The Fairfield University Women’s Basketball Team’s season came to an unfortunate end on Sunday, March 5 as the Stags fell to conference foe Rider Broncos 49-36 in the quarterfinals of this year’s Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament in Albany, N.Y. The Stags started the tournament on the right note as they took care of the sixth-seeded Marist Red Foxes 61-44 in the MAAC quarterfinals behind Kelsey Carey’s ‘17 game-high 15 points, but would fall in the next round to Rider.

From the start of the game, you could tell that Rider’s defense was going to pose a problem for the Stags. Fairfield’s offense struggled through the first quarter of play as they shot 1-5 from the field as they only registered two points in the whole quarter. The Broncos’ defense was a pest early on as they forced 10 Fairfield turnovers en route to a 10-2 lead at the conclusion of the first.

Facing a huge deficit, the Stags started the second quarter of basketball on the right track as they looked to battle their way back into the contest. After a rocky first quarter, Fairfield found its offense in the second frame of basketball. The Stags scored a total of 11 points in the quarter, most of which came on an 8-0 run with 4:40 left in the first half to cut Rider’s lead down to 13-11. Senior Kristine Miller provided a huge lift off the bench as she scored six points during Fairfield’s 8-0 run. Offense wasn’t the only thing the Stags did well in that quarter as they played lockdown defense limiting the Broncos offense to just two points on 1-12 shooting. Although Rider was not connecting from the field, they were getting to the free throw line making four in a row to close out the half up 17-13.

The Stags carried the momentum from the first half into the second half of basketball, scoring the first five points of the third quarter, giving them their first lead of the game at 18-17. The two teams would go back and forth until Fairfield closed out the third quarter on a strong note by going on an 8-0 run to close out the quarter up 28-25.

Although leading to start the final quarter of play, Fairfield would struggle for the remainder of the game as it was all Rider to close out the game. The Broncos would go on a 17-2 run to finish the game and the Stags’ season as they would go on to win 49-36 over Fairfield. Senior Casey Smith lead the Stags in scoring with a total of 13 points while Miller added eight and Carey finished with six in their final tournament game. Fairfield finished the season with an overall record of 17-14, 13-7 in conference play.

With the win, Rider advanced to face Quinnipiac in the MAAC Championship game, but was unsuccessful as the Bobcats came out victorious 81-73 to be crowned the 2017 MAAC Women’s Basketball Champions on Monday, March 6.

 

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