The Fairfield Stags pulled off the upset by forcing 20 turnovers to defeat the Colorado St. Rams at home, 62-60. The Stags played their typical game by using their defense and scoring just enough to get the win. Yorel Hawkins led all scorers with 17 points which was his second best performance all year. Then there was forward Ryan Olander who recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
As for Colorado Stat they had a tough time holding onto the ball and it did not help that Andy Ogide was held to 13 points and he was in foul trouble most of the night. Ogide only played 24 minutes and had six turnovers. The Rams were just flustered by the Stag defense which forced the turnovers and caused the poor shooting night where the Rams shot 32 percent from the field and 21 percent from the field.
At the end of the game the Rams had a chance for the win as Wes Eikmeier just missed an open three-point attempt that rimmed out just under three seconds left in the game. The loss puts the Rams season at 19-13 and denies them from getting a 20-win season.
The Colorado St. Rams enter post season play tonight as they host the Fairfield Stags in the first round of the NIT tournament. Fairfield comes from the MAAC conference and they had high hopes of doing some damage in the NCAA tournament, but they fell to St. Peters Peacocks in the semifinals of the MAAC tournament. The Stags have a record of 24-7 and have no standout wins on their schedule. They did have the Florida Gator on the docket, but that game was cancelled due to weather early in the season.
Fairfield is led by guard Derek Needham who averages 14 points per game and he is a streaky player who shoots the ball a lot to get to his average. He only shoots 35 percent from the field and 31 percent from the three-point range, so if he goes cold then Fairfield has a tough time winning games. That is exactly what happened in their loss to St. Peters as Needham was only one-for-twelve in shooting the ball, so in definition he is a chucker. Needham is more then the Stags leading scorer, he is a solid defender who can create trouble for opposing guards as he averages nearly two steals per game, and he is a distributor on offense by dishing out five assists per game.
Fairfield is a team that wants to slow down the pace down, partly due to their offense that is not great but they make up for it in defense as they give up a stellar .88 points per possession. While the Stags boast a good defense they will have a tough time slowing down Colorado State's Andy Odige and Travis Franklin who make up 40 percent of the Rams offense.
This game tips at 7 p.m. MT and can only be seen on ESPN3.