by Dan Gardella
Fairfield – As final exams concluded, there was still one test for the Fairfield University Stags: The Old Dominion Monarchs.
This test was not as successful as the ones in the classroom.
Led by a career high 30 points by Ahmad Caver, the Monarchs escaped Fairfield with an 82-77 win in overtime.
“What didn’t he make? Step-back threes, driving, taking two big steps, can barely see the rim and putting it up there with a nice touch. The kid competes” said Stags head coach Sydney Johnson praising the 6’2” junior.
Fairfield jumped out to an 11-4 lead within the first five minutes of the game but were outscored 22-13 in the final 15 minutes of the half to go into the locker room trailing 26-24.
Coming out of the half, the Stags struggled and saw the deficit grow as large as nine at 44-35 with 12:36 remaining and again at 60-51 with 4:08 to play. However, Fairfield did not waiver, fighting back and tying the game at 63 with 1:25 left to play in regulation on a Ferron Flavors Jr. three.
“It’s just a matter of trust. The same thing that got us to the great start to the game, and it’s helped us play well.” said Johnson on the mentality when mounting multiple comebacks.
On the court, it was the Tyler Nelson show throughout the second half, scoring 19 of his team high 26 points in the second half and overtime. Nelson continued his struggles shooting the ball, only connecting on 6 of his 18 shots along with 4 of his 12 three points attempts.
“I’ve been struggling with my shot lately but I’ve been trying to stay confident. I know that eventually they are going to fall and they did in the second half.” said Nelson
Matija Milin contributed to the Stag offense with 16 points along with hot shooting from three to help Fairfield remain close.
“When we have them in the forefront, everything falls in line” said Johnson on the play of his upperclassmen.
The Stags, who now drop to 4-6 overall welcome the University of New Hampshire to Webster Bank Arena Friday at 7 PM.