Fairfield's Chris Rivers enjoyed a career game while Canisius starter Darren Fenn suffered through a scoreless performance -- perhaps his worst game in a Golden Griffins uniform.
That said volumes about the outcome of Monday night's Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference men's basketball game between the Stags and the Griffs.
Rivers, who was averaging 13 points, went on a 40-point tear in leading a 98-93 victory over Canisius before 1,843 at Alumni Hall in Fairfield, Conn.
The result left the teams tied for seventh place in MAAC standings with 6-8 records. The top six teams receive first-round byes in next month's MAAC tournament in HSBC Arena. Canisius is 14-9 overall, Fairfield 10-13.
Rivers scored four straight baskets to start the second half and give Fairfield a 49-38 lead. Then he and Jermaine Clarke held off repeated Griffs' runs in the second half.
A 6-foot-6 senior from Middleburg, Fla., Rivers scored nine in a row for the Stags after Canisius had narrowed a 10-point deficit to 54-51 midway through the second half. When Rivers was finished the Stags owned a 66-59 lead. Successive three-point shots by Clark built Fairfield's lead to 11, 72-61. Canisius never got closer than five after that.
Rivers fell one point short of the Fairfield single-game record of 41 by George Groom in 1972. It was the most scored against Canisius since a 41-point output by Manhattan's Bruce Seals Jan. 31, 2000. Rivers, who played only 29 minutes, had 28 points in the second half. He also had 12 rebounds.
"I was just trying to play hard and the ball kept bouncing my way," Rivers said. "I knew they (points) were racking up but I had no idea how many."
Fenn, meanwhile, got off only five shots as he was shut out in 27 minutes. He came into the game with a team-high 14.5 average.
Clark had 23 points for Fairfield. Usual scoring leader Sam Spann, who was averaging 15.8 per game and had a streak of eight straight double-doubles ended recently had nine points and nine rebounds. Rivers more than took up the slack as Fairfield swept the regular season series from Canisius for the first time since the 1992-93 season.
Brian Dux led Canisius with 19 points. Clive Bentick and Tory Jefferson had 18 each and Toby Foster had 17. The Griffs were only 14 of 22 from the foul line. Fairfield made 34 of 42 for 81 percent, including a perfect 12 of 12 by Rivers.
"We had trouble containing Rivers, obviously," said Canisius coach Mike MacDonald. "Give credit to Fairfield. They made their free throws and their threes and when they make their threes they're tough to guard.
"When they made their run we got a little sloppy and we let outside influences affect us."
The loss snapped a three-game Canisius winning streak since a 91-85 overtime defeat at the hands of the Stags on Feb. 2 at the Koessler Center.
Fairfield has now won two straight.
MEN'S HOCKEY: Canisius' Stephen Fabiilli, who stopped 20 of the 21 shots he faced in a 5-1 win over American International, was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Hockey League Goalie of the Week. The senior from Sudbury, Ont., has a 3.30 goals-against average and an .897 save percentage.
Canisius (11-10-3, 9-8-3 in the MAAC) stands in fifth place in the conference. The Griffs trail Mercyhurst (15-4-1), Iona (13-4-3), Quinnipiac (12-6-2) and Connecticut (10-7-3). Canisius will be home against Quinnipiac on Friday and Connecticut on Saturday in a pair of 7 p.m. games at the Buffalo State Arena.
Nick Kormanyos, who recorded four assists in Niagara's weekend sweep of Findlay, was named College Hockey America's Rookie of the Week for the second straight week.
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL: Tiffany Bell of the University at Buffalo was named Mid-American Conference East Player of the Week for the fifth time this season. Bell averaged 26.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks in Buffalo's two conference victories last week.
She had 28 points and 13 rebounds against Ball State, her fourth double-double of the season and 28th of her career.
Bell will lead the Bulls against Kent State Wednesday night in Kent, Ohio. The Golden Flashes lead the MAC East with a 10-2 mark, 2 1/2 games in front of UB (7-4).
Elsewhere, LaRoche College of Pittsburgh pinned a 66-57 loss on D'Youville (9-1). Mary Legnard led the Spartans with 21 points.
Conference All Games
W L Pct. W L Pct.
Iona 11 3 .786 18 7 .720
Siena 9 5 .643 16 9 .640
Marist 9 5 .643 14 10 .583
Niagara 9 5 .643 12 11 .522
Manhattan 9 5 .643 12 12 .500
Rider 8 6 .571 13 10 .565
Canisius 6 8 .429 14 9 .609
Fairfield 6 8 .429 10 13 .435
Loyola, Md 1 12 .077 4 18 .182
St. Peter's 1 12 .077 3 19 .136
Fairfield 98, Canisius 93
Marist at Rider
Iona at St. Peter's
Loyola at Canisius, 8:00
Manhattan at Niagara, 8:00
Siena at Fairfield