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Wade powers Stags to win

Updated 11:38 pm, Sunday, January 27, 2013
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Fairfield Facts
GAME MVP: Senior Desmond Wade just missed a triple-double with 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Wade had six of Fairfield's season-high 15 offensive boards.
KEYS TO WIN: The Stags got a balanced scoring effort, with four players in double figures led by Derek Needham with 19. They won the board battle 39-25 and made their foul shots (12-for-16, all in the second half).
UP NEXT: Friday, vs. Rider at Webster Bank Arena, 7 p.m.
-- WILLIAM S. PAXTON
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JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- A few young fans in Saint Peter's T-shirts stood on the bleachers behind the media table after the game and yelled, "It's Dwayne Wade, Dwayne Wade."

It was really Desmond Wade they were calling to, but the Fairfield senior guard played like the NBA star Sunday afternoon in the Stags` 61-54 victory over the Peacocks at the Yanitelli Center in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference action. Wade, the smallest player on the floor, at a generously listed 5-foot-8, scored 12 points with a team-high 10 rebounds and six assists to help Fairfield (12-10, 4-6 MAAC) win its second straight.

Derek Needham led the way with 19 points and the Stags crushed the Peacocks (6-14, 1-9 MAAC) on the boards, 39-25.

"I just wanted to go out there and play hard today, get another win and see our winning streak go to two in a row," said Wade, who grew up in nearby Linden, N.J., and had over 20 family and friends in the crowd of 1,131. "We wanted to come out and give a good effort."

Besides about a four-minute offensive lull in the first half, the Stags always seemed to stay a step ahead of Saint Peter's, which enjoyed its largest lead at 12-6 with 12:02 left in the first half.

Fairfield answered with a 9-2 run that gave it the lead for good after Maurice Barrow's layup made it 15-14 with 8:40 left in the half. The Stags led 28-24 at the break, and by as many as 12 points afterwards.

"It was the hustle play types of things that we made today ... that was the difference in the game," said Fairfield coach Sydney Johnson, who recorded his 100th career win.

Fairfield's glasswork alone showed how hard it worked. Wade had six of the team's 15 offensive rebounds while Barrow (10 points) had four of his eight boards there as the Stags scored 16 second-chance points.

Freshman Amadou Sidibe added 10 points and nine rebounds.

"Coming into the game that was one of things we focused on," Sidibe said. "Getting rebounds was one thing we could control, so we did."

The Stags also made their foul shots, hitting 12 of 16 attempts -- all coming in the second half. Saint Peter's was 10-for-14.

Yvon Raymond led the Peacocks with 19 points and Darius Conley had 10 rebounds.

"We've been on the other side (of being outrebounded), but we've been trying to correct some things and continue to improve," Johnson said. "We are always following our seniors, but we are asking our seniors to improve so we can be a better team. Thankfully today, we showed some of that."

Contact William S. Paxton at wpaxton@ctpost.com Follow him on twitter at wspaxton

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