The Fairfield University women’s basketball team fell to Manhattan College 53-46 in a tightly contested game last Thursday, Feb. 2. This loss now puts them at a 7-5 mark on the road this season. 

The Stags came into the game riding a three-game winning streak and a win would have made it a season-best four-game streak. Mimi Rubino ‘24 and graduate student forward Callie Cavanaugh led the way for the team with a combined 28 points. However, their strong performances were not enough as their late push fell just short of them getting the road win. The Stags played well for most of the game but a poor shooting performance in the second quarter which saw them only net two points led to a double-digit half-time lead for Manhattan. Despite this, the squad was only down one point against the Jaspers with just over a minute remaining but could not get that final push to steal a victory on the road. 

Fairfield bounced back from that loss however with a 62-59 victory over Rider University at home on a Sunday game that featured a great second-half performance where the Stags scored 38 points and shot 54% from the field. The team had their best bench performance of the season with 40 of their 62 points coming from the bench. Forward Mackenzie Daleba ‘24 led the scoring on the day with 16 of those bench points. Guard Kate Peek ‘26 also had a productive game in which she contributed nine points on three three-pointers. Peek and Daleba have been exceeding their season averages in almost every game in recent play.

Redshirt Junior Guardurd Izabela Nicoletti Leite ‘24 also had a strong performance in which she came off the bench for the first time for Fairfield. She was on a triple-double watch as she played well in all areas of the game finishing with 10 points, seven rebounds, and a career-high seven assists.

The Fairfield women’s basketball team is about three-quarters of the way through their season after their game on Sunday versus Rider and has a record of 13-9. This places them in 4th in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference and they will likely enter the MAAC tournament with a seed in the top half of the conference. They have performed well in the MAAC so far and have a 9-4 record in conference play. 

They are looking to finish the regular season with some strong performances. Last season they won the MAAC tournament and made it into the March Madness tournament as a 15-ranked team. They lost their game against number two-seeded University of Texas at Austin 70-52 but it was a unique achievement to make the tournament and to go up against such an established program. Texas was one of the best teams in the tournament and ended up losing to Stanford University in the elite eight round. The Stags will have to play well in the MAAC tournament again this year if they hope to make the prestigious tournament once again. 

The team looks ahead now to an away game at conference-leading Iona University on Feb. 9 before returning to Leo D. Mahoney Arena to face off against Quinnipiac University on Feb. 11.

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