SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Derek Needham scored 19 points and hit six straight free throws in the last minute, leading Fairfield to a 43-42 victory over Rider Saturday night in a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinal.
The Stags (19-14) beat Rider (18-14) for the third time this season to reach Sunday's semifinals.Fairfield led 18-14 at halftime. Needham, the only Stag in double figures, hit a 3-pointer with 3:40 left giving Fairfield the lead for good, 35-34. The Stags made their next eight free throws, two by Maurice Barrow, then six straight by Needham.Rider answered with Daniel Stewart's layup and six consecutive foul shots, two each by Anthony Myles, Jonathon Thompson (12 points) and Nurideen Lindsey. That made it 43-42 with 1 second left.Needham then missed two free throws, the second intentionally, and time expired.Fairfield shot 14 of 47 (29.8 percent) from the floor, Rider 13 of 44 (29.5 percent).