A pair of teams from the MAAC take the floor in the Empire State in search of a victory. The Fairfield Stags make the trip to battle the Marist Red Foxes Friday night. Fairfield was clobbered 78-54 on the road by Iona in their previous contest Sunday afternoon. Marist earned a 72-61 home victory over Saint Peter’s in their previous contest last Friday. The Stags own a 37-25 advantage in the all-time series between the teams but it was the Red Foxes who earned a 70-58 road win in the first meeting this season on January 8.
Fairfield Stags Looking to Bounce BackFairfield got off to a sluggish start to the season but they’ve been better of late in order to climb toward respectability. The Stags enter this game 9-14 overall and are 5-7 in the MAAC for coach Jay Young. Fairfield started the year 0-2 and then dropped four straight games after their overtime win over Holy Cross to drop to 1-6 on the year. The Stags have gone 7-5 since that point to get closer to the .500 mark. That includes a neutral floor win over Texas A&M, which marks their best win on the books this season. Fairfield also has a road overtime win over Oakland. They enter this contest losers of two straight and five of their last seven games.
The Stags are 348th in the nation in scoring offense as they average just 59.7 points per game in Jay Young’s first season as head coach. Fairfield pulls down an average of 34.3 boards per contest this season while dishing out 9.4 assists per game. The Stags are 45th in the nation in scoring defense by giving up 64 points per game on the year. Landon Taliaferro leads the team with 12.8 points per game this season. Jesus Cruz (11 points, 3.8 rebounds) is the only other player scoring in double figures this season. Taj Benning, Vincent Eze, Wassef Methnani, Calvin Whipple and Chris Maidoh are all looked at to contribute for the Stags. Fairfield shoots 40.3 percent from the field this season as a team. The Stags connect on 4.9 three-pointers a night while hitting 31.7 percent from beyond the arc. Fairfield is a mediocre team at the charity stripe, draining 70.3 percent of their attempts on the season.
KenPom shows how much Fairfield has struggled on the offensive end of the floor this season, putting a slew of pressure on their defense. The Stags are 316th in offensive efficiency and 168th in defensive efficiency this season. Fairfield is just 336th in effective field goal percentage (45 percent), 322nd in turnover percentage (22.1 percent) and 339th in two-point field goal percentage (43.9 percent) on the year. The Stags are a very methodical team as they are 343rd in tempo as they average 63.4 possessions per game.
Marist Red Foxes Look to Sweep Season SeriesMarist got off to a brutal start this season and they never really recovered. John Dunne’s team enters this contest 6-15 overall and 5-7 in the MAAC on the year. Marist won their opener and then proceeded to drop 11 straight games, with six of those coming by double figures. The Red Foxes have been better of late, going 5-4 in their last nine games entering this one. That run started with the win over Fairfield on the road and the team recorded their best win of the season with their victory over Saint Peter’s in their previous contest.
The Red Foxes are just 344th in the nation in scoring offense as they put up an average of only 60.7 points per game on the year. Marist is collecting an average of 34.4 boards a night and hand out an average of 9.9 assists per contest. The Red Foxes have been sharp defensively, ranking 89th in scoring defense by allowing 66 points a night. Michael Cubbage is the lone player averaging in double figures this season as he puts up an average of 10.3 points plus six rebounds and 3.1 assists a night. Tyler Sagi, Matthew Herasme, Jordan Jones, Braden Bell and Tyler Saint-Furcy each put up at least six points a night this season. Marist is shooting a dismal 38.8 percent from the field as a team this season. The Red Foxes are hitting 7.1 three-pointers a night despite hitting 33.6 percent from downtown. Marist has sunk a dismal 62.8 percent of their attempts at the free throw line this season.
According to KenPom, Marist has been abysmal on the offensive end of the floor, negating that they are average defensively this season. The Red Foxes are 342nd in offensive efficiency and 188th in defensive efficiency on the year. Marist is 334th in effective field goal percentage (45.2 percent), 277th in turnover percentage (20.7 percent), 349th in two-point field goal percentage (42 percent) and 339th in free throw shooting this season. The Red Foxes play at a slow pace as they are 299th in tempo by averaging 65.7 possessions per game.
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