Johnson, Needham Pace Fairfield In 67-58 Win Over Central Connecticut

Johnson, Needham Pace Fairfield In 67-58 Win Over Central Connecticut

FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Fairfield University senior Anthony Johnson made the most of his return to the basketball court as the center scored a team-high 18 points and secured eight rebounds as the Stags posted a 67-58 win over Central Connecticut State University in the second game of the Connecticut 6 Classic.

Johnson, who missed the final 11 games of the 2008-09 season, scored 10 points in the first half and added eight in the second half.

The Stags took control of the game early by scoring 11 of the first 15 points to take a seven-point advantage with 17:25 remaining in the first half. Central Connecticut answered with four straight points to close the gap to three points at 11-8 and 13-10 at the first media timeout. Fairfield came out of the break with five straight points courtesy of a three-point basket by Lyndon Jordan and an Anthony Johnson lay up.

Once again, the Blue Devils had an answer, most of which came from behind the three-point line. Joe Seymore and Vince Rosario each hit a three pointer in a stretch that allowed Central Connecticut to cut the lead to one point at 22-21 with nine minutes left in the half.

Fairfield finished the half with a 18-9 run to gain a 10-point half time lead at 40-30. Derek Needham and Ryan Olander took turns scoring baskets for the first eight points of the run, and Needham finished with eight of the team’s final 18 points of the half.

The Stags kept its double-digit lead for the first seven minutes of the half, still holding a 10-point advantage at 51-41 with 13:03 on the clock. The Blue Devils came as close as five points in the second half at 56-51 with 7:50 remaining, as Markeys Dean tallied six points during that 10-5 run. Fairfield scored the next five points off a three-point shot by Colin Nickerson that pushed the lead to eight points and a lay up by Anthony Johnson that made the score 61-51 with six minutes left.

Central Connecticut never came closer than nine points the rest of the way at 61-52 and 67-58 with eight seconds on the clock.

Needham finished with 14 points and six assists in 28 minutes of work. Rosario and Ptacek led the Blue Devils attack with 15 points each.