Fairfield women’s basketball came back home last week, overcoming some weekend struggles to take victories over Marist and Saint Peter’s, improving their record setting win streak to 19.

The Stags first took on the Red Foxes in an early Thursday morning tip off. With over 1,000 local elementary school kids in attendance for Fairfield’s annual Kids Day Out game, the team put on a show on both sides of the ball, leading to a decisive 76-49 win. 

Offensively, the Stags posted a season high 24 assists on 32 made baskets, shooting 50% as a team in the contest.

“The first time we played [Marist], I believe we had very few assists,” said road runner Emina Selimovic ‘25. “The biggest thing coming into this Marist game was to share the ball, make the extra pass, limit overdribbling, and I think that’s what led to our success.”

The biggest contributor to that total was guard Janelle Brown ‘24, who alongside scoring 15 points also tallied a season-high 10 assists, culminating in her first double-double performance of the year.

Equally as impressive was the Stags’ defensive effort against the Red Foxes, as they nabbed a staggering 19 steals en route to 29 Red Foxes turnovers, both season bests.

“Defense is something that we work on every single day in practice because it translates to our offense,” said road runner Meghan Andersen ‘27. “Working hard for all 30 seconds of the shot clock to get a stop allows us to then push the ball in transition, which is something I believe we excel at.”

Brown also served as the defensive catalyst, finishing with a team-high six steals, followed by guard Kaety L’Amoreaux ‘27 with four of her own. 

Leading the way in scoring was guard Kendall McGruder ‘25 with 16 points, backed up by Brown’s aforementioned 15 and Andersen’s 10.

But as the calendar turned to Saturday and the Peacocks came to town, earning another win wouldn’t be as easy for the Stags. 

A handful of turnovers and a lack of rhythm early on offense for Fairfield helped the visitors sprint out to an 11-3 lead that lasted well over halfway through the opening quarter. A late flurry from the Stags closed the gap to just one by the end of the frame, but the team still found themselves trailing after the first 10 minutes for the first time this year in conference play. 

“I think we lacked a sense of urgency coming into the game,” Selimovic said. “I truly believe that the way we prepare is the way that we play, and our Friday practice wasn’t as sharp as we would’ve liked, so I think that had an impact on the beginning of the game against Saint Peter’s.”

It was Selimovic, as well as guard Izabela Nicoletti-Leite ‘24, who stepped up in the second quarter to jumpstart the offense for the Stags. Selimovic recorded six of her 11 points in the period, including a tough “and-one” layup to spark the crowd, and Nicoletti-Leite had seven of her team-high 12, giving the Stags a 27-19 halftime cushion.

Despite the deficit, the Peacocks refused to go away in the second half. After outscoring the Stags 16-12 in the third quarter, they found themselves down just three points with five minutes to play.

As they’ve done all year long though, the Stags rose to the occasion, as McGruder hit a clutch three just before the shot clock buzzer to force a Peacocks timeout. She connected on another three on the ensuing possession, effectively putting the game out of reach for Saint Peter’s.

Still, the 52-46 final score line is likely not what the Stags were anticipating in a game against the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference’s last place team. 

“I know there was a lot I could have done better and the team could have done differently in that game,” Andersen said. “But at the end of the day, it’s important we take it as a learning experience… we are the ones that choose how we show up, and we have to choose to show up the same way every day.”

Thankfully for the Stags, their suffocating defense remained present even when the offense couldn’t get things going. The Peacocks became the sixth opponent in their last seven games that has been held under 50 points. 

Regardless of the fashion in which it was done, a win is a win. But as their historic streak continues to climb and they inch closer and closer to a national ranking in the AP poll, the Saturday scare served as a reminder of how hard it will continue to be for the Stags to reach their ultimate goal of a conference championship. 

“Stay humble and hungry. That’s what we always say every day in practice and film,” Selimovic said. “We haven’t done anything yet, nothing matters until we win the MAAC championship.”

The Stags will continue towards the championship this Saturday, as they hit the road to take on Mount St. Mary’s. Tip-off is at 2 P.M.           

About The Author

-- Sophomore | Assistant Sports Editor | Sports Media Major | Digital Journalism Minor --

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.