The Fairfield University women’s basketball team played Quinnipiac University (9-7) this past Saturday, Feb. 22, at Alumni Hall. Quinnipiac is currently the fourth seed in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, while Fairfield is the third seed. Stags won with a score of 72-60.
This past Monday, Feb. 24, Fairfield, with a current overall record (10-6), played Marist College (15-2). The Stags put up a good fight, but lost to Marist 75-45. This was a huge difference in result compared to the last time these teams faced off, when the Stags beat Marist 52-48. The 75 points were the lowest amassed by Marist during any one game this season.
We once again saw head coach Joe Frager’s preferred starters, including Sam Kramer, Katie Armstrong ‘20, Callie Cavanaugh ‘21, Lou Lopez-Senechal ‘22 and Rachel Hakes ‘22. However, we did not see any of Andrea Hernangomez ’22, as she was benched for an injury. Every other player saw the court that night. The Stags won the tip off, but the first rebound of the night went to Marist. Fairfield is one of the only teams in the MAAC that is comparable to Marist in height, but tonight, Marist dominated with the rebounds. By the end of the game, they had 47 rebounds, while Fairfield only had 17. This was definitely a problem area for the Stags. Fairfield was able to steal the ball, which led to the first points of the game by Cavanaugh. Hakes immediately started pressuring Marist as they were bringing up the ball. Armstrong had the first rebound of not-too-many for the Stags. Lopez-Senechal hit her first three-pointer of the game. She attempted six three-pointers in the game, and hit four of them, shooting 66.7 percent. Lopez-Senechal, Armstrong and Kramer typically lead the Stags in scoring. A turnover by Kramer led to the first points on the board in favor of Marist. This basket led to a 15-point hot streak for Marist, where Fairfield didn’t score at all again for the rest of the quarter. Fairfield’s shots just weren’t hitting like they should have that night. As a team, they only shot 32.65%. Marist shot 36.35 percent. Cavanaugh got her first foul of the game with two minutes left in the first quarter. Marist had another steal, but Kramer stole it right back. The first quarter ended with a score of 15-5, Marist.
Hakes started out the second quarter strong with a great assist to Armstrong down low for two. This was Hakes first assist of the game, and the first of Fairfield’s nine. However, Marist out-assisted Fairfield, with 20 assists throughout the game. Junior Molly Bauer had an exciting block down low and got the ball back for Fairfield. With Hernangomez out due to injury, Bauer is Frager’s second center off the bench. First-year Ciara Bracken traveled to add to Fairfield’s 14 turnovers. Marist was right behind them with 13 turnovers. Hakes was playing great defense, putting a lot of pressure on Marist while they’re bringing the ball up, and never losing that intensity. Kramer attempted a three-pointer, missed and drove straight back to the basket to get her own rebound. This led to a jump ball that kept the ball with the Stags. Bauer had an illegal screen, and then later threw the ball out of bounds for another Fairfield turnover. Hakes hit a three-pointer; she was a standout player for tonight’s game. Graduate student Kendra Landy was also putting a lot of pressure on Marist. Landy has been a star player for Fairfield since her first year. First-year Mackenzie Martin was also showcasing her defensive skills all night. She played 12 minutes in this game, which is a good chunk of time, considering she had only played 30 minutes up until that point in the season. Lopez-Senechal had a lovely assist to Armstrong for three points. Once again, Fairfield was pressuring Marist as they came up the court, but it left them wide open below their basket. They had two rebounds in a row that led to them scoring yet again. The first half ended with a score of 33-16, Marist.
The Stags are known to come back for the second half with a new energy, and fans were hoping to see this. Kramer started out with another three-point attempt. Kramer went 0-6 on three-pointers. Thankfully, Cavanaugh was there for the rebound and put the ball right back up for two. With five minutes left in the quarter, Marist was on their second double-digit run with Fairfield scoring nothing for over four minutes. Cavanaugh saw her fourth foul this quarter, which added pressure on coach Frager, as he was already down a key player. Mackenzie drove down low for two, putting her only points on the board. Fairfield had yet another turnover, and Marist followed right back with one. Junior Sam Lewis attempted her first three-pointer of the game. Lopez-Senechal had a steal to drive for two, then had a steal and sent it down the court in hopes Landy would be able get there in time, but it went out of bounds. Marist doubled Fairfield’s score in the third quarter, 60-30.
The final quarter started with a hit for Fairfield, as Cavanaugh fouled out. Landy had a great drive for two and Lopez-Senechal followed with the same energy by grabbing a Marist rebound. We later saw Bauer and Lewis with rebounds, but other than that, Marist was dominating the rebounds in the final quarter. Lopez-Senechal put a lot of pressure on Marist and it led to a travel, giving Fairfield the possession. Bracken drove down low for her only points of the game. Junior Eden Nibbelink had a steal and later hit a three-pointer. Three-pointers was the only area that Fairfield out-played Marist in. The Stags shot 32 percent, while Marist only shot 22.7 percent. Fairfield lost the ball yet again with another attempt to throw it down the court. Lewis hit an impressive three-pointer within the last minute of the game while she had a lot of pressure on her. The game ended with a score of 75-45, Marist. Fairfield brought the energy and they brought the passion, but simply put-they were out-played. Marist shot better, rebounded more and remained in control all night.
The Fairfield University women’s basketball team has their next game on Feb. 27 against Rider University at 7 p.m. Make sure you head to Alumni Hall this Thursday- you won’t want to miss it!
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