Fairfield, Niagara start MAAC play

Fairfield (4-7, 0-0) vs. Niagara (2-9, 0-0)

Gallagher Center, Niagara, New York; Friday, 7 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: Fairfield and Niagara meet in the first conference game of the season for both teams. In conference play last season, each team finished with six wins and 12 losses.

TEAM LEADERSHIP: Niagara’s James Towns has averaged 14.7 points while Marcus Hammond has put up 10.5 points. For the Stags, Jesus Cruz has averaged 14.6 points and 4.7 rebounds while Taj Benning has put up 9.2 points and 4.9 rebounds.JUMPING FOR JESUS: Cruz has connected on 30 percent of the 40 3-pointers he’s attempted and has made 4 of 14 over the last five games. He’s also converted 57.7 percent of his foul shots this season.

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WINLESS WHEN: Fairfield is 0-5 when scoring fewer than 60 points and 4-2 when scoring at least 60.

PASSING FOR POINTS: The Purple Eagles have recently converted buckets via assists more often than the Stags. Niagara has 41 assists on 72 field goals (56.9 percent) across its previous three games while Fairfield has assists on 26 of 69 field goals (37.7 percent) during its past three games.

DID YOU KNOW: Niagara has committed a turnover on just 16.9 percent of its possessions this season, which is the lowest percentage among all MAAC teams. The Purple Eagles have turned the ball over only 11.7 times per game this season and just nine times per game over their last five games.

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