Of everything we know about basketball, unpredictability is the one term that defines the sport best. On any given night, David can upset Goliath and shock the basketball world. Although the Stags are neither David nor Goliath in the rugged Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, they are for sure unpredictable.

Fairfield currently stands at 9-10 overall and 6-4 in conference play. In their 19 games played so far, they have experienced a three-game win streak, followed by a three-game losing streak, then later in the season a four-game losing streak that then gave way to a four-game win streak. It would be an understatement to say that the Stags have experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in a matter of two months.

Senior Kelsey Carey leads the team in scoring with 15.8 per game while averaging 6.1 boards a game. Alfredo Torres/The Mirror

Senior Kelsey Carey leads the team in scoring with 15.8 per game while averaging 6.1 boards a game. Alfredo Torres/The Mirror

With all the talk of streaks and erratic play aside, head coach Joe Frager has had numerous consistent performers in his 10th year on the sidelines in Fairfield. Led by the senior duo of Kelsey Carey and Casey Smith, the Stags have one of the best one-two punches in the MAAC. Carey, a dynamic forward who can score from all three levels, leads the red and white in scoring at 15.8 points per game. No slouch on the boards either, Carey is third on the squad in rebounds at 6.1 caroms per contest.

As for center Smith, the dominant post presence has produced yet another extremely consistent season to this point. Armed with a beautiful jump shot that is complimented by an array of savvy post moves, Smith is second on the team in scoring, averaging 12.9 points a night to go along with 6.6 rebounds per game. 

Senior Casey Smith is second on the team in scoring with 12.9 per game while averaging 6.6 rebounds per game. Alfredo Torres/The Mirror

Senior Casey Smith is second on the team in scoring with 12.9 per game while averaging 6.6 rebounds per game.
Alfredo Torres/The Mirror

The third musketeer that makes the Stags offense run is forward Samantha Cooper ‘18, who averages 12.1 points and a team-leading 8.4 boards each contest. Like Carey and Smith, Cooper is a well-rounded player that gives Fairfield a trio of top notch weapons.

But when the offense has struggled this year, the defense has often not gotten the stops it has needed to stay close in tight matchups. Through their last game against Canisius, a 63-49 loss on the road, the Stags have been outscored by their opponents by an average of 61.3 to 59.3. Once Fairfield becomes a consistently solid defensive team, the Stags should be able to beat anyone in the conference.

Without a doubt, the Stags have not played their best basketball yet, which leaves much room for improvement. With 10 more MAAC games to play before March rolls around, the red and white should soon be rounding into form as they look to peak for tournament time. Fairfield is back on the court on Thursday, Jan. 26 as they welcome Monmouth at 7 p.m. tip-off at George Bisacca Court in Alumni Hall.

 

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