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

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