The Fairfield University women’s basketball team has officially rounded out their Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference schedule for the 2020-2021 season. The Stags women’s basketball team has faced several challenges this season regarding COVID-19 cases, postponed games, etc. The women’s basketball team bounced back from their loss against Quinnipiac University during the week of Feb. 15 with three wins against Iona College and Monmouth University.
On Wednesday, Feb. 17, the women’s basketball team traveled to Iona for their 12th game of the season. The Gaels had a head start in the first quarter with a made layup in the first 30 seconds. About two minutes into the game, Andrea Hernangomez ‘22 assisted Lou Lopez-Senechal ‘22 to hit a two-point jumper. Fairfield had been down 11-2 in the first quarter, but their defense strategies kept them in the game from beginning to end. Fairfield guard Rachel Hakes ‘22 ended the first quarter with a three-point shot. The first quarter ended with Fairfield taking the lead, 20-15.
The second quarter started with a bang from Eden Nibbelink ‘21 with her three-point jumper. The Gaels were then traveling behind the Stags eight-point lead. The Stags kept the quarter going with continuous rebounds which pushed Iona to end the second quarter with seven turnovers. Fairfield led the first half against the Gaels with a comfortable score of 34-25.
Fairfield opened up the second half widening their lead against Iona. Despite the scores cutting pretty close, Fairfield kept their fire up by ending the third quarter with a six-point lead. The fourth quarter opened up with Hernangomez scoring a layup. That did not stop Iona from pushing their way up the scoreboard with a lead of three points, five minutes into the final quarter. Fairfield fought their way back onto the charts with Hakes’ free throw shot ending the game with the score of 63-56. Hernangomez ended the game with 13 points, Lopez-Senechal and graduate student Katie Armstrong had 11 points. The lead scorer for Iona was Juana Camilion with 15 points.
Fairfield ended the game with 42.3 percent field goals, 45.5 percent three-point shooting and 90 percent at the free-throw line. The Stags came out with a score of 63, while the Iona Gaels fell behind with a score of 56.
The Stags then began their weekend looking to build on their winning record, playing at George Bisacca court at Fairfield’s own Alumni Hall against Monmouth University. On Saturday, Feb. 20, the Stags played their 13th game of the season. Lopez-Senechal opened up the quarter with a two-point jumper assisted by Hakes. The Stags were starting their game off strong with their defensive tactics making it hard for Monmouth to score. Monmouth scored two points in the first two quarters. The first half ended with Fairfield having a 16-point lead against Monmouth.
Fairfield did not let the first half lead affect their mindset though. The second half opened up with Lopez-Senechal scoring a three-point jumper followed by a layup scored by forward Hernangomez. Monmouth was fighting back and putting some numbers on the scoreboard. The score for the third quarter was 31-15, with Fairfield still in the lead. Fairfield showed how they can work together, especially under pressure. The Stags pulled through in the fourth quarter, continuing their lead.
Sophomore guard Mackenzie Martin sunk the ball in the net. Fairfield kept their energy up the rest of the game leading them to the end with a win. Their amazing defense ended with 49 rebounds and 7 steals. The top scorers of Saturday’s game were Hernangomez with 15 points, Lopez-Senechal with 13 points and redshirt junior Callie Cavanaugh with 12 points. As for Monmouth, Belle Kranbuhl had six points and Ariana Vanderhoop had four to the game. The final score was 51-21, with the Stags taking the win, their second in a row, on their home court.
The Fairfield Stags kept their firing energy going against Monmouth. They played at home the afternoon of Sunday, Feb 21. It was a tough weekend for the Stags. Not only is Monmouth a competitive team, but due to COVID-19 contact tracing, three athletes on the Fairfield roster were not permitted to play. There was a lot of pressure on the rest of the team but they pulled through with another win.
The first half started with a bang when Hakes assisted Lopez-Senechal in sinking a three pointer. There was a lot more action going on in this game, with Monmouth holding their ground throughout the first half. Both teams were fighting for this game. Martin scored a jumper to end the first quarter with a score of 20-9 in Fairfield’s favor. Fairfield continued with a fight during the second quarter by adding numbers to the scoreboard. They fought hard to make sure that they would not be the reason for the last loss in Alumni Hall. Not only was Fairfield keeping up with their offensive tactics, but their defense was pulling them through as well. The first half of the game ended with 18 rebounds and six steals.
The second half is where Monmouth began to put up a tougher fight. Fairfield still had the lead throughout the quarter, but Monmouth showed they were not going to give up. The third quarter ended with Fairfield and Monmouth each adding 11 points to their scores. The fourth quarter showed how competitive both teams were. Fairfield killed the boards defensively and offensively. Stags made 20 points in the fourth quarter keeping them in the lead.
Coach Frager had some words regarding the fourth quarter, saying that, “Our legs started to get heavy. You can see the offensive end and the defensive end, but credit to Monmouth, they never quit.”
The ending score was 60-46. Lopez-Senechal was the team’s high scorer this game, having 23 points. Cavanaugh made waves with 13 points. Fairfield ended the game with 39.3 percent field goals, 28.6 percent three-point shooting and 38 rebounds. Fairfield ended the game with a win, yet again. Making the Fairfield community very proud of their hard work this weekend under all the circumstances.
Coach Frager spoke about the team’s weekend performance saying, “I am thrilled with the way everything turned out.”
The next time the Stags will face competition will be on Monday, March 8 when they look to compete for the MAAC Championship tournament in Atlantic City, N.J.
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