The difficult stretches continue to accumulate for the Canisius men's basketball team.
Struggling on offense, the Golden Griffins lost their fourth straight game, 65-51, to Fairfield in front of 1,549 at the Koessler Center Friday night.
With the loss, Canisius stumbled to 2-11 in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and 7-16 overall.
The Griffs shot just 30 percent from the field and lost their defensive spark as missed layups and open jump shots piled up.
"I thought Fairfield played a great game," Canisius coach Tom Parrotta said. "They took us out of everything we attempted to do offensively. My gosh, I thought the team sloughed off us a bit and we were able to get open looks from three-point range. Then when we actually got the ball down low, we missed a bunch of [layups]."
"It's a little discouraging to come back down to the defensive end after that. I told the guys to keep taking them, they're going to fall. They didn't fall and that's a really tough thing to go through."
As the shots weren't falling, the Griffs' defensive intensity started to dwindle, which became evident in the second half when Fairfield shot 54 percent (13 of 24) from the field.
"It's happened to us before so we can't make excuses," said guard Frank Turner who had a game-high 20 points. "At times when you're not making shots you still have to dig in and play defense. It will kill your pride a bit and the level goes down a bit, but give it to Fairfield. They made big shots."
In the first half, Fairfield used a 7-0 run to take a 12-5 lead at 12:02 of the first half. Canisius surged near the end of the period. A block by Elton Frazier led to a three-pointer by Bob Bevilacqua which gave the Griffs some life. A three-pointer by Robert Goldsberry tied the game at 24 and the Stags took a 25-24 halftime lead after Herbie Allen hit a free throw.
In the second half, Fairfield built a 10-point lead just 6:30 into the half.
The Griffs, meanwhile, struggled, hitting just 29 percent (9 of 31) in the second half while Fairfield held a 46-32 rebounding advantage for the game.
"We got good ball movement and good leadership," Fairfield coach Ed Cooley said. "Everybody who played had at least two rebounds. We're getting contributions from everybody."
Fairfield played without three starters as Warren Edney and Anthony Johnson are both out for the season with injury and Jonathan Han is indefinitely suspended for violation of team rules. Still the Stags have won three straight and improved to 15-9, 8-5.
Among those stepping up for the Stags, Yorel Hawkins had a career-high 18 points with 10 rebounds while Ryan Olander had a career-high 11 points.
For Canisius, Turner had a career-high four three-pointers while his six assists move him past Kevin Downey on the Griffs' all-time list with 406.
Canisius returns to action Sunday hosting Saint Peter's at 11:30 a.m. The game will be the feature of Canisius Sports Hall of Fame Day, featuring induction of Jill Evans Benham (1996, synchronized swimming), Scott Dochat (1998, football), Richard Foit (1995, baseball) and Joanne Wright (synchronized swimming coach).