Opinions were being chopped near the court in the closing seconds of Monday’s MAAC championship game between Fairfield and Iona. It’s tough to fall one game short of the NCAA tournament. It’s even more difficult for seniors and the coaches who’ve stuck around through the hardships and served as dominant male figures in these players’ lives since they were high school seniors.
Staring down an 11-point deficit with 19.3 ticks remaining, Fairfield head coach Sydney Johnson used the occasion to pull senior Tyler Nelson, the school’s all-time leading scorer.
As Nelson, who scored 25 points on 8-of-14 shooting, checked out of his final contest, Johnson met the senior guard at the scorer’s table as he headed to the bench. The emotions overtook Nelson and Johnson on the sideline.