Title-game thriller: Siena 72, Fairfield 65
Top-seeded Siena and second-seeded Fairfield went back and forth Monday night at the Times Union Center, exchanging blows and responding with improbable plays at improbable times.
Against a team that has dominated the MAAC over the past three seasons, Fairfield was nearly flawless in the first half and resilient over the last 10 minutes of regulation.
In the end, though, Siena was too much.
Edwin Ubiles scored 27 points, Player of the Year Alex Franklin had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and Siena beat the underdog Stags 72-65 in just the third overtime title game in league history. The other two overtime title games came in 1982 and 1995.
Derek Needham scored 16 points and Anthony Johnson had 14 for the Stags, who have played themselves on to the NIT bubble.
The Stags (22-10) had the ball with a chance to win it in regulation, but after a series of Siena fouls, Colin Nickerson's baseline fadeaway rimmed out as time expired.
Franklin, named the tournament MVP, and Ubiles, proved too much to handle in the extra session, in which Siena (27-6) outscored the Stags 12-5.
Franklin, Ubiles, Ryan Rossiter, Ronald Moore, Needham and Johnson were named to the all-tournament team.
Both teams will find out their fates -- Siena its NCAA Tournament seeding and Fairfield its postseason destination -- on Sunday.