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Fairfield at Siena: Preview

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M. Anthony Dennis
January 7, 2016
Troy, New York

The Fairfield University Stags travel to Albany to face the Siena College Saints. The Stags enter with a record of 7-6 overall, 1-2 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play.

Fairfield are coming off a victory over Darmouth 97-85 on January 4. Head coach Sydney Johnson is in his 5th season, with a record of 61-85. Johnson replaced Ed Cooley, who left for Providence in 2011. Johnson played collegiately at Princeton and was named Ivy League Player of the Year his senior season in 1997. Johnson began his coaching career as an assistant at Georgetown in 2004.  In 2007, he was named head coach at his alma mater, Princeton. Johnson led the Tigers to an Ivy League title and a NCAA Tournament bid in 2011. In his 1st season at Fairfield, the Stags reached the MAAC championship game in 2012. Mitch Buonaguro joined the coaching staff as an assistant. Buonaguro is a former Fairfield head coach who led the Stags to consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances in 1986 and 1987. Buonaguro was also an assistant at Siena before being named head coach in 2010.  After 3 seasons at the helm, Buonaguro was replaced by current Siena coach Jimmy Patsos . Marcus Gilbert is a 6’6” senior forward and leads the team in scoring at 19.5 points per game. Tyler Nelson is a 6’3” sophomore guard and averages 14.5 ppg, while freshman Jerry Johnson, Jr. is a 6’2” guard averaging 10.1 ppg. The Stags average 80.4 points per game as a team, are 2-4 away from home and 0-1 on a neutral court.

The Saints enter with a record of 9-6 overall and 2-2 in MAAC play. The Saints lost at Manhattan 92-87 in 3 OTs on January 4. The Saints are 1-2 without leading scorer Marquis Wright, losing both games on the road. Javion Ogunyemi had 26 points, 11 rebounds (7 offensive) and 5 blocks, Brett Bisping added 20 points and 11 rebounds. Ryan Oliver started and contributed 16 points, 4 rebounds and 4 assists, Nico Clareth had 13 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists off the bench. Ogunyemi has resembled former NBA power forward Jayson Williams with his offensive rebounding prowess. Bisping provides intangibles either making a three, grabbing a board or taking a charge. Oliver is a senior and must provide veteran backcourt leadership in place of the injured Wright. Lavon Long fouled out versus Manhattan after tallying only 4 points and 2 rebounds. Long will need to make a greater contribution in order for Siena to remain undefeated at home.

When: 1/7/16, 7pm

Where: Times Union Center, Albany, NY

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