Nelson was 5 of 9 from the floor and made all nine of his free throw attempts for the Stags (8-7, 2-3 Metro Atlantic). Marcus Gilbert scored 14 points with 10 rebounds and Jerome Segura finished with 11.
A close game throughout, Gilbert hit a 3-pointer with 42 seconds left to put Fairfield up 65-62. Thomas tipped one in to cut it to one, but Nelson made a pair from the line, and Okereafor's 3-point attempt with three seconds left was no good.
Rider outrebounded Fairfield 51-35 but turned it over 14 times and went just 4 of 19 from beyond the arc.