The Fairfield University Women’s Basketball team traveled to take on the Siena Saints only to fall 51-40 for their second consecutive loss of their current road trip. With the loss, the Stags now fall to 7-12, 4-4 in Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference play. Although the Stags struggled to shoot the ball, as they finished shooting 28 percent from the field and 20 percent from three, there was one lone bright spot as Samantha Cooper ‘18 continued her dominance on the court. Cooper concluded the game recording her ninth double-double of the season as she finished with 14 points and 13 rebounds.

Cooper got things started for the Stags early, recording Fairfield’s first seven points of the contest. Although Cooper’s hot start got the Stags’ offense going, the rest of the team struggled from the floor as they shot a combined 1-10. Trailing by only three, Macey Hollenshead ‘18 connected on a three-point shot to close the deficit to 12-10 as they finished the first quarter of play.

The second quarter saw the Saints jump out in front on both ends of the court as they applied defensive pressure on the Stags while also connecting on shots from the floor. Siena increased their lead up to seven after draining two consecutive three-pointers followed by a shot from the free throw line. With the deficit at 19-12, the Stags slowly started battling back.

With less than two minutes remaining in the first half, Khadidiatou Diouf ‘19 scored the Stags’ first field goal of the second quarter. After knocking down her first shot, Diouf caught fire, hitting three-straight overall in a one-minute span to bring the Stags within striking distance at 21-18 at the conclusion of the quarter.

The second half of the game seemed to shift Fairfield’s way as they locked down on defense to start the third quarter. The Stags contained Siena’s offense as they went scoreless for the first four minutes of the quarter while forcing seven turnovers. Down by just one with less than six minutes remaining in the quarter, Casey Foley ‘19 would give Fairfield their first lead of the half at 23-21 after connecting from beyond the arc.

The remainder of the quarter was a clash between both teams as they were going back and forth fighting for the lead. There would be three ties and two lead changes throughout the remainder of the quarter as both teams would head to the fourth quarter tied at 31.

Fairfield would take a slim two-point lead through two minutes of play as the score stood at 36-34. Three scoreless minutes would go by before Siena’s Deja Rawls picked up a steal and followed up by connecting on a three to give them the one-point advantage. This possession seemed like the beginning of the end for the Stags as Siena would only increase their lead for the remainder of the game.

With less than five minutes remaining in the game, Siena would go on to dominate both ends of the court while Fairfield struggled to get the ball through the net. Siena would increase their lead to their highest of the game with a 13-point lead. Siena would close out the game to pick up the 51-40 lead over Fairfield.

Cooper led the Stags in scoring with a total of 14 points, giving her a career total of 1,109, tying her with Kelsey Carey ‘17 for 26th on the program’s all-time scoring list. The Stags look to bounce back when they finish out their road trip on Saturday, Jan. 27 at Rider University.

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