Men's Basketball Heads To UMBC For CIT Opener
March 12, 2017
FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- The Fairfield University men's basketball season will continue on Wednesday, March 15 when the Stags will play at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC) in the opening round of the CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament. Game time is slated for 7 pm. Fairfield received its fourth bid to this postseason event in the last six seasons.
The Stags earned the right to play in the tournament after finishing the 2016-17 campaign with a 16-14 overall record and an 11-9 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) record, a finish which earned the team the fifth seed in the 2017 MAAC Basketball Championship. Fairfield reached the quarterfinals of the tournament before being eliminated by tournament finalist Siena College.
Tyler Nelson led all Fairfield scorers in that MAAC quarterfinal game, netting 25 points along with dishing off a team-best four assists. The junior has been the top scorer in 15 games by himself and a co-leader three additional times. Nelson leads the team in scoring with a 19.1 scoring average, a number which also ranks second in the MAAC.
Amadou Sidibe grabbed seven rebounds in the Siena game, which brought his team-leading rebounding average to 9.3 caroms per contest. He places second in the MAAC for rebounding and remains nationally-ranked in the category, placing 40th in Division I.
UMBC bring an 18-12 overall record into the tournament, placing third in the nation for most improved team after winning seven games a year ago. The team places 25th in the nation with an 81.4 team scoring average and 22nd in the nation with 9.6 three pointers per game. Jairus Lyles leads the team in scoring with 19 points per game. Will Darley represents the team's top three-point threat, netting 76 long-range shots in his 30 starts.