Hours before the stage was set for arguably the most memorable Super Bowl of all time, George Bisacca Court at Alumni Hall gave basketball fans a beautiful basketball performance. In a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference showdown, Fairfield convincingly beat St.Peter’s in a 50-38 triumph. The win gave the Stags their ninth conference win on the season and pushed their overall record to one game over 500 at 12-11.
As the season has progressed, Fairfield has found that their offensive strengths lie in the post play of their two senior stars, Casey Smith and Kelsey Carey. With the first half marred by countless missed three-point attempts combined with stout defense from both teams, it was a low-scoring affair entering the half at 18-16.
“In the second half we were able to get touches for Casey [Smith] and Kelsey [Carey] inside,” said head coach Joe Frager. “At halftime we said it is not 18-16 but 2-0 and we just had to grind it out and get a win.”
Frager and his coaching staff knew that they had to get their best players going if they were to come out of Alumni with a win. In Sunday’s matinee, the second half was dominated by the two veterans as they took command of the block and showed why they are one of the most feared scoring tandems in the conference.
While Carey continued her stellar play from the first half and posted nine points in the final 16 minutes to finish with 15 points on the afternoon, Smith found it difficult to get herself in the first two quarters. With zero points headed into the break, Smith scored 14 points in the second frame to provide the Stags with a much needed offensive boost.
“The two of us took responsibility for the poor post play in the first half,” Smith said. “We turned it up a notch because we were getting great passes from the guards and we just had to convert our chances.”
Speaking of the guards, Macey Hollenshead ‘18 and Kendra Landy ‘19 chipped in six and four points respectively to compliment the forwards with big-time plays to seal the game. Now with three consecutive wins under their belts, the Stags have figured out how to utilize the inside-outside offensive game plan that has vaulted them to fourth in the MAAC standings with their matchup with Manhattan College looming next Sunday.
“We are going to take the next couple practices to really focus on ourselves,” Frager said. “We want to tighten a few things up offensively and defensively and add a couple wrinkles to what we run now. This is a grind and we just need to accumulate as many wins as we can the rest of the way.”
The Stags look forward to their trip to Riverdale on Feb. 12 to take on the bottom-feeding Jaspers with the hope of picking up their 10th conference win. With Carey and Smith in their groove at the right time of the season, Fairfield looks to be a force in the MAAC for the rest of the year.
Leave a Reply