Seniors Casey Foley, Khadidiatou Diouf and Kendra Landy of the Fairfield University Women’s Basketball Team (10-19) played their last game at Alumni Hall on Saturday, March 2 against Rider University (18-11). The Stags fell to the Broncs 60-53, securing their place as the ninth seed in the upcoming Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Championships. Fairfield’s Championship run will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 7 in Albany, NY.
Less than a minute into the game, Foley sunk a three-pointer to get the scoring started. Fairfield blew an 8-point lead when their score remained stagnant at 12 while Rider rushed ahead, finishing the quarter just one point ahead of the home team, 13-12.
The second 10-minute stretch of the game ended with the Stags back on top, 32-22, which would be the largest score difference of the entire match. The double-digit advantage into half-time was important for Fairfield’s morale. First-year forward, Lou Lopez-Senechal (20 pts.), and guard Sam Kramer ‘20 (11 pts.) led the team in points and aided in regaining the lead late in the fourth.
They managed to maintain the upper hand until, with only two minutes and 52 seconds left, Rider one-upped them 51-50 following an 8-0 run.
“When it starts to get uncomfortable for us, we can’t crack, we can’t start to change what we’ve been doing, especially if it has been working the whole rest of the game,” explained Landy, “We have to be able to keep our mindset stable the entire way.” This sentiment is a useful one as they go into the final and most important tournament of the season.
Lopez-Senechal’s trio of free-throws knotted the score at 53, leaving her team with just 68 seconds to secure a victory.
Ultimately, Fairfield let up 7 points and Rider’s Stella Johnson capped the score 60-53.
Fairfield’s head coach Joe Frager expressed his disappointment in the match’s outcome, but remained optimistic with only five days before their playoff appearance.
“I badly wanted this game for these guys and they played extremely hard. They made some mistakes defensively and offensively down the stretch but everyone’s slate gets wiped clean right now. Everybody’s 0-0 going into the postseason,” said Frager.
When asked about the team’s overall style of play during March 2nd’s afternoon match, Foley made sure to praise hear teammates, saying, “I think that we played with a lot of enthusiasm to start- and energy and confidence. Clearly we play really well when that happens.” The guard tallied 3 steals and 5 assists for herself, and seemed prepared to do all that she could to take lead teammates to a victory for her last ride.
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