The women’s basketball team came into Friday’s game against Manhattan looking for a milestone win for the program.

The squad fell just short of notching its 500th win as a program, losing to the Lady Jaspers 74-61. The loss dropped Fairfield’s record to 499-394 in 33 years.

Manhattan put up a fight throughout the first half and was able to go on several runs in the second to put the game out of reach.

Throughout the first half the Stags never had a lead larger than five, which came with the score 20-15, near the midway point of the half. The Stags allowed the Lady Jaspers to shoot 53 percent from the floor in the first half, while also allowing them to shoot 60 percent from beyond the arc.

Fairfield’s offense played well throughout the first half, though. The team shot 48 percent, but only 22 percent from three-point land. The Stags also turned the ball over ten times in the first half alone.

Despite allowing the Jaspers to stay in the game, Fairfield trailed by only one at the half, 35-34.

The second half was much of the same throughout the first ten minutes when Manhattan led 54-41. However, Fairfield was in the bonus with more than half of the second half remaining, helping the squad to slowly narrow the lead.

Late in the game, a jumper by Baendu Lowenthal ’09 cut Manhattan’s lead to three, the closest Fairfield would get for the rest of the game. After Lowenthal’s bucket, the Lady Jaspers went on an 8-0 run to increase their lead to 11.

The Stags were unable to come back from such a large deficit. Only a late three by Cara Murphy put Fairfield into the sixties to provide the final margin of 74-61.

Despite the loss, the Stags were led by a balanced attack yet again. Nine different players scored a basket in the game, led by junior guard Sabra Wrice, who had 18 points. Yet, it wasn’t good enough as the entire team shot 37 percent from the floor.

Fairfield missed open shots that contributed to the low percentage.

“We turned the ball over and we’re not hitting shots,” said Wrice. “We have turned the ball over before, but we hit our shots.”

Wrice suffered a setback however in the second half, when she was fouled hard and came up clutching her wrist. She returned nonetheless and said that the wrist was not going to keep her out.

“It’s fine. I just hurt it real quick. It won’t keep me out on Sunday,” she said.

Overall, the Stags played sloppy defense, allowing Manhattan to shoot 57 percent from the floor.

“I was disappointed,” said Head Coach Dianne Nolan.

“We pride ourselves on our defense and it just looked like we were out of sorts. We were doing things that we haven’t done in a long time,” added Nolan. “We left our feet, didn’t stay on the ground, didn’t rotate, didn’t find people early enough. Just fundamentally not good.”

The Stags lost despite out-rebounding Manhattan 33-27. Nolan agreed that Fairfield played well on the boards, but remarked that the team didn’t shoot or play defense well enough to win.

The loss drops the Stags to 11-11 overall and 7-4 in the MAAC. However, due to Loyola’s loss earlier to Canisius, the Stags will remain in third place based on their season sweep of the Greyhounds.

Next up for the Stags is Rider in New Jersey on Sunday.

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