Friday, February 29, 2008

Halftime at the Harbor: Fairfield trails Manhattan 32-29

It's a low scoring game, which the Stags would have hoped for, but they are on the low end with 29 points after a late three-pointer by Devon Austin broke the tie. Fairfield has given up a lot of offensive rebounds, while missing a lot of shots at the same time, which is not a good combination, but it has been the same story for Manhattan so the game has been pretty even so far.

With Iona currently leading Marist (28-23 at the half), its an excellent chance for Fairfield to lock up at least fifth place tonight and give themselves a shot at a higher finish, but they need to take care of business here against Manhattan. Still 20 minutes to go, should be a good half.

Stat of the half: 40 percent field goal percentage - Both Fairfield and Manhattan are shooting 40 percen tfrom the field.

Player of the half: Herbie Allen - 7 points, 3-for-6 shooting, 3 rebounds, 2 assists. But on the Manhattan side, freshman Chris Smith is out-playing everyone with 16 points, half of the Jaspers points. On the season he is averaging 9.2 points per game in 23.4 minutes, but has played 19 in this game and has been a killer for Fairfield.

Keys to the Second Half:
  1. Shut down Smith: The Stags need to stop Chris Smith from scoring. He has hit a lot of open shots and has not been played well at all by the Fairfield guards. He is 6-3 and taller than both Han and Allen. With a player like Warren Edney on him in the second half, Fairfield could shut him down.
  2. Rebound, rebound, rebound: The Stags may have had eight offensive rebounds, but they allowed nine to Manhattan and both teams had 11 second chance points. If Fairfield can control the boards, which it should be able to based on the size of the Stags big men compared to Manhattan's (6-6 Devon Austin and 6-9 Laurence Jolicoeur, who is Manhattan's tallest player).
  3. More bench contributions: The Stags have been outscored 10-8 on the bench, but need Nero, Hawkins and Evanovich to step up and give Fairfield some energy off the bench. Mamadou Diakhate could help do that, if he is fully healthy, no need to have him reinjured before the MAAC tournament next weekend, when he will really be needed.
For second half coverage, as always, see the men's basketball blog on the right side of the page.

-Tom Cleary

No comments: