College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, February 4, 2011
With a 75-71victory over Iona on Friday, the Fairfield Stags have taken command of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference with an 11-1 record and six straight wins.
Senior forward Yorel Hawkins surprised the Gaels - and his teammates - with a season-high 25 points, more than double his average, on 11-for-15 shooting. Hawkins worked the lane to near-perfection, adding three points from the foul line and grabbing seven rebounds, four on the offensive end.
Iona lost its 4th straight, knocking them down to 7-5 and out of serious contention for the conference title. Fairfield leads St. Peter's (9-3) and Rider (8-4) by two and three games respectively and have Sunday match-ups with those two foes over the next eight days with a Friday tilt at Manhattan this coming Friday.
Wins in those two key games would likely land the Stags the conference title, even though they play at Iona in their final regular-season game, Feb. 27. The Stags are 18-4 overall.
NOTABLE: Contentious Ivy: The Ivy league got a little little tighter on Friday as Princeton handed Harvard their first conference loss of the season, 65-61, and moved into a tie with Penn at 3-0 for Ivy lead. The Penn Quakers dispatched Dartmouth, 78-47, on Tyler Bernardini's 21 points for their 4th straight win and third in Ivy League play. Harvard sits right behind the co-leaders, at 4-1.