Basketball season at Fairfield is officially over.

Another season is now in the books for the Fairfield men and women’s basketball teams. However, the season ended sooner than the players and coaches would have liked. The men’s team lost in the first round of the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament against St. Peter’s University on a desperation, game-winning 3-pointer that left players in shock. At a score of 65-62, the Stags saw their season come to a disappointing end, as well as the departure of the sole senior on the team, Maurice Barrow.

The women’s team, on the other hand, received a first round bye and played Rider University in the second round of the MAAC Tournament. Unfortunately, Rider stifled the Stags defensively and forced them out of the game, ending their chances at a legitimate run to the National Collegiate Athletic Association tournament.

However, the Stags were still able to secure a postseason berth. They received an invitation to the Women’s Basketball Invitational (WBI) and breezed through the first few rounds, until they were defeated by the University of Illinois at Chicago in the semifinals of the tournament. Unlike the men’s team, the women were losing five seniors, all players instrumental in Head Coach Joe Frager’s rotation. Seniors Katie Cizynski, Alexys Vazquez, Brittany Obi-Tabot, Christelle Akon-Akech and Casey Grace would all see their playing time with the Stags ultimately come to an end with this loss.


Unlike the women’s team, the men will only be losing one senior in Barrow, but he was important to the team’s relative success and chemistry. Barrow was named MAAC Sixth Man of the Year this season and will be leaving the frontcourt of the Stags that much more barren. In his senior season, Barrow led the team in points per game, averaging 14 per contest. He also averaged five rebounds and led the team in steals with 28. Though Barrow’s departure will damage the team, there are players ready to step up and fill his shoes.

“He’s an outstanding young man who has been willing us many times throughout the season,” said Head Coach Sydney Johnson about Barrow.

One player in particular who can expect to see bigger numbers next season is Malcolm Gilbert ‘15. The University of Pittsburgh transfer stands at 6 feet 11 inches and has a wingspan to brag about. Though he only played limited minutes in his first year of eligibility at Fairfield, Gilbert can expect to see much more playing time as a presence in the paint with Barrow gone.

In just 10 minutes per game, Gilbert had 2.5 points and 2.7 rebounds, while leading the team with 36 blocks. With that said, he could flourish as a defensive anchor, but may not provide the scoring punch that Barrow did.

As a team, the men compiled a 7-25 record, with 4-16 in MAAC play. This is a step back from the 2012-13 season, in which the Stags went 19-16 overall and 9-9 in conference play. This season, the team averaged 63.4 points per game, while giving up 70 points per game. They also had 469 turnovers while getting just 141 steals.

“The future is bright because I can tell these guys to be like him [Barrow]. He’s a huge part of our future even though we won’t see him in a uniform again,” said Johnson. “He empowers me to push these guys hard because that’s what I did to him and he answered the call every time.”


After an impressive season, the Frager will lose five seniors that were all important in his rotation: Cizynski, Vazquez, Obi-Tabot, Akon-Akech and Grace.

Cizynski was the star of this team, averaging 16.9 points and 8.7 rebounds per game. She was named to the WBI All-Tournament Team and given All-MAAC Honors, along with teammate Vazquez. Vazquez, the only other player to average double-digits in scoring with 10.4, set a record this year with 94 three-point field goals, the most in Fairfield women’s basketball history. She was most notably known for her nationally ranked three-point field goal percentage (.402.)

“Overall, we had an excellent season,” said Vazquez. “We just did it for ourselves and are all really happy with the outcome. We ended the season off how we would have liked to.”

Obi-Tabot, Akon-Akech and Grace were also instrumental to the team’s success and provided depth both inside and outside the basket. With that said, the absence of all five of these players will leave holes in multiple positions across the floor. Luckily for the team, there are multiple transfers and younger players that appear ready to fill these roles.

Frager will be able to play two of his transfer players that were unable to play this year due to NCAA transfer rules, Margeaux Dupuy ‘15 and Casey Smith ‘16. This guard and forward (respectively) combo could become important to Frager.

Some other players that could have a larger impact next season include freshmen Kristine Miller, Kelsey Carey and Samantha Cooper. Miller and Carey had played sparingly over this past season since there were other players ahead of them in the rotation. Cooper, however, missed most of the season with an injury and was not able to prove her worth. Expect for these three forwards to take over the frontcourt in the way that Cizynski and Obi-Tabot did.

“I think we’re losing a lot of good minutes on and off the bench, but it’s all a matter of how people are going to step up next year,” said Felicia DaCruz ‘15. “Our freshmen and transfers will be able to play next year and get good time.”

As a team, the women’s basketball team went 22-11 overall and 15-5 in MAAC play, an improvement from the 2012-13 campaign in which they went 18-14 overall and 11-7 in MAAC play. This year, the team averaged 61.8 points per game, while only allowing 60.6 points per game. They will look to improve on these numbers next year.

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