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Pregame Prep: Canisius clinches MAAC bye with a win

PREGAME PREP

Fairfield at Canisius

7 p.m. Friday at the Koessler Athletic Center

Radio 1230 AM.

Records: Fairfield (14-13, 9-9). Canisius (17-12, 10-8).

The Set-Up: Canisius needs this game. A win would clinch a top-five finish in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and a first-round bye, a pass into the quarterfinals. Fairfield, which stands sixth could vault over Canisius with two wins and two Griff losses. Canisius still could get the No. 2 or No. 3 seed – which would be its dream scenario – with wins Friday and Sunday.

The Matchup: Canisius won the first meeting, 86-72, on Jan. 10, in Bridgeport, Conn. The Griffs did it despite shooting only 5 of 20 from three. Fairfield made a whopping 22 turnovers. Jermaine Crumpton scored 35. Canisius is No. 1 in the MAAC in forcing turnovers and No. 1 in steals. Fairfield loves to jack up threes, averaging a MAAC-high 25.9 a game. Fairfield isn’t great on the offensive glass, either (10th in the MAAC). Fairfield’s best player is 6-3 guard Tyler Nelson (19.4 ppg), who scored 24 on the Griffs last time.

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