After a four day break, the Fairfield University women’s basketball team hit the court to take on their interstate rivals for a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference matchup in Hamden, Conn. They were coming off of a narrow win, 67-61, against St. Peter’s University the previous Monday, and looked to keep the momentum going. The Stags faced the Quinnipiac University Bobcats for a two-game road trip starting on Friday, Feb. 12 and ending on Saturday, Feb. 13.
For Friday afternoon’s game, Quinnipiac’s Mackenzie Dewees ‘22 started out the scoring, sinking a pair of free throws awarded by a foul on Fairfield’s Sam Lewis, who is a graduate student. Lewis responded with a three-pointer to take the upper-hand for her team, and this marginal lead only widened as the first half progressed. One shot at a time, the Bobcats fought to chip away at Fairfield’s advantage and by the half-time whistle, the score was tied at 25.
Out of the gate in the third quarter, Quinnipiac came back with a vengeance, and went on a 7-2 run, from which Fairfield would never come back. However, this is not to say that they did not fight until the final buzzer to come back. Notable effort was made by three Stags in particular, who managed to keep the score close throughout the match. Lou Lopez-Senechal ‘22 was on fire, tallying 20 points for the Stags. Furthermore, of her 17 field goal attempts, she made nine of them, with a field goal percentage of .529. Redshirt senior Katie Armstrong and Andrea Hernangomez ‘22 also broke into double-digits, with 12 and 13 points respectively. In addition, Hernangomez led the stags in rebounds, with eight for the afternoon.
On the rival side, Quinnipiac’s Dewees notched a double-double (17 points, 12 rebounds), while Mikala Morris ‘23 was dynamite offensively, with 19 total points, and just behind her was Rose Caverly ‘22 with 18 points to the game.
Unfortunately, the Stags couldn’t keep up with the home-team and they were outscored by the Bobcats in the fourth and final quarter, 23-18, sealing their fate as the losing-team with a score of 67-55.
The Connecticut schools faced each other the following day at the same time, to finish off the weekend-long rivalry. Unlike the day prior, the Stags failed to show strength early on. In the first period of play alone, Quinnipiac managed to amass a score over twice that of Fairfield, 14-6. Two minutes and 40 seconds into the second quarter, the Stags kicked it into high gear with a 6-0 run, but Quinnipiac took a timeout to reconvene and returned to play rejuvenated. They stole away with a whopping 12-0 surge, leaving Fairfield with a lot of ground to make up.
They would fail to even come close, and unfortunately the Stags left Hamden having experienced their first sweep of the 2020-21 season. It’s no shock that Lopez-Senechal was once again at the top of the leaderboards, with 17 points, more than any of her teammates. Rookie guard Janelle Brown had six points and six rebounds, while Armstrong had eight points and 10 total rebounds, with Hernangomez not too far behind with six points and eight rebounds.
One thing to note is the sloppiness of Fairfield in terms of turnovers. They racked up 26 total turnovers, and 23 of those led to successful scoring for the opposing team. Perhaps fatigue was to blame for their less than commendable performance, but the Stags have a four-day break before their next game day on Wednesday, Feb. 17 against Iona College (4-7, 3-5 MAAC).
Fairfield’s record now stands at 7-4 (6-3 MAAC) while Quinnipiac’s pair of wins brings their record to a commendable 11-5 (9-3 MAAC), notching them in second place in the MAAC. Fairfield is currently fifth in the conference and has another five games on the schedule before the 2021 MAAC Championship tournament which is slated to begin on Monday, March 8.