BRIDEGPORT -- Sydney Johnson flashed a big smile when it was over, pointed to his wife in the crowd and high-fived a few fans on the way back to the locker room.

The Fairfield Stags have enjoyed some big wins over the last few weeks, but Monday night's 66-64 victory over Iona in front of 3,082 fans at the Webster Bank Arena was different.

Derek Needham sank a 3-pointer with 5 seconds left to give Fairfield a two-point lead and it held up after Sean Armand missed a potential tying jumper at the buzzer.

The victory was the seventh for the Stags (17-11, 9-7 MAAC) in their last eight games, but the first to come down to the final seconds. Fairfield moved into a tie for fifth in the conference with Iona (15-12, 9-7) with two regular-season MAAC games remaining for both.

"The wins we've had, I don't know if comfortable is the right word, but they haven't been contested down to the buzzer like this one," Johnson said. "A one-possession game throughout the entire game, that's what it felt like tonight."

Momo Jones scored 29 for the Gaels, who have now dropped five of their last six games by a combined 10 points. Armand added 14 points.

"They had the ball long enough to make that last shot on us and that's the way our luck has been going," Iona coach Tim Cluess said. "It's Groundhog Day for our team right now."

The way Iona opened, it didn't appear it would come down to a final shot. The Gaels relied on Jones, who had 17 first-half points, to start fast -- a 24-13 lead with 9:08 left. Needham only managed three first-half points, but the Stags got a big lift off their bench from Maurice Barrow (10 points, eight rebounds) and freshman Justin Jenkins (12 points, five assists), who helped key a 17-4 run that gave Fairfield a 29-28 lead with 3:57 left.

Iona was up 34-33 at the half, but the teams swapped the lead nine times after the break.

After Iona took a 61-54 lead with 4:49 left on Tavon Sledge's 3-pointer, Jenkins, who missed seven games with a wrist injury, countered with a wide-open 3.

Freshman Amadou Sidibe (nine points, nine rebounds) added a layup with 1:56 left to cut Iona's lead to 61-60. Another freshman, Marcus Gilbert, nailed a 3 with the shot clock at one second to put Fairfield up 63-61 with 47 seconds left.

Jones would complete a three-point play at the other end to give Iona a 64-63 lead before Needham's final shot.

"We need our freshmen and we need them to be aggressive," Needham said. "I figure if I'm calm and their aggressive that's a good balance for us."; @wspaxton