Monday, January 1, 2007

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

This Tuesday, the Stags kick off the New Year with a game against conference foe Rider at 7:30 p.m. in Lawrenceville, N.J.

Fairfield and Rider are both 1-1 in MAAC play, but the Stags have a 3-10 record overall while the Broncs have posted a 7-5 mark.

The Broncs currently have three players in double digits on offense, with Jason Thompson’s 19.3 points per game leading the way. Terrance Mouton has 13.3 and Harris Mansell has 11.3.

J. Thompson is also the team’s top rebounder, with 9.3 boards per game.

Rider’s last game came on Dec. 28th, when it lost to nationally-ranked Notre Dame, 51-101.

Despite the 50-point deficit, there were several positives to the game. Two Broncs scored in double figures and at one point, the squad went on an 11-0 run.

Rider, like Fairfield, has faced some pretty tough competition in the early portion of its schedule.

So far this season, the Broncs have already played against Drexel, Northeastern and Villanova —to name a few.

While they suffered big losses to Notre Dame last week and Villanova the week before, the Broncs really do have a solid offense.

Rider is fourth in scoring offense in the MAAC, with four players in double figures.

To overcome Rider’s offensive threat, Fairfield must bounce back from its loss to Fordham last week and avoid long scoring draughts.

Even though the Stags only lost by nine, there were times when the offense faltered.

The scoring lapse that proved most costly came at the very end of the game, when the Stags failed to score for over three minutes, ultimately giving the Rams the lead.

Overall, Fairfield outrebounded and outshot Fordham from the field. However, scoring lulls killed the Stags’ momentum at key points in the game.

If Fairfield can provide a steady offense to go along with its strong rebounding and defensive skills, it will be in contention.

-Frank Romano

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