With an eight-game winning streak, the women’s basketball team was in position to possibly win the MAAC regular season title. But after losing three of four games, the Stags are back in the third seed and Marist has clinched first-place.

Over the weekend, the Stags held on to beat Siena 68-57 in Albany on Friday night. But at home on Monday night, Fairfield lost a narrow 51-46 game to Rider, during which the Stags shot 25.8 percent from the floor during the game.

‘I don’t think we weren’t mentally there,’ said head coach Joe Frager following the loss. ‘I don’t think we were sharp. We had two pretty good days of practice getting ready for this game. I thought our shoot around today was lax; I don’t know why. I wish I had an answer for that, but I think part of it is that Rider did a really good job. This game was really important to Rider for postseason seeding and for whatever reason, that message was lost on us.’

Fairfield likely needed to win out and hope for a little luck to finish in second place, but now the team will probably wind up in the third seed with only one game remaining. The Stags are 17-11 overall and 12-5 in the conference.

‘We might be 12-5, but we’re not a team that’s 25 points better than anyone, that’s just not us,’ said Frager. ‘I don’t know outside of Marist and Canisius that anyone is 20 points better. Now we just take a day off. It stinks that we lost this game, but there’s a lot of teams in this league that would like to be 17-11 and 12-5. So, even though it might seem like the sky is falling, the sun’s still going to come up tomorrow.’

Fairfield finishes the regular season at Manhattan before traveling to Albany March 5 for the MAAC Tournament.

‘We definitely have to be more focused and to make sure that we get our scout every game and we know everything that’s going on as much as possible,’ said senior Shireyll Moore.

‘And that we actually come out with energy and intensity and not play we so much emotion and get down. We just have to focus on ourselves and not get worried about how everybody else is playing.’

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