This past weekend, the Stags traveled to Bethlehem, Penn. to take on preseason America East-favorite New Hampshire in a battle of two of the northeast’s most quality mid-major clubs on the campus of Lehigh University. Although the red and white fought for the entirety of the game’s 40 minutes, the Wildcats proved to be too much for the Stags down the stretch and left the 2017 Christmas City Classic with a 71-61 win.
After scoring the first basket of the game, the Fairfield Stags would never take hold of the lead for the rest of the afternoon. With the exception of the fourth quarter, New Hampshire won each frame as they dominated the Stags with their efficient shooting from the field, which ended the game at 43.4 percent from the field and 57.1 percent from beyond the arc.
The closest the Stags would draw to was 11 points in the fourth quarter when they began the final eight minutes of the game on a 13-5 run and cut the deficit to 62-51. But, the Wildcats would keep Fairfield at bay for the rest of their contest with their stingy defense, holding the Stags to 44.6 percent shooting from the field and 20 percent from three for the game.
A three-pointer in the game’s waning seconds would bring the game’s final score to 71-61 and finish an admirable Stag fight to climb back into the game. With that said, the loss was accompanied by numerous Fairfield hallmarks. Senior Samantha Cooper led the Stags in rebounding for the game, the 59th time she has done so in her career at Fairfield.
Junior Khadidiatou Diouf had a career night for Fairfield, leading the team with 19 points. Junior Kendra Landy chipped in ten points on the day, while Cooper added nine points to go along with her stellar performance on the boards.
Fairfield is back in action on Wednesday, Nov. 29 when they welcome UMass Lowell to Alumni Hall for a highly contested non-conference matchup, which is set to tip off at 7 p.m. Sitting at 1-5 currently, the red and white are desperate for a win.