To call K.J. Rose’s shooting in the last few games a slump may not really do it justice. A famine, maybe? Since a 26-point outburst on 9-16 from the field in an overtime loss to Bucknell on Dec. 1, the Fairfield sophomore had made just seven of his last 37 shots heading into Friday’s game with Marist over a seven-game span that saw his minutes start to dwindle almost in perfect correlation to freshman Jerome Segura’s increasing.
Friday didn’t really start much better for Rose, he had missed his first five shots as the Stags were struggling mightily at home with a Marist team that was just 1-15 (although the Red Foxes had a full cast of characters for the first time since Opening Night).
If Fairfield wasn’t coming off a 7-25 season littered with many games similar to Monday, coach Sydney Johnson probably wouldn’t have been so disturbed, and could dismiss the Stags’ collapse against Bucknell in a 72-66 overtime loss Monday as an aberration, But the normally mild-mannered Johnson (now in his fourth year at Fairfield) held his team for a good 20 minutes in the locker room after the contest to try to figure out how to finish teams off. With MAAC play opening Friday and Manhattan and Quinnipiac looming as its first two opponents, the time for experimenting is just about over and Johnson’s mixtures just haven’t produced a finished product thus far.
It was more of a tightrope walk than a basketball game, and Quinnipiac was walking with no safety net. There was no room for error. Playing with a lineup of just seven players, any foul trouble could spell disaster.
Fortunately, Quinnipiac was able to force the early foul trouble squarely on Fairfield’s shoulders and pull away to an 80-72 victory Thursday night at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. Continue reading →