JERSEY CITY, N.J. – The Fairfield University men’s basketball team saw its three-game winning streak come to an end on Sunday afternoon, falling to Saint Peter’s University by a 74-55 margin at the Yanitelli Center.
The first half was not kind to the Stags, especially the opening few minutes. Fairfield made just one of its first seven shots from the floor, but the team defense kept Saint Peter’s close, trailing by only six points early in the half at 10-4. The lead grew to nine points at 13-4 before the visitors began to find their touch from outside.
Jonathan Kasibabu’s three-point play started Fairfield in the right direction, pulling the team within seven points. After a Saint Peter’s basket, the Stags put together their first string of points of the game, registering 10 points in a row to take their first lead at 17-15 following Amadou Sidibe’s baby hook.
The Peacocks’ Antwon Portley answered with a three pointer but Tyler Nelson quickly regained the lead for Fairfield with a jumper that pushed the Stags back in front 19-18 with 5:$9 remaining. Saint Peter’s closed out the half with a 14-3 run to take a 10-point lead into the locker room at 32-22. The Peacocks’ lead came primarily from three-point range where they made seven of 12 attempts. Fairfield was able to connect just once on its 12 three-point tries in the first half.
The Stags’ second half shooting started better for Fairfield, as Jerry Johnson Jr. and Curtis Cobb each made a three-point field goal in the first two minutes of the period. Unfortunately, Saint Peter’s scored 12 points during the same time frame which allowed the home team to improve its lead to 44-28 with 16:56 on the clock.
Saint Peter’s continued to build on its lead throughout the half and ran the advantage to 20 points at 60-40 with eight minutes remaining. Deniz Celen made a three-point field goal to cut into the deficit but Trevis Wyche’s jumper brought it back to a 19-point lead. The Stags made a run at that point when Kasibabu scored six straight points, all coming on layups, to make it a more manageable 13 points deficit at 62-49 at the 4:27 mark.
The Peacocks regained their long-range shooting and answered with three straight three-point field goals to bring the score to 71-49 with just under three minutes remaining. The Stags’ final four points of the game were the result of Jared Harper’s three pointer, after which he added a free throw on the next possession.
Kasibabu came a couple of rebounds short of a double-double, ending the game with 13 points and eight rebounds in his 28 minutes of work. Nelson was the only other Stag in double digits with 13 points. Fairfield finished the game 5 of 27 from behind the three-point arc while the opposition netted 15 of 25 shots from behind the arc.
Fairfield will close out the home portion of its regular season by hosting Monmouth University on Tuesday night at Webster Bank Arena. The game will tip off at 7 pm. The basketball program will also honor its senior class before the game.