The top-seeded Iona Gaels were upset by 4-seed Fairfield, 85-75, in the 2012 MAAC Tournament semifinals on Sunday at the MassMutual Center in Springfield, Mass.
Rakim Sanders led the way for Fairfield in the upset with a game-high 26 points and 12 rebounds. Colin Nickerson and Keith Matthews each pitched in 14 points for the Stags. Iona got 24 points from MAAC Player of the Year Scott Machado. Iona also got 19 points from Mike Glover and 16 points from Lamont Jones.
After Iona held a slim lead at the half and a two-possession lead in the second half, Fairfield used a 16-1 run to erase the deficit and build a lead that the Gaels could not cut into down the stretch.
Fairfield punched their ticket to the MAAC Tournament final for the second time in three years while Iona likely played themselves out of the NCAA Tournament with the loss. Fairfield will play the winner of Siena vs. Loyola (Md.) in the final on Monday at 7 p.m. (ESPN3).
Jamel Fields scored five points in nine minutes for the Stags but could be in danger of not playing on Monday.
He crashed into the Iona bench in the second half and sat out the closing minutes with a large ice pack on his right shoulder and his right arm in a sling. (via Times Union)
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