squad. A victory today would go a long way to proving the Stags are legit.

The 2nd Half will be updated after every stoppage of play on the Men's Basketball blog. Stay tuned for updates and even more live game pictures from Chris Simmons.

Then check back on the main 'Mirror Sports' page for the end of the game and post-game thoughts.

- Keith Connors

Halftime Update: 32-25 FU

  • At the half from the Harbor: Fairfield 34, Niagra 25.
  • Herbie adds both shots to put FU up 32-45.
  • Shake gives it up to Marty O'Sullivan, who finds Herbie Allen. With time waning down, Allen drives and is fouled with :01.9 to go, putting a solid free throw shooter on the line. (That's gotta hurt for Niagra)
  • Air-ball shot from Brooks goes out of bounds. This gives FU the last possession of the half.
  • Shake and bake! Van Schaick hits a three-pointer to put Fairfield up seven. Stags lead 32-25.
  • Stags take a T.O. with :57.3 on the clock.
  • A. Johnson and Marty are doing a nice job in the paint rebounding against a foward-strong Niagra squad.
  • Anthony Johnson (a focal point of the FU offense in the first half) comes in for Mamadou.
  • Han called on a foul on after Brooks drives. Brooks hits the both. 29-25 Stags.
  • Brown is down for a while. He's on the line and appears to be fine. After shaking it off for a few second, he misses the one-and-one shot, but the Eagles retain possession on a long rebound.
  • Han drives the lane but is stripped. A foul is called on Mamadou on the ensuing Purple Eagles' fast break.
  • Reverse lay-in by Cliff Brown off of the in-bound pass for a quick basket. 29-23 Stags with 2:30 to go.
- Keith Connors

Men's basketball game log

Check the men's basketball game for live coverage of the Stags game against Niagara from Keith Connors.

Women’s Basketball: Fairfield Stags vs. Loyola Greyhounds

Site: The Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Conn.
Time: Sunday, 4:30 p.m.

FAIRFIELD (10-10, 6-3 MAAC)

Lauren Groom, G, So., 5-11, 4.8 ppg, 0.8 apg – 11 points, 2 assists Friday vs. Niagara

Megan Caskin, G, So., 5-8, 3.3 ppg, 3.1 apg – 63 assists on the year

Sabra Wrice, G, 5-8, Jr.14.6 ppg, 2.5 apg – Team-high 23 points against Niagara

Stephanie Geehan, F, Fr., 6-0, 6.1 ppg, 6.6 rpg – 5th in rebounding in the MAAc

Baendu Lowenthal, F, 6-0, So., 10.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg – 12 points, 12 boards vs. Purple Eagles

LOYOLA (12-7, 7-2 MAAC)

Ebony Toliver, G, 5-6, Sr., 8.0 ppg, 3.2 apg – 4 points, 2 assists on Thursday against Iona

Jill Glessner, G, 5-10, Sr., 14.8 ppg, 2.9 apg – Team’s leading scorer in 5 of last 10 games

Brittany Dunn, G, 5-8, Jr., 10.4 ppg, 2.6 apg – 18 points, 4 assists vs. Iona

Meghan Wood, G, 5-11, Jr., 9.9 ppg, 6.7 rpg – Has led team in rebounding in 2 of last 3 games

Kaitlin Grant, F, 6-0, Fr., 6.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg – 18 steals on the year


SPEEDY GREYHOUNDS: The Greyhounds have won five in a row. Their last win came against # 2-seeded Iona. With multiple people contributing on offense, Loyola has a solid all-around team. Look for the Greyhounds to charge at the Stags full speed.

FAIRFIELD FEVER: The Stags have really come into prominence of late and are currently locked in at fourth in the MAAC. On Friday, Fairfield put on an offensive display, netting a season-high 81 points against Niagara. The Stags will hope to continue their stellar offensive and defensive play against one of the conference’s best.

-Frank Romano

Men's Basketball: Fairfield Stags vs. Niagara Purple Eagles

Site: The Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Conn.
Time: Sunday, 1:30 p.m.

FAIRFIELD (7-15, 5-5 MAAC)

Jonathan Han, G, 6-0, So., 6.4 ppg, 98 assists – 8 points, 5 assists Friday vs. Saint Peter’s

Mike Van Schaick, G, 6-2, Sr., 14.1 ppg, 35 assists– Has notched double digits in points in last 11 games

Devin Johnson, G, 6-7, Fr., 2.9 ppg, 13 assists– 14 steals on the year

Anthony Johnson, C, 6-8, Fr., 7.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg – 2nd in rebounding on the squad

Greg Nero, F, 6-7, Fr., 9.6 ppg, 3.5 rpg – 9 points, 4 boards against the Peacocks

NIAGARA (11-10, 6-5 MAAC)

Charron Fisher, G, 6-3, Jr., 22.9 ppg, 13 assists – Team-high 33 points Friday vs. Marist

Lorenzo Miles, G, 5-11, Sr., 12.0 ppg, 78 assists – 20 steals on the year

Rydell Brooks, G, 6-2, Fr., 5.3 ppg, 30 assists – 7 points, 2 assists on Friday

Clif Brown, F, 6-7, Sr., 16.1 ppg, 9.4 rpg – 9 points, 11 boards against the Red Foxes

J.R. Duffey, F, 6-8, Sr., 11.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg – 49 offensive boards this season


FAIRFIELD DEFENSE VS. NIAGARA OFFENSE: Fairfield is first in the MAAC in scoring defense, allowing 65.8 ppg. Niagara has one of the league’s most potent offenses, averaging 74.5 ppg. The Stags will look to come out strong and smother the Purple Eagles early, while executing on offense as well.

FOUR-GAME STREAK: Look for Fairfield to ride the momentum from its latest hot streak. Up against a top-notch scoring team however, the Stags cannot falter on offense and go minutes on end without scoring.

-Frank Romano

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Stags' Sunday

I'll be joining the boys for an entertaining Sunday of Stags' basketball at the Arena. The men take on Niagara at 1:30 followed by the women at 4:30. Keith and Tom will have the Game Log going again on the men's basketball blog, while Chris and I will take the helm for the women's Game Log on the women's blog.

Mirror Sports is also going to be bringing you expanded game coverage with in-game photos, post game audio of the press conferences, and much more!

Be sure to check back for full game previews.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Four Score: 66 Stags, 58 Peacocks

  • FOUR IN A ROW: The Stags have done it again and are on a roll. A strong second half and a few offensive adjustments here and there made the different. Great job by the Stags.
  • Herbie Allen had a breakout night. He was the leading scorer for the Stags. Finishing with 19. He got an nice ovation from the crowd.
  • Mamadou Diakhate and Mike Van Schaick once again were integral parts of the win. The great thing about it is that both players were resilient tonight. Both shot poorly in the first half and looked shaky; they followed it with strong efforts and great hustle play in the following period. Both are great leaders.
  • Herbie hits both shots on the foul. Shake follows it by hitting the technical foul free throws. A rare four-point play for FU. Great break for the Stags. When you're on a winning streak these things seem to happen..
Post game thoughts, commentary, and a recap are on the way from Tom Clearly and myself. Thanks for stopping by.

- Keith Connors

60-55 Stags; :40.4 remaining

  • More Mamadou chants from the Fairfield faithful.
  • Mamadou gets pushed by Brock after the play. Brock gets T'd up and Mamdou comes up smiling and clapping. Gotta love a guy like that. Diakhate is the kind of guy you love to have on your team, but you hate to play against.
  • After killing the clock a little, Shake tries to feed down low to Nero. Nero falls over and somehow finds Allen. Allen misses the shot, but is fouled.
  • Stags ball with a minute to go.
  • Allen is called for a ten second defense violation. Brock goes to the line and hits both. 60-55 Stags.
  • Han's errant pass leads to a fast break. Luckily Mamdou grabs a steal and ends the threat. Nice defense again. ("Ma-ma-dou! Ma-ma-dou! chants from the Red Sea, or what is attempting to be a cheering section)
  • Han is fouled, sending Brock to the line. Brock hits both 60-53 Stags.
  • Great drive and penetration by Herbie Allen, who took it from the top of the key all the way to the lay-in. Stags are in control at 60-51.
  • Missed shot on Mamadou's defense leads to a Han rebound. Stag ball.
  • Off the timeout, Mamadou is back on the court.
  • Food for thought: the Stags haven't won four consecutive games since '02-'03 season.
- Keith Connors

58-51 Stags; 3:16 left to play

  • PA Announcement: "The Fairfield Stags will be signing autographs in the atrium". Chris Simmons: "Atrium? Isn't that like in your heart?"
  • Allen grabs another errant pass down-low. The Stags are playing tremendous D over the past ten minutes. Their lead is steadily increasing as a result.
  • To catch up on what you missed, check the Men's Basketball Blog.
- Keith Connors

Niagara Falls, Stags defeat Purple Eagles 81-70

The women’s basketball team was looking to keep pace in the conference standings with their division foes on Friday afternoon.

The Stags were successful, defeating Niagara for the second time this season, 81-70.

Head coach Dianne Nolan was worried coming into the game that the Purple Eagle’s would be out looking for revenge.

“I feel [Niagara] was a dangerous opponent. We beat them up in their place for their first home loss. I’m sure it was a date circled on their calanders.”

However, against a very tough Niagara team (11-8), the Stags were able to build a lead and hold on in spite of the Purple Eagle’s dangerous three point shooting.

Niagara was able to shoot 43.8 percent from behind the arc for the game, yet it wasn’t enough as Fairfield was even better at 61.5 percent.

That high percentage was due mainly to the hot hand of junior guard Sabra Wrice. Wrice scored a game and season-high of 23 points, 12 of which came from downtown. She credited her good game to practicing throughout the week.

“We just practiced coming to the ball, curling to it. It helped me get into a rhythm, so when I’m shooting, I’m already in position to shoot and make the shot,” she said.

Wrice wasn’t the only Stag hitting shots though. Five players for Fairfield had double digits in points, including Wrice.

Nolan could be heard on the sideline imploring sophomore guard Megan Caskin to “get the ball to B”.

B would be sophomore forward Baendu Lowenthal. Lowenthal was able to put in 12 points along with pulling down 12 rebounds for the double-double.

Fairfield was paced in rebounding by Lowenthal and freshman Stephanie Geehan was not far behind with seven. Overall, the Stags out rebounded the Purple Eagles 39-30.

This rebounding advantage allowed Fairfield to score 26 second chance points compared to Niagara’s eight.

The game remained close throughout the first half with both teams having success shooting from nearly everywhere on the floor.

However, in the second half, the Stag’s defense showed through, holding Niagara to 40 percent shooting.

“I though defensively in the second half we did what we needed to do,” said Nolan.

When the Purple Eagles cut the lead to eight late in the second half, Wrice stepped up and hit several big shots, including one off of her own steal on an inbounds pass.

Nolan recognized the importance of another conference win.

“We’ve been fighting and fighting and certainly our MAAC record is something you want to get up there, and this does that. And it’s the product of the hard work of these players,” she said.

The win improves Fairfield to 10-10 overall and 6-3 in the MAAC. With Iona’s loss to Loyola on Thursday, the Stags now sit only one game back of second place.

The MAAC standing currently have Iona and Loyola tied for second at 7-2 in the conference. The Stags beat the Greyhounds earlier in the season down in Baltimore.

Fairfield returns to play on Sunday against Loyola. If they win, they only have Iona to keep them from the number two seed in the MAAC.

-Chris Simmons

22-21 Stags - Halftime Update

At Harbor Yard, it's 22-21 Stags at the half. Cooley can have two ways to look at it: either its embarassing since they're facing a sub-par opponent that they clearly should defeat, or it's not all the bad considering they didn't score for the first 5+ minutes of the contest. The Stags settled down later in the first half, figuring it out and working on quickness. They're working on getting down the court fast and working on the skip pass or the open look.

Defensively, they've done a fine job. As long as they keep working under the boards and rebounding on both ends, they'll be fine.

The new Stag mascot is amazing - no, its stagtastic.

  • Marty's drive-in leaner doesn't go.
  • Momadou's o-reb gives the Stags a chace for the last shot.
  • Stags almost turn it over but manage to get a timeout as they were falling out of bounds.
  • Spann drives all the way on his own and hits an awkward bank shot. Stags 22-21
  • Stags come out in a near full court press. Based on their full court system in games past, it's something I wish they'd do more of.
  • Han's steal leads to a quick break. The Stags score on a lay-in from (guess who?) Mamadou Diakhate. FU leads 22-19 and the Peacocks take a T.O.
  • Momadou works down-low but can't find the basket. Han helps him out by stealing from Reeves on the other end of the floord.
  • Shake misses a three off a kick-out, but on the ensuing fastbreak Jonathan Han takes a charge. Han did a fantastic job of getting back and getting his feet set. That's textbook defense right there.
  • Momadou gives an impressive pass to Herbie Allen, who hits an even more impressive shot inside the Peacocks' tough zone D. Stags lead 20-19
- Keith

Men's basketball game log

Check out the men's basketball blog for game updates!

Stags defeat Niagara 81-70

Fairfield beat Niagara on Friday afternoon to improve their record to 10-10 (6-3 MAAC). The win keeps them in contention for the second seed in the MAAC. They are currently fourth place. For more check the blog and for more analysis and a game recap.

-Chris Simmons

Halftime Report: FU 42, NU 35

The Stags lead the Purple Eagles by seven at the half, 42-35. Junior guard Sabra Wrice leads Fairfield with 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting, including 3 of 4 from beyond the arc.

Fairfield is shooting 53% for the game while also hitting 55% from long distance.

The Stags are also outrebounding the Purple Eagles 17-13 in the first half.

However, Niagara has been shooting just as well hitting 5 out of 9 three's. The Purple Eagles are setting up their shooters very effectively with screens that allow their scorers to pop out open near the corner of the arc.

Baendu Lowenthal has also been impressive. She has been a force down low, pulling in seven rebounds while hitting two of her three shots for four points.

With a seven point lead, the Stags have put themselves in a good position to win the game. However, they are going to need to limit Niagara's sharpshooters, who can cut a large lead down quickly.

-Chris Simmons

Women's Game Log

Check the women's basketball blog for in game updates from Chris Simmons!

Men's Basketball: Fairfield Stags vs. Saint Peter's Peacocks

Site: The Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Conn.
Time: Friday, 7 p.m.

FAIRFIELD (6-15, 4-5 MAAC)

Jonathan Han, G, 6-0, So., 6.3 ppg, 93 assists – 11 points, 3 assists on Tuesday vs. Iona

Mike Van Schaick, G, 6-2, Sr., 14.0 ppg, 29 assists– Team’s leading scorer in 7 of last 10 contests

Anthony Johnson, C, 6-8, Fr., 7.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg – 9 points, 3 boards vs. Gaels

Rich Flemming, F, 6-7, Fr., 2.4 ppg, 1.7 rpg – Has started last 8 games

Greg Nero, F, 6-7, Fr., 9.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg – Notched 5 points on Tuesday

SAINT PETER’S (3-16, 1-8 MAAC)

Tim Spitler, G, 6-3, Jr., 5.5 ppg, 23 assists – Team-high 33 steals on the year

Kevin Spann, G, 6-0, So., 12.8 ppg, 61 assists – 11 points, 3 assists against Marist on Tuesday

Raul Orta, G, 6-4, Jr., 14.6 ppg, 47 assists – Led team in scoring in 2 of last 5 games

Akeem Gooding, F, 6-6, Fr., 10.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg – team-high 22 points on Tuesday

Kinzey Reeves, C, 7-0, Sr., 2.1 ppg, 1.7 rpg – 10 blocks this season


PEACOCK TROUBLES: So far this season, Saint Peter’s has only one win in conference play — a victory against Loyola in the early part of the season. Since then however, things have been downhill for the Peacocks, who currently sit in 9th place in the MAAC. Nonetheless, look for them to come raring to go this Friday.

THREE-GAME STREAK: Look for Fairfield to build off its latest string of victories as it takes the court this Friday. However, the Stags must not discount the Peacocks’ scoring threats, especially after going into overtime against 10th seeded Iona this Tuesday.

-Frank Romano

Women’s Basketball: Fairfield Stags vs. Niagara Purple Eagles

Site: The Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Conn.
Time: Friday, 4:30 p.m.

FAIRFIELD (9-10, 5-3 MAAC)

Lauren Groom, G, So., 5-11, 4.4 ppg, 0.7 apg – 8 points, 4 rebounds vs. Rider on Sunday

Megan Caskin, G, So., 5-8, 3.4 ppg, 3.2 apg – 6th in MAAC in apg

Sabra Wrice, G, 5-8, Jr.14.2 ppg, 2.4 apg – Notched double figures on offense in last three games

Stephanie Geehan, F, Fr., 6-0, 5.9 ppg, 6.5 rpg – 15 points, 7 boards against Rider

Baendu Lowenthal, F, 6-0, So., 10.6 ppg, 5.3 rpg – Shooting 46.3 percent from field

NIAGARA (11-8, 3-5 MAAC)

Michelle Manfredi, G, 5-10, Jr., 8.0 ppg, 3.2 apg – 10 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists on Monday against Canisius

Shaunna Ambrose, G, 5-10, Sr., 16.6 ppg, 1.9 apg – Team’s leading scorer in 4 of last 5 contests

Cathy Rutter, G, 5-7, Jr., 2.6 ppg, 1.3 rpg – 4 points, 1 rebound against Canisius

Chantelle Wilson, G, 5-9, Sr., 8.8 ppg, 1.2 apg – 20 steals on the year

Sara Prybyl, F, 5-11, Jr., 6.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg – 5 points, 1 assist, 1 board vs. Canisius


NIAGARA BLUES: Despite winning their last game against Canisius, the Purple Eagles sit in a three-way tie for fifth place in the MAAC. Since losing to Fairfield earlier in the season, Niagara also lost to Saint Peter’s and Loyola — both teams Fairfield beat in that same time span. Look for the Purple Eagles to continue fighting, and look for Fairfield to step up to the challenge.

KEEPING THE MOMENTUM ALIVE: Fairfield must enter Friday’s game looking to build off last Sunday’s win against Rider. While Niagara is in the lower half of the MAAC seedings with only three conference wins, Fairfield cannot afford to let up on the pressure, both offensive and defensive. The Stags know that a win will put them in great shape going against # 2-seeded Loyola this Sunday.

-Frank Romano

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Men's practice update

Check out the men's basketball blog for an update from today's men's basketball practice by Tom Cleary, featuring an interview with Coach Cooley. Included are his thoughts on the St. Peter's game, as well as the flu bug going around the team.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Women's Practice Update

Look to the Women's Basketball Blog for today's practice update from Chris Simmons!

Site redesign and new features!

There are always things in store for Mirror Sports, but here are a few things we have done that you might have missed:
  • Site redesign: tired of scrolling? The new Mirror Sports Blog is more interactive and user friendly! (Not to mention attractive...)
  • Mailing List: In case all this Stags' coverage wasn't enough, get insider info, updates, and sneak peeks at what's to come by signing up for our Mailing List!
  • Game Blog: Keith Connors took the helm tonight for our first official Game Blog. Can't make the game? Follow it here for constant updates!
  • Sport Specific Blogs: Commentary, insight, and insider news on the sports you love on our Sport Blogs!
There's always more to come so be sure to check back often!
- Dan

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Senegalese Sensation: Mamadou, Van Schaick lead Stags to Overtime Victory

Seniors Michael Van Schaick and Mamadou Diakhate literally willed the Fairfield Stags on Tuesday night in an exhilarating overtime win against Iona, 70-67.

The win makes it three wins in a row, as well as their second victory against the Iona Gaels in sixteen days.

The victory came on of the heels of a thrilling come-front-behind victory against Sienna. Fairfield now has three consecutive wins, all against MAAC opponents.

Despite facing a three-point deficit and an opposite court in-bound pass with only 24 seconds remaining in the game, Michael Van Schaick managed to find more than just a little breathing room.

After Van Schaick drove the lane and found himself double teamed, he hit a wide-open Momadou Diakhate in the corner. Diakhate responded in the situation, not too mention picked a fantastic time to net his first three-point shot of his season and the second in his Fairfield career.

“That situation, in overtime, we’ve been there before,” said Diakhate. “We’re all accountable.”

It was an amazing turn of events. Only a few brief seconds before, the game seemed to be out of reach late in the second half after a stunning run by Iona propelled by forwards Anthony Bruin and Alejo Rodriguez, both of whom posed problems defending against in the paint.

Bruin hit a lay-up, followed by two free throws from Rodriguez after an Anthony Johnson foul.
The game seemed done, but Van Schaick and Diakhate had other plans.

In spite of tying the game in the waning moments of regulation in dramatic fashion, the Stags struggled early in overtime and appeared to be reeling. Iona’s Devon Clark hit back-to-back free throws following a Mike Harris three-pointer to give Iona an early 67-64 lead

However, as they had all game, Fairfield managed to hang around. Senior Marty O’Sullivan grabbed an offensive board and added the put back to make it a three-point game.

The clear turning point in overtime came off of an inbound pass to Michael Van Schaick that appeared to be developing into an immediate shot attempt. After the senior guard from Glens Falls drew the double time, he dished a beautiful back door pass to forward Anthony Johnson. Johnson dunked the ball and gave the Stags back some much needed momentum.

On the ensuing play, the Stags put on a full court press. The Gaels, who had immediate difficult dealing with the up-tempo pressure, turned the ball over to Diakhate.

Only a few moments later, Momadou was at it again, this time laying it up to give the Stags a 68-67 lead, one which they would not relinquish.

Despite Diaphone’s heroics, the story of the game was senior Michael Van Schaick.

Van Schaick continued his torrid run, finishing with 23 points and three rebounds, including several key free throws and great looks down the stretch. Van Schaick has now scored double figures in an amazing ten straight games, including two 20+ point efforts in His newfound consistency and presence on the court has coincided with the Stags’ latest string success

“That is some stretch he is on,” Cooley commented after the game. “I am so proud of him. “I’m missing him already and the season’s not even over.”

After the game, Van Schaick downplayed his efforts as just a part of the game. To him, the main story was a third straight win.

“This team has grown up a lot. We’re very persistent,” said Van Schaick.

“We’re learning how to win.”

Stags win 70 - 67 in OT

Despite some inconsistency (and Blogger/Google can relate) the Stags defeated the Gaels in OT 70 - 67. Strong performances were put forth by Mamadou Dikhate and Mike Van Schaick. Check back soon for a full game story and recap by Tom Cleary and Keith Connors.
- Dan

68-67 Stags with :51 to play

  • Stags ball with the game in control and a timeout
  • O'Sullivan hits Momadou on a great look inside. Momadou and the seniors are stepping up in a big way. Iona uses all of the shot clock and heaves a deperartion jumper which hits off back rim - they are called on over the back on O'Sullivan.
  • Full court press nearly leads to a turnover by Iona, but on the other end the Gaels turn into themselves by turning it over with no assistence. An offensive rebound by Bruin led to him stepping on the line

- Keith

67-66 Gaels @ 2:29

  • Anthony Johnson slams in a dunk from Van Schaick on a great look! As both defenders went for Shake just feet from Tom and yours truly, Van Schaick hit Johnson with a back door feed and the rest was history. Here we go again..
  • Marty O'Sullivan puts in an offensive board off of a Greg Nero miss. Nice work by Marty who is doing a fine job on the offensive boards tonight. The Gaels turn it over on the other end to give the Stags a chance to get back in this thing.

- Keith

66-62 Gaels @ 3:35

  • Nero gets called on a foul as Devon Clarke was shooting. Clarke hits both shots and the Gaels are off and running in overtime.
- Keith

65-62 Gaels; 3:51 ro go

  • Mike Harris hits a three-pointer in the corner (great look) to give the Stags an early 65-62 lead. The Stags couldn't convert on offense. That followed by Iona timeout to settle things down after getting doubled in the corner..

To check out what you missed while Google shit the bed, check the Men's Basketball Blog.

62-62 heading into Overtime

  • Momadou drains a 3! With a few ticks left and we're heading to overtime.
  • Here's how it went down:Van Schaick got the ball off of a screen from Marty at the top of the key. He was covered by Prodranovic but quickly got doubled and kicked it out to a wide open Diakhate. Great resiliency by the Stags.
  • The Gaels bench is standing in anticipation of their first possible victory- they can taste it.

- Keith

37-36 Gaels, 16:50 in the 2nd Half

  • Apparently the halftime talk was about getting Michel Van Schaick back into the game. Shake started the half right with a three-pointer, but that was only the start. He was a big part of a wide open look for three that Rich Flemming missed, and helped grab the offensive rebound on that same miss.
  • Shake followed his efforts when he nailed a three-point shot. The bench knew it was in before he even shot it. Tom just mentioned it - and I completely agree: Van Schaick has become such a better player over the course of the season. His consistency is amazing. He's finally become the leader this team needs.
  • Nero had two looks early in the half - was he even dressed in the first half? (He finished the 1st with two points and only one board).
- Keith

Halftime: 35-27 Gaels; Cooley loses it

  • At the half: Iona leads 35-27
  • Iona's gotta feel pretty good. They barely shot 50% from the field and turned the ball well over 10 times, yet they're somehow winning the game. Unbelievable.
  • On the way to the locker room, Coach Cooley had words (ehh.. more like yells) with the official that lead to a technical foul. To quote Ron Burgundy, "Wow. Things really escalated quickly."
  • As if Iona's not already riding high, a FU block leads to a Harris lay-in that falls in (literally) at the buzzer
  • FU's holding for last shot, but Shake gets blocked.
  • Alley-oop to Devin Clarke adds insult to injury - giving the Gaels a 33-27 lead with 31.1 on the clock. Cooley throws his jacket back to campus. At least he's still got that tie on.
  • Cooley's red tie is nice. I like it.
  • FU starts a little full court pressure.
  • A block foul sends Herbie to the line, who hits both shots to end Iona's scoring streak. 31-27 Gaels.
  • Mike Harris drills a wide-open three to keep the Gaels' momentum going. Iona 31-25
  • Herbie misses a pull-up jumper with the shot clock winding down.
  • Rodriguez gets a wide-open look off a blown coverage/great play to give Iona a 28-25 lead.
  • Mamadou comes in for Shake to give him a breather.
  • Herbie hits one-of-two on the other end, Stags down by one @ 26-25
  • A quick turnover from the Stags on offense leads to an Iona fast break, which leads to an offensive rebound from Milan Prodanovic that goes in and the foul. He hits the foul shot and gives the Gaels their first lead of the game at 26-24.
  • Clarke hits two from the charity stripe after a questionable foul call on A.J., who checks out to avoid further foul trouble.
  • Peanut Johnson hits both shots to give Fairfield some breathing room. 24-21 Stags.
- KC

22-21 Stags, 3:53 in the 1st Half

  • Great no-look by Han went to Peanut down-low who missed the shot but drew the foul. He'll head to the line and shoot two.
  • Shot clock was off. Luckily we've got my boy Joey DeMayo all over it.
  • A.J. fouls Devon Clarke on a drive. Johnson didn't move his feet too well and hit his arm.. not the basketball. Clarke hit both shots to make it a one-point game at 22-21.
  • Han misses a three, but the Stags retain on another Iona turnover. Han drives the lane and misses a pull-up jumper.
  • Bruin makes Nero look bad on a baseline drive and dunk. They're gonna need to doulbe him now that he's getting int rhythm. 22-20 Stags
  • Shake is back... and so is a more comfortable lead. VS lay in makes it 22-18 Stags.
  • Devin Johnson turns it over on the offensive side. The Stags have gone for quite some time without developing a play. They have only four shots attempts since the 15 minute mark.
  • Quick turnover by FU leads to a near fastbreak score, but the ball went loose. Iona retains, and on the following pass an inside look leads to a dunk by Big Bad Bruin. Uh oh... 20-18 Stags.
  • Devon Clarke drives on Peanut Johnson - who was weary of a foul. 20-16 Stags.
  • Quick Dance Team timeout - and it's 20-14 Stags, 7:45 in 1st Half
  • Bruin drives the lane, despite what came close to an offensive foul thanks to good defense by Marty O'Sullivan. He gaffs the extra point - something we've seen before.
  • Stags are giving hints at going for full court pressure - they smell blood.
  • Great look from Marty to Shake on an off-ball screen that leads to a lay-up. Great play call. 20-12 Stags.
  • Coach Cooley's imploring the team to "spring to their spots" - sensing a bit of lazyness on the defensive side of the ball. The fact that this game is close after all of these Gael turnovers is scary. The good news is they look great on offense.
  • Iona's carelessness continues with another loose ball turnover that nailed my foot. If I had been a 2 guard that would've been three.
  • Mamadou grabs yet another o-reb and puts it in for a shot, much to the delight to his fan club.. ehhh the Red Sea. No wonder they love this guy. He adds the free throw on the "and one". Stags 18-12.
  • Travelling by Rodriguez - that's 8 turnovers already for Iona. Ouch
- Keith

15-12 Stags, 10:47 in the 1st

  • Gaels' forward Justin Marshall grabs an offensive rebound and puts it back in. Stags 15-12
  • Marty recovers nicely with a sweet lay in. Minutes later after a great D stand, Greg Nero hits a post shot. 15-10 Stags
  • Drive move uncontested by Prodanovich leads to a nice floater. It's down to 11-10 Stags
  • A textbook, "Hoosiers-esque" post move by Marty O'Sullivan leads to a missed open lay-up. What else is new.
  • Crowd fav. Mamdou checks in for Rich Flemming. And all rejoice.
  • Clark finally gets the ball - he killed the Stags last time they met. 11-8 Stags.
  • Crazy play where Jon Han gets the ball stripped a few times, realizes the shot clock is winding down and heaves a 3 which clearly hits the rim, but the ref called a shot clock violation.
  • Interesting to note that the two big men for Iona - Anthony Bruin and Devon Clark have not seen too many looks. Forward Alejo Rodriguez has 4 points already off open looks down-low.
  • Tough break on D as a Nero block leads to a turnover for FU and a put in for Iona, followed up by a turnover and a block foul on Van Schaick. Thus far the Stags have looked strong on offense, but lackadaisical and undisciplined on D. 11- 6 Stags.

- Keith

11-4 FU, 16:15 in the 1st

  • "Shake" has started out right where he left off in Albany - nailing his first three shots off of screens (including a wide-open three) and playing strong defense (forced an Iona turnover early). It's clear they're lookingto get him involved early and often. He's already got 7
  • Speaking of getting going early, Jonathan Han has put in two shots already. Han led the team in scoring the last time hese two met. Fairfield has been using his speed and getting him driving to the basket early.

Hello from the Harbor

Welcome to the Fairfield Mirror Sports Blog's first ever live game log. As the Stags take the court for tonight's contest, we're excited to give you in-depth coverage and analysis throughout the game, including news, notes, and commentary.

Tonight the Fairfield Stags (5-15 overall, 3-5 MAAC) take on the Iona Gaels (0- 18 overall, 0-8 MAAC). The Stags and the Gaels battled last week in an overtime contest that saw Jonathan Han come up big and lead the Stags to a victory. Fairfield nearly gave the game away at several instances (including one bothched in-bound pass), but managed to hang on for a W.

Since then, Fairfield shocked Sienna in a stunning victory. Cooley and the Crew are looking for "Uncle Mo".

Here's some game notes:
  • Danny Ogelsby is not dressed and on the bench.
  • The Connecticut Post and our own Tom Cleary reports that Herbie Allen and Devin Johnson are battling the stomach flu. Something to keep an eye on as the Stags are left with only one healthy, active guard in point guard Jon Han. Time will tell if Allen and Johnson will be effective this evening.
  • The 2006 Stags' Men Soccer team will be honored at halftime for their MAAC Championship and their NCAA tournament success.
  • Michael Van Schaick has scored double figures in nine straight games, including his 27 point effort in upstate New York against the Saints. Van Schaick needs to continue his recent surge for Fairfield to win.
  • An interesting game - both teams don't just want this win, they need it. For Fairfield, they're playing a winless team that they are more talented then. As if that's not enough, they're one win away from their first streak of the year. As for Iona, their last three losses included two overtime killers (Fairfield and Canisius). They then completed a heartwrenching week by losing to Niagra by one after erasing a 15-point deficit. They thought they had a W against the Stags last week; they're out to prove they can win this week.
  • Hot Dogs and Fries at the pre-game buffett - not too impressed, but Tom and I'll take it.

More at the break.

- Keith

Men's Basketball: Fairfield Stags vs. Iona Gaels

Site: The Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Conn.
Time: Tuesday, 7:30 p.m.

FAIRFIELD (5-15, 3-5 MAAC)

Jonathan Han, G, 6-0, So., 6.1 ppg, 90 assists – 5th in MAAC in apg with 4.50

Mike Van Schaik, G, 6-2, Sr., 13.6 ppg, 27 assists – career-high 27 points Friday against Siena

Anthony Johnson, C, 6-8, Fr., 7.6 ppg, 4.7 rpg – Only player with 40 + offensive and defensive rebounds

Rich Flemming, F, 6-7, Fr., 2.6 ppg, 1.2 rpg – 4 points, 4 rebounds on Friday

Greg Nero, F, 6-7, Fr., 9.9 ppg, 3.7 rpg – notched 10 points in last outing vs. Iona

IONA (0-18, 0-8 MAAC)

Milan Prodanovic, G, 6-2, Fr., 6.9 ppg, 31 assists – 13 points, 4 assists on Saturday vs. Niagara

Mike Harris, G, 6-3, Fr., 7.8 ppg, 30 assists – .422 from behind the arc

Alejo Rodriguez, F, 6-8, Fr., 6.3 ppg, 5.8 rpg – 14 points, 8 rebounds against Niagara

Devon Clarke, F, 6-6, So., 7.7, 3.1 rpg – Has led team in scoring in 3 out of last 5 games

Anthony Bruin, F, 6-7, Sr., 14.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg – 24 points, 6 boards on Saturday


STRONG GAEL FROM THE SOUTH: Even though Iona is still winless in conference play and on the season, one cannot discount the squad’s competitiveness. When the Gaels last played the Stags on Jan. 19th, they lost after forcing the game into overtime. Iona outshot Fairfield and had its fair share of the lead throughout the game. Look for the Gaels to battle this one out to the end as well.

GETTING IN TOUCH WITH ‘UNCLE MO’: Look for Fairfield to build off its huge win last Friday against a strong Siena Saints team. The Stags must continue to keep turnovers to a minimum and to provide spurts on offense. When Fairfield strings together multiple scoring drives throughout the game, it is a force to be reckoned with.

-Frank Romano

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Women’s Basketball: Fairfield vs. Rider Recap

The women’s basketball team returned to the court on Sunday afternoon hoping to rebound from a tough loss to Iona and remain in contention for a top four seed in the MAAC.

The Stags were able to do just that, running Rider off the court in a 77-63 win.

However, early on it appeared that a win might not be as easy as the Broncs’ 1-17 record indicated. Rider hung tough early on and Fairfield clung to a 12-9 lead.

Head Coach Dianne Nolan was worried that this might happen.

“It is always dangerous to play a team like Rider with the season they’re having,” she said.

But, Rider’s success was short lived as the Stags went on an 8-2 run that put them up by nine with slightly less than 12 minutes to play.

Fairfield was able to stretch that lead to 15 by halftime, shooting a scorching 64 percent from the field and holding Rider to only 33 percent.

Nolan was pleased with the way the first half went, noting the importance of getting that early lead.

“It’s very important. It’s been our Achilles heel all year long. We pressed looking to get some easier buckets,” she said.

Over the next half, the Stags were able to hold onto a double-digit lead despite some sloppy play. Rider was able to cut it to nine with nearly10 minutes to play, but Fairfield fought back to provide the final margin of 14.

Dealing with an overmatched opponent, head coach Dianne Nolan decided to push the ball when on offense and applied full court pressure on defense early on.

“We pushed it in transition. It’s not to our strength to grind it out. We have very athletic, smart players who want to run the ball,” said Nolan.

This led to plenty of open looks for the Stags, as they shot 60 percent for the game and went to the line 29 times.

However, the fast pace did have some drawbacks as Fairfield turned the ball over 29 times. But, the Stags’ pressure forced 31 from the Broncs: 13 steals and multiple traveling calls.

Senior guard Cara Murphy, who celebrated her 23rd birthday, paced both teams by pouring in a season-high 17 points. Nine of those points came on three-pointers, the last of which moved her into fourth place all-time in Fairfield history for made threes, passing Megan Light.

“We need offensive punches,” said Nolan. “We get Cara in situations where she can get them.”

Murphy downplayed her accomplishments, emphasizing her desire to do anything to help the team.

“It was great. We came out extremely focused. Anything to help the team,” said Murphy.

Two other players followed right behind her. Sophomore guard Megan Caskin had 16 and freshmen Stephanie Geehan put in 15, a career-high.

Geehan has been impressive her first year playing college ball. Sunday was no different, as she pulled down seven rebounds and had five blocks to go along with her 15 points.

“Steph is terrific,” said Nolan. “She is constant, so smart, and rarely makes a mistake.”

With the win, the Stags improve to 9-10 overall and 5-3 in the MAAC. However, the Loyola Greyhounds won on Monday as well, keeping the Stags in fourth place in the conference, one game behind Loyola.

Next up for the Stags is Niagara on Friday at the Arena at Harbor Yard. The game will be nationally televised on ESPNU. Earlier in the season, Fairfield defeated the Purple Eagles, 77-63.

-Chris Simmons

Swimming and Diving head towards end of season on a strong note

This past Saturday the Fairfield swimming and diving team took NJIT and wrapped them up with a bow on top.

This comes as one of the last few wins that Head Coach Bill Farley needs in order to break the school record for wins under a single coach.

The men’s side dominated the Highlanders with a score of 116-81.

Once again, the divers were a focus for the team, as both Russ Laub ’07 and Taylor Stecko ’10 took high scores in the 1 meter and 3 meter events.

Also sharing the spotlight was transfer student Drew Kingman ’09. In his first ever meet with the Stags, Kingman notched a 2:16:28 in the 200m individual medley, a 1:10:46 in the 100m breaststroke, and contributed to a time of 1:54:73 in the 200m relay. All three of these times broke Fairfield school records.

Other big names for the men included Sean McGonigle ’08, who took first place in the 200m free and the 400m free, Matt Rimmer ’09 with a 100m backstroke win, and Rob Divine ’08 with a 800m free win.

For the women, big winners were found all around. Brittany Hunter ’07 again took the lead for the team with two big victories in the 200m freestyle and the 100m butterfly.

The 50m free, 800m free, and 200m individual medley were also big events for the girls, taken by Jennifer Masi ’07, Jennifer Curtis ’10 and Sarah Dent ’08, respectively.

The women divers, Katharine Yee ’08 and Jennifer Silva ’08, showed well with high marks in the 1 meter and 3 meter events.


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Women’s Basketball: Fairfield Stags vs. Rider Broncs

Site: Alumni Hall, Fairfield, Conn.
Time: Sunday, 1:30 p.m.

FAIRFIELD (8-10, 4-3 MAAC)

Lauren Groom, G, So., 5-11, 4.2 ppg, 0.8 apg – 9 of 10 from the foul line this season

Megan Caskin, G, So., 5-8, 3.4 ppg, 3.1 apg – 10 assists shy of 100 for her career

Sabra Wrice, G, 5-8, Jr.14.1 ppg, 2.4 apg – 14 points and 2 assists on Friday vs. Iona

Stephanie Geehan, F, Fr., 6-0, 5.4 ppg, 6.5 rpg – 117 boards on the year

Baendu Lowenthal, F, 6-0, So., 10.9 ppg, 5.4 rpg – Team-high 16 points against Iona


Kelli Sawyer, G, 5-5, Jr., 10.6 ppg, 2.7 apg – 10 points, 4 assists on Friday vs. Manhattan

Danielle Costantino, G, 5-9, So., 4.4 ppg, 1.1 apg – 14 steals so far this season

Kara Borel, G, 5-9, Sr., 6.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg – 3rd most rebounds in school history (676)

Maura Gillooly, G, 5-11, So., 5.9 ppg, 0.6 apg – Notched 7 points against Manhattan

Stephanie Wisniewski, F, 6-2, Fr., 5.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg – 19 blocks on the year


RIDER WOES: So far this season, the Broncs are winless in the MAAC and have won only one game overall – a game against Wagner on Dec. 29th. Rider’s offense has faltered repeatedly. Its loss to Manhattan on Friday marked the first conference game where the team scored more than 60 points. Nonetheless, look for the Broncs to come out charging on Sunday.

BUILDING MOMENTUM: After a tough loss to Iona Friday night, Fairfield must look to get something started as it heads into its last 11 games in MAAC play. Playing with home court advantage should be a plus, since the team has had a rigorous slew of road games over the past two months.

-Frank Romano

Fairfield Falls to 1st Place Iona, 66-52

Coming into Friday night, the Fairfield women’s basketball team was looking to prove that it was one of the top teams in the MAAC.

Iona sat at 6-0 in the conference and 11-6 overall. Fairfield was third in the MAAC at 4-2 and 8-9 overall. A win would have cemented the Stags’ place as an upper echelon team.

However, it didn’t work out that way. Fairfield fell, 66-52, and dropped to fourth place in the conference.

The Stags never held a lead in the game, but in the beginning, the score remained tight. After falling behind 13-6, Fairfield rallied to come within two. The score stood at 15-13 midway through the first half.

From then on, things got tough. Sophomore forward Baendu Lowenthal hit two free throws with 11:02 left to cut the Gaels’ lead to 19-15. The Stags didn’t score again until Lowenthal hit a layup with 6:17 left.

During that span, Iona went on a 13-0 run to increase its lead to 32-15 before Lowenthal’s shot.

Despite being down 43-28 at the half, the Stags did have some positives. They shot 46 percent from the field, but still couldn’t stop the Gaels, allowing them to shoot 56 percent.

The next half would be much closer, with Fairfield winning it 24-23. The close score reflects both teams’ offenses, as each shot around 34 percent.

The loss came despite Fairfield’s season-low 13 turnovers. However, the Stags were only able to force 11 on defense and allowed the Gaels to hit 46 percent of their shots for the entire game.

Lowenthal paced the Stags with a game-high 16 points. She also pulled down six rebounds to lead the team in that category as well.

Junior guard Sabra Wrice was right behind her in both stats, putting in 14 points while pulling down five rebounds.

The Gaels were able to beat the Stags on the boards, 37-31 for the game. Fairfield’s frontcourt is normally a strength, but Iona was able to neutralize it, limiting the Stags’ second-chance points and fast-breaks.

The loss drops Fairfield to fourth place in the MAAC, behind Marist, Iona, and Loyola. Marist and Iona are both undefeated in the MAAC (7-0), while Loyola (5-2) is only one game ahead of Fairfield (4-3). Fairfield holds the tiebreaker with Loyola by virtue of its win over the Greyhounds earlier in the year. So despite losing to both Marist and Iona, Fairfield is still very much in contention for the top MAAC spots.

Up next for the Stags is Rider University on Sunday at Alumni Hall. Rider is currently 1-17 overall and 0-7 in the MAAC.

-Chris Simmons

Friday, January 19, 2007

Hometown hero: Van Schaick leads Stags to victory at Siena

Fairfield has picked up a much needed victory at Siena, defeating the Saints 72-67 to improve to 5-15 on the season and 3-5 on the year. It is the Stags first winning streak of the season, after the Stags picked up their first road win against Iona on Sunday.

Senior guard Michael Van Schaick, from nearby Glens Falls, NY, set a career high with 27 points, with five three pointers. Van Schaick was 8-for-13 from the floor, 5-for-9 from three point range, and 6-for-7 from the free throw line.

Fellow senior Marty O'Sullivan was the only other Stag to join Van Schaick in double figures, with 10 points.

Fairfield went on a 17-3 run triggered by a Van Schaick three pointer with about five minutes remaining in the game to pick up the victory. One of the most important moments during that run was a fast break tomahawk dunk by Anthony Johnson `10 that put Fairfield down by three and gave the team energy and momentum.

Van Schaick hit the three pointer that tied the game and then made two free throws to put Fairfield up for good. Siena senior captain David Ryan had a chance to tie the game on the next possession with two free throws, but made just one of two.

The Glen Falls native joined Bob Huessler on the Stags radio network post-game show where he said of the final shot:

"Coach drew up a play for me. I told him I wanted the ball. Jon Han set a good screen, it was a good pass, it was well executed."

Van Schaick also said that the game will give the team a lot of momentum and confidence.

He was also happy with his performance in his final game in Albany, "It feels good to play in front of the hometown fans. But its more important that we got the win, we have momentum now."

Fairfield will return home for the next three games against Iona, St. Peter's and Niagara. The first two games will give Fairfield a chance to pick up two very important wins in the MAAC, against the last and second to last teams in the MAAC. Fairfield will have a chance to move to .500 in MAAC play with those two games.

A few statistical notes:
  • Fairfield shot 39% from the field and were 8-for-22 from three point land. But the Stags scored when it counted with the final 17-2 run. Fairfield was 22-for-26 (85%) from the free throw stripe. Siena shot a much better 46% from the field.
  • Fairfield was outrebounded 33-31, one of the few times they have been outrebounded this season.
  • The Stags did have a positive turnover ratio, turning the ball over 11 times, while Siena turned it over 15 times.
More tomorrow at

-Tom Cleary

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Men's Basketball: Fairfield Stags at Siena Saints

Site: The Pepsi Arena, Albany, N.Y.
Time: Friday Jan. 19, 7:00 p.m.

FAIRFIELD (4-15, 2-5 MAAC)

Jonathan Han, G, 6-0, So., 6.2 ppg, 84 assists – Scored team-high 19 points last Sunday vs. Iona

Mike Van Schaick, G, 6-2, Sr., 12.6 ppg, 25 assists – .392 from behind the arc

Anthony Johnson, C, 6-8, Fr., 7.7 ppg, 4.6 rpg – 46 offensive boards on the year

Marty O’Sullivan, F, 6-7, Sr., 6.2 ppg, 6.0 rpg – 8 points, 7 rebounds vs. Iona

Greg Nero, F, 6-7, Fr., 10.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg – Leads team with 21 blocks

SIENA (9-7, 5-2 MAAC)

Ronald Moore, G, 5-11, Fr., 6.6 ppg, 64 assists – Team-high 19 points on Monday vs. Marist

Kenny Hasbrouck, G, 6-3, So., 15.1 ppg, 53 assists – 24 steals on the year

Michael Haddix, C, 6-6, Sr., 18.8 ppg, 8.1 rpg – Team-leading 13 blocks

Edwin Ubiles, F, 6-7, Fr., 12.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg – 12 points, 5 rebounds vs. Marist

David Ryan, F, 6-7, Sr., 7.4 ppg, 4.4 rpg – Shooting .386 from behind the arc


"O When the Saints, Come Marching In...": At 5-2 in conference play, the Saints are in fourth place in the MAAC. This Monday however, Siena played like it was the # 1 team, taking top-seeded Marist to overtime before falling, 75-84. The Saints will look to build off their strong play against Marist, so the Stags must stymie their momentum.

40 Minutes of Solid Play: In Fairfield’s last outing, it beat winless Iona in overtime. The Stags played well, but gave the Gaels too many opportunities to creep back into the game. Fairfield cannot afford to play catch up with Siena — a team in the top tier of the MAAC.

-Frank Romano

Women’s Basketball: Fairfield Stags at Iona Gaels

Site: Hynes Athletic Center, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Time: Friday Jan. 19, 7:30 p.m.


Lauren Groom, G, 5-11, So., 4.5 ppg, 0.8 apg – Last game marked 3rd consecutive start

Megan Caskin, G, 5-8, So., 3.5 ppg, 3.2 apg – 7th in MAAC in assists per game

Sabra Wrice, G, 5-8, Jr., 14.1 ppg, 2.4 apg – Team-high 19 points Sunday vs. Saint Peter’s

Stephanie Geehan, F, 6-0, Fr., 5.2 ppg, 6.6 rpg – 18 blocks this season

Baendu Lowenthal, F, 6-0, So., 10.6 ppg, 5.4 rpg – 18 points, 5 rebounds vs. Saint Peter’s

IONA GAELS (11-6, 6-0 MAAC)

Lauren DeFalco, G, 5-6, Jr., 10.6 ppg, 87 assists – 25 steals on the year

Toni Horvath, G, 5-5, Sr., 8.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg – Second on all-time assists list for Iona

Tiara Headen, G, 5-9, Jr., 12.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg assists – Team-leading .390 from behind the arc

Regan Pettijohn, C, 6-1, Sr., 9.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg – Notched 10 points on Sunday against Manhattan

Martina Weber, F, 6-5, Sr., 7.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg – 22 points, 14 rebounds vs. Manhattan


GAEL-FORCE WINDS: Iona is making waves this season, as it is a program best 6-0 in the MAAC. The Gaels’ current five-game winning streak is also a team record. Despite the fact that Iona has only one player in double figures on offense, it consistently finds ways to score. The Gaels have notched 60 points or more in five of their six conference wins. Look for how a thriving Iona offense copes with a suffocating Fairfield defense.

BATTLE OF THE BOARDS: Fairfield and Iona are both strong rebounding teams. In MAAC play, the Stags are slightly ahead of the Gaels on rebounding offense. Whoever can execute off the boards may very well come out on top this Friday. Given the fact that Iona is holding opponents to just under 60 points a game, finishing down low will be key to a Fairfield victory.

-Frank Romano

Dianne Nolan Chosen for South Jersey Basketball HOF

Fairfield head women's basketball coach Dianne Nolan has been chosen to be inducted in the South Jersey Basketball Hall of Fame on February 12, 2007. For more on this story, check the women's basketball blog and this week's edition of The Mirror.

-Chris Simmons

Mirror Thursday and some updates...

Get ready for the new semester as the Mirror picks up its' Thursday meetings tonight at 6! On today's blog, look for a few random notes from the Ak Attack, some basketball commentary, and where in the world is Tim Dugan on the Other Sports Blog...

Monday, January 15, 2007

Stags' Trio Triumphs: Lowenthal, Werts, and Wrice score 55 total in win

The women's basketball team returned to play at Alumni Hall on Sunday afternoon in another conference match-up with Saint Peter's and came out with a 78-70 victory.

The Stags were coming off of a tough loss to Siena and needed a win to stay above .500 in conference play.

In the early going, it looked as if Fairfield might have trouble reaching their goal. The Peahens scored eight straight points early in the first quarter to take a 12-6 lead.

However, the Stags battled back to take a 13-12 lead after scoring seven straight points. Saint Peter's would hit their next shot to take the lead again, but that would be the last time they would be ahead for the rest of the game.

From that point on, Fairfield outscored Saint Peter's 28-13 until halftime for a 41-27 lead.

The Stags would stretch their lead to 19 with 15:20 left in the game for their largest of the night. It remained in double digits until the final minute of the game.

Fairfield's scorers were hitting everything in this game. The team shot 50 percent from the field in both halves and 89 percent from the line.

They were led by sophomore forward Baendu Lowenthal and junior guards Sabra Wrice and Meka Werts. They scored a combined 55 and shot 73.1 percent from the floor.

Wrice paced the group hitting 7 of 8 from the field and 4 of 4 from the charity stripe for a total of 19. Lowenthal and Werts both put in 18.

Werts provided a spark from the bench, coming in as the sixth man and not only scoring, but racking up two steals and dishing out five assists.

The Stags also won the battle on the boards, coming up with 37 to the Peahens' 26. Werts and Wrice both had a team-high six rebounds.

Despite all the things the Stags did well, they still made some mental errors, a problem which has cost Fairfield this year.

They had 22 turnovers for the game, including six by sophomore point guard Megan Caskin, after a game in which she registered zero.

Fouls also hurt somewhat. Caskin and Lowenthal both had four by the end of the game, while junior Stephanie Cziria had three.

And while the game was seemingly out of reach at the time, the Stags allowed St. Peter's to shoot 50 percent in the second half.

With the win, Fairfield improves to 8-9 overall and 4-2 in the MAAC. Loyola also won their game today, but Fairfield holds the tie-breaker as virtue of their win over the Greyhounds last Monday. Fairfield is in third place in the MAAC with an upcoming game against first place Iona in New Rochelle, NY.

-Chris Simmons

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Post-game quotes from New Rochelle

From Iona:

Milan Prodanovic: I thought we were going to pull it together and get the win; we had some bad breakdowns on offense and defense.

Mike Harris: We were motivated. We felt that we had a chance to win the game. We just tried to fight hard.

Prodanovic: The way I have started to look at it is in the beginning of the year we struggled. Down the road when you ask us how we turned it around. Experience is going to lead to that turnaround. Its bound to happen.

Harris: Our confidence is getting better every game. As a team we understand each other’s game a little bit better. Once we do break the ice, we’ll be fine.

Harris on the last few minutes: Honestly I don’t feel the pressure. We take every game as if it's the same. We just go out and play hard and try to come away with it.

Coach Jeff Ruland (tie loose, hanging down. Top two buttons unbuttoned, hair a mess.)

Only get so many timeouts. I can't call one every 30 seconds. We come down and don’t get a shot four or five times in a row with a lead. No disrespect to Jonathan Han; its got to be career highs in points and assists; we couldn’t stop dribble penetration.

Maybe we’re watching things. I don’t think we did a good job guarding the perimeter. At all.

It’s the little things. They add up. Milan quit on the one play and VS had a wide open 3. Its just hard man, guys who don’t normally play a lot are playing a lot if minutes They're trying. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. You’re trying to tell these guys with the way things are right now. You cant take possessions off.

From Fairfield:

Coach Ed Cooley: We were a little down after what I thought was our toughest loss of the year against Rider less than 48 hours ago where we controlled the entire game but just didn’t get lucky at the and today we got down nine having turned the ball over early in the second half and I give our kids a lot of credit for fighting back against a team who we thought had the law of averages with them to get a win. When they shoot 60 percent for the game and lose, we have to give our kids a lot of credit.

EC: (After being asked if this was the best game so far by the guards): (Laughing) I got to laugh at that one. You can answer that one. I think this is a guard dominated league and when you have good guard play; when they make decisions, they make your job on the sidelines a lot easier. Obviously, yes, they played very well.

Jonathan Han: I think we definitely had that in mind – all the coaches all the players. They wanted this one badly. We just stuck together. We played through adversity and came out with the victory.

MVS: Basketball is a game of momentum. We just had to develop some as we head down the road. We just have to keep that momentum…..we got the lead and we end up losing games, now we come from behind and win it. We have to find out how to win (both ways.)

EC on preparing to play against winless Iona: I approach every game the same way. I think you have to be consistent….you don’t want to put too much emphasis on it. I'm not gonna look at their record and tell our guys they have to play a certain way.

…On why Nero didn’t play in the second half: It wasn’t a matchup thing I just thought we had better matchups on the floor going a little bit smaller. He gave us some great minutes while he was out there. I gotta get on Herbie Allen. You cant play 35 minutes without a rebound That’s like being the only guy at the club who doesn’t come home with a number.

…On Marty: Marty has to play intelligent. He has to be a floor general. He gave us some tough rebounding; an interior presence. I'm leaning on him to give us that leadership.

..On Herbie: We need Herbie. I'm on him in practice. When you have that type of quickness you have to get shots…You have to drive to be aggressive. He and I had a nice talk.

Stags win 83-76

Finally, the five game losing streak is history. And thankfully for the Stags, they didn't become the first team all year to lose to lowly Iona, who fell apart in overtime to drop to 0-16 on the year and 0-6 in the MAAC.

The Stags go to 4-15 and 2-5 in the league.

After Milan Prodanovic scored to put the Gaels on top 68-66, Mike Van Schiack drained a three to give the Stags a lead. They didn't trail for the rest of OT, and opened up a 10 point lead with 29 seconds left.

The daggers in Iona's heart were back-to-back threes by Herbie Allen and Jonathan Han that opened up a 75-69 lead with 2:22 left.

Thanks for following along; Post-game quotes and stats coming in a few hours, after the drive home to Fairfield.

Game story will be up later on tonight.

- Ben

Going to OT


Once again, the Stags thew away a lead in the final minutes.

This time, they literally thew it away when Mike Van Schaick passed the ball right into the hands of Iona's Devon Clarke when the Stags had a 66-64 lead and the ball. Mike Harris hit a layup with 2.9 seconds left to tie it up at 66, so we'll play another five minutes.

Stay tuned.

- Ben

1:28 left; Stags up 2

This hasn't been pretty, but the Stags clawed back and took a 64-62 lead on a Mike Van Schaick layup with 1;51 left.

Should be an exciting last minute.

11:31 left; Stags down 3

If I had posted this two minutes ago, things would have looked a lot worse for the Stags, who now trail 51-48. They were down 51-42 but went on a 6-0 mini-run capped by a Devin Johnson layup. Iona coach Jeff Ruland called a 30 second timeout and came 20 feet onto the court to yell at his players.

- Ben

11:31 left; Stags down 3

If I had posted this two minutes ago, things would have looked a lot worse for the Stags, who now trail 51-48. They were down 51-42 but went on a 6-0 mini-run capped by a Devin Johnson layup. Iona coach Jeff Ruland called a 30 second timeout and came 20 feet onto the court to yell at his players.

Awful start to second half

Iona scored the first seven points of the second half, capped by a three by Milan Prodanovic that forced Ed Cooley to call a timeout and re-group the Stags. Iona leads 38-31 with 18:36 left in the game.

- Ben

All tied up at the half

At halftime, the Stags and Gaels are all knotted up at 31.

A quick rundown of the stat sheet:

Greg Nero leads all scorers with 10. He's already in double figures for the fourth straight game; that makes two streaks this season of four of more consecutive games in double figures, since he led the team in scoring for the first six games of his career....Milan Prodanovic has eight to lead the Gaels.

The Stags weren't as good on the glass as they have been the last few games; they're only plus-one in rebounding margin (11-10) and lead 7-3 in offensive boards.

They've also turned the ball over eight times -- something that makes Ed Cooley's skin crawl.

...Good to see former Stags' assistant coach John Carey in attendance, as he has been for several games this season.

More in the second half.

- Ben

3:58 left in half; Stags still up 1

The two teams have traded baskets for the last several minutes, but the Stags lead for now 24-23. Greg Nero hit a basline jumper to put them up 24-21 before De-Shaune Griffin countered with a layup to make it a one point game again.

- Ben

7:44 left in half; Stags up 1

The Stags took their first lead of the game when Jonathan Han hit a three from the top of the key with 8:31 left. Stags are getting a lot of looks because they continue to crash the boards, but they've missed three layups and loked sloppy on offense.

More at the next timeout.

- Ben

11:41 left in first half; Stags trail by one

It's Iona 14, Fairfield 13 at the under-12 minute media timeout. Greg Nero and Herbie Allen have combined for 11 of the Stags' 13 points. The only other Stags' score was a layup by Jonathan Han on a dish from Allen, who's looked a lot more like the player he was supposed to be over the past three games.

Stags are sticking with the 2-2-1 full court press that they used effectively on Friday night against Rider.

The strangest thing I've ever seen at a basketball game

This one tops that time two years ago when a fire alarm went off in the middle of the Fairfield-Rider men's game and everyone in attendance, including Manute Bol had to vacate the building...

With 10 seconds left in the Iona-Manhattan women's game and the Gaels ahead 55-53, Tiara Headen was at the line shooting the first of two free-throws when an ear-piercing alarm went off.

Fot some reason, Headen decided to shoot the first free throw anyway instead of wating for someone to turn the alarm off, and missed it.

That's when it got interesting.

I've never seen this before, but the officials met at half court and decided to give her a do-over. She made both free throws, putting the Gaels on top 57-53. They went on to win 59-55, so it's unlikely the shot made any difference.

Still though, the first mulligan this reporter has seen in a basketball game at any level.

What to look for from Mirror Sports ...2007

After an exciting and innovative first semester, the Mirror Sports staff will continue to expand and grow with new ideas, greater insight, and all the Stags you can handle. Here is a quick preview:

Chat it up: Look for exclusive LIVE chats with beat writers, editors, and others in the know about all things Fairfield sports!

Q&A: The new Q&A that began last semester is back and in full swing. Hear what your coaches, players, and fans say about your favorite sports!

Sport Blogs: Crave more insight, opinion, and perspective? Visit the individual sport blogs to see what's happening with Stag sports!

Practice Updates: Who's in, who's out? Check for daily updates from practice of all the Stag sports!

Meet the Staff: Pick our brains, argue with us, share your ideas and criticisms with our new Meet the Staff Nights. Stay tuned for upcoming dates!

Greetings from New Rochelle

As Mike Francessa and Chris Russo pointed out last week on the Mike and the Maddog show, there might be a few empty seats today at the Hynes Athletic Center, seeing as the Stags and Gaels are up against the NFL playoffs. Right now, there's about five minutes left in the Iona-Manhattan women's game, I counted 272 people in the stands, four of whom have instruments in their hands.

I'm not sure who the musicians are because they're not students (and thus, probably not an undergraduate Gaels band) and also, they're not playing their instruments.

We'll see how the place fills up for the men's game.

A few notables:

1. WVOF sports director Mike Vitale, who's once again serving as Bob Heussler's color analyst on the Stags' radio network (yours truly had that gig for Friday's game), didn't have a long commute to get here. He's a New Rochelle native and played high school hoops at Iona Prep.

2. Remember the first six games of the season, when players, coaches, repoters, fans, and anyone else who had been to a Stags game was raving about how special Greg Nero was? It'll be interesting to see if that talk picks up again after this game. After scoring a total of 14 points over a five game span heading into last Saturday's game at Manhattan, he's scored in double figures in three straight games, and led the Stags with 14 points in Friday's loss. Friday was the first time since the Central Arkansas game on Nov. 19 that he led the Stags in scoring.

3. More on the milestone watch for Mike Van Schaick: Shake hit four more three-pointers against Rider, and now has 120 for his career. If he hits four today, he'll pass Michael Bell (2003-06) and Kevin George (1989-93) for fourth place on the Stags' all-time three-point shooting list.

4. The Stags would hate to lose this game, seeing as Iona is 0-15 overall and starting to draw all sorts of negative attention around the region for its inablity to beat anyone. The Gaels had a 59-57 lead with four minutes to play but couldn't hang on and lost to Manhattan. You can bet everyone in Fairfield was rooting for Iona to win that game....Ed Cooley quipped after Friday's game that Iona is probably looking forward to playing the Stags.

5. Gotta throw in a little bit of self promotion, so here it goes: be sure to check out tomorrow's game story in the Stamford Advocate in addition to The Mirror's main page and the blog. I'm hittin' the road after the game so I can catch the end of the Pats-Chargers game, but I'll throw up a post with a few post-game notes before I head out, then write more in-depth later on tonight.

- Ben Doody

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Women's Basketball: Saint Peter's Peahens at Fairfield Stags

Site: Alumni Hall, Fairfield, C.T.
Time: 1:30 p.m.


Lauren Groom, G, 5-11, So., 4.7 ppg, 0.8 apg – 12 assists on the year

Megan Caskin, G, 5-8, So., 3.6 ppg, 3.3 apg – 6 points, 6 assists Friday vs. Siena

Sabra Wrice, G, 5-8, Jr., 13.8 ppg, 2.5 apg – Led team in scoring in 5 out of last 10 games

Stephanie Geehan, F, 6-0, Fr., 5.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg –Third in MAAC in rebounding

Baendu Lowenthal, F, 6-0, So., 10.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg – 9 points, 6 rebounds vs. Siena


Johnell Burts, G, 5-5, Jr., 10.6 ppg, 87 assists – Leads team in assists and in steals (23)

Elina Kalnina, F, 6-2, Sr., 8.2 ppg, 5.3 rpg – Peahens’ top rebounder

Tania Kennedy, F, 5-5, So., 12.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg assists – 6 points, 3 rebounds Thursday vs. Iona

Lauma Reke, F, 6-1, Jr., 9.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg – Has led the squad in scoring 3 times this year

Elyse Siciliano, F, 6-1, Sr., 7.9 ppg, 5.3 rpg – 16 points and 7 rebounds in last outing


MOMENTUM BUILDERS: Both the Peahens and the Stags have struggled of late, so look for each to try and find a rhythm early. Coming into Sunday’s game, Saint Peter’s has lost two in a row and Fairfield has lost four of its last five. At this point in conference play, teams can’t afford to go on such slides.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: The Stags were winning by nine points with less than seven minutes to play on Friday, but ultimately lost to Siena. Despite shooting only 34.8 percent from the field, the Stags were in contention throughout the game. However, if they want to finish on Sunday, and finish on top, they cannot allow the Peahens to continually creep back into the game.

-Frank Romano

Men's Basketball: Fairfield Stags at Iona Gaels

Site: The Mulcahy Center, New Rochelle, N.Y.
Time: Sunday, 3:30 p.m.

FAIRFIELD (3-15, 1-5 MAAC)

Jonathan Han, G, 6-0, So., 5.6 ppg, 77 assists – 10 points, 4 assists Friday vs. Rider

Mike Van Schaick, G, 6-2, Sr., 12.7 ppg, 25 assists – Team’s leading scorer

Anthony Johnson, C, 6-8, Fr., 7.8 ppg, 4.7 rpg – Third on squad in steals with 15

Marty O’Sullivan, F, 6-7, Sr., 6.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg – Stags’ leading rebounder

Greg Nero, F, 6-7, Fr., 10.2 ppg, 4.0 rpg – Scored in double figures in 3 straight games

IONA (0-15, 0-5 MAAC)

Milan Prodanovic, G, 6-2, Fr., 6.4 ppg, 20 assists – Tied for 1st on team with 16 steals

De’Shaune Griffin, G, 6-0, Fr., 4.6 ppg, 30 assists – 4 points, 5 rebounds, 7 assists Friday against Manhattan

John Kelly, C, 7-0, Jr., 1.8 ppg, 2.6 rpg – Scoreless Friday

Justin Marshall, F, 6-8, Sr., 8.9, 4.8 rpg – 19 blocks so far this season

Anthony Bruin, F, 6-7, Sr., 13.3 ppg, 6.9 rpg – Gaels’ leading scorer and rebounder


BAD NEWS GAELS: Iona comes into tomorrow afternoon’s game with a 15-game losing streak. The Gaels are the only team in Division 1-A men’s basketball without a win this season. Look for the Gaels’ to come out of the gate strong and with intensity, despite the dismal record.

MORE UNFINISHED BUSINESS: The Stags lost another close one on Friday against Rider—another game where the team played terrific, but could not put the nail in the coffin. Fairfield must look to win, and win with authority.

-Frank Romano

Doody Calls: In the end, it was the same old story


This one hurts. It really, really hurts, because this time, unlike the other two MAAC games in which Fairfield blew a late second half lead, this time the lead was convincing.

And unlike those other games, in this one, the Stags had bounced back every time their opponent made a run.

In this one, the Stags had seven leads of seven or more points. In this one, they scored first, had a six-point lead at half time and had an 11 – yeah that’s right, 11! – point lead with 7:14 left.

In this one, after they let the Broncs climb back into the game with a 7-0 run to close the gap to 55-51 with 6:06 left, the Stags quickly scored the game’s next five points, taking a 60-51 lead with 4:53 left.

At that point, it was impossible not to think that this time, there would be a different outcome.

This time, everyone in the building was sure, there would be a happy outcome.

But in the end this one was just like all the others: the Stags out-played their opponent for 35 minutes and then crumbled down the stretch.

Bob Heussler, my partner tonight on the Stags’ radio broadcast, said it perfectly: down the stretch, this team doesn’t play to win – it plays not to lose.

And when you play not to lose, guess what happens.

You lose.

The Stags, as young teams often do, lost because they made a couple of bone-headed plays down the stretch.

None of them were more costly or more bone-headed than when Jonathan Han tried to run the baseline on an inbounds play after the ball had been knocked out of bounds – thus, when a basket had not just been scored and when players are not allowed to run the baseline – and turned it over.

“Play of the game,” Ed Cooley said after the game.

At that point, the Stags led 62-61 with 1:27 left in the game.

A basket would have given the Stags some breathing room, but instead, Han fouled Rider’s Terrance Mouton, who hit one out of two free throws to tie the game at 62.

On the ensuing play, Han got himself to the line, which was where the irony started.

On a night when the Stags made their first 11 free throws and finished a season-best 17-for-19, Han missed the first of two, giving the Stags a one point lead instead of a two point lead.

Next up on the irony menu: the Stags, who absolutely dominated the boards all day (they out-rebounded the Broncs 34-23), lost because they couldn’t get a rebound in the game’s final possession.

The Broncs missed on two clean looks at the basket, but both times, Jason Thompson – who, ironically, was held in check by the Stags most of the game but came up big at the end – grabbed a rebound.

Finally, Joel Green got to the free throw line and, with the announced crowd of 2,462 howling in his ears, he drained two free throws to put the Broncs up 64-63.

The Stags needed a miracle with 1.9 seconds left, but when Michael Van Schaick’s last-ditch heave from the half court line fell far short, the final buzzer sounded and the Stags had lost their fifth game in a row.

In the end, despite all the things they did right for 35 minutes, it was the same old disappointing story.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Cunliffe not selected on first day

Alex Cunliffe was not picked in the first four rounds, but does have a chance to be selected tomorrow in the supplemental draft, where teams fill out their developmental rosters. Check back tomorrow to see if Cunliffe is chosen.

Midway through...wrong Cunliffe.

Midway through the second round of the MLS Draft, John Cunliffe is the only Cunliffe drafted thus far. The ACC and National Teams are the dominant drawing pools right now.

Side note: David Beckham, husband of Posh Spice and international soccer star, was officially announced as part of the MLS L.A. Galaxy. The deal is to be worth $250 million over five years. He will look to be the ambassador of American soccer, similar to what Pele did for the New York Cosmos. For full analysis, check out the Ak Attack tomorrow.

- Dan

MLS Draft Update

Alex Cunliffe '07 looks to be drafted at today's MLS Draft. Follow the draft live on ESPN2 and live on the MLS Site

More as it becomes available...

Thursday, January 11, 2007


Site: Arena at Harbor Yard, Bridgeport, Conn.
Time: 7:30 p.m.

FAIRFIELD (3-14, 1-4 MAAC)

Jonathan Han, G, 6-0, So., 5.2 ppg, 73 assists – Leads team in assists so far this season

Mike Van Schaick, G, 6-2, Sr., 12.8 ppg, 22 assists – Team’s leading scorer in last 5 contests

Anthony Johnson, C, 6-8, Fr., 8.2 ppg, 4.8 rpg – Leads squad with 46 offensive boards

Rich Flemming, F, 6-7, Fr., 2.6 ppg, 1.6 rpg – Scored 8 points in Tuesday game vs. Niagara

Greg Nero, F, 6-7, Fr., 9.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg – Notched second straight double-double vs. Niagara

RIDER (9-6, 3-2 MAAC)

Ryan Thompson, G, 6-5, Fr., 7.9 ppg, 37 assists – Notched personal-best 10 boards in Tuesday’s win vs. Saint Peter’s

Terrance Mouton, G, 5-11, Sr., 13.7 ppg, 64 assists – 17 points and 6 assists against Saint Peter’s

Harris Mansell, G, 6-3, So., 11.4 ppg, 30 assists – Third on the team in scoring

Jason Thompson, F, 6-10, Jr., 18.7 ppg, 9.5 rpg – Team scoring leader

Joel Green, F, 6-8, Jr., 5.2 ppg, 2.7 rpg – Second on the team in blocked shots (13)


UNFINISHED BUSINESS: In their last game against the Broncs, the Stags lost by only three points, 55-58. Fairfield played great defense for most of the game, but gave up a crucial 12-0 scoring drive late in the second half. The Stags will look to be aggressive on D and consistent on offense – for two halves, not one.

GREG NERO BACK IN ACTION: In back-to-back games, he’s notched a double-double. When thrown into the mix with Flemming and A. Johnson, Nero is yet another big man down low who can provide solid D, rebounding and offense.

-Frank Romano