POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. – The Marist Red Foxes hit 63 percent of their shots in a second quarter that was highlighted by sophomore Maura Fitzpatrick scoring 12-straight team points and the Fairfield University women’s basketball team could not fully recover as the Stags dropped their final game of the 2016 calendar season 71-55 at Marist. Kelsey Careyled the team with 18 points including 12 of the team’s first 14 points of the game.
While only dressing eight players, Marist (5-8, 2-1 MAAC) continued to show that balanced mentality that has led to their success all these years. Four different players accounted for the first four field goals for the Red Foxes while Kelsey Carey’s third career 3-pointer was the only basket the Stags (4-8, 1-2 MAAC) were able to put through over the first 7:30 of the game. Carey also accounted for the next Stag field goal nearly five minutes later with a layup extended over the defender. Khadidiatou Diouf, who also showed her presence on the defensive side of the court, swished in the third and final field goal in the first quarter for the Stags as Fairfield finished the opening quarter trailing 14-7.
Just like in the first quarter, Carey would be the Stags’ offensive threat as she posted the first seven points for the squad, including her second 3-pointer of the game to begin the second quarter. Coming into the game, Carey had totaled just two three pointers in 92 career games, a number she matched in the first 11 minutes of tonight’s contest.
Carey had actually scored 12 of the team’s first 14 points of the game until Kendra Landy’s 3-pointer snapped that streak to cut the Marist lead to 20-17. Marist would take advantage of a few fortunate bounces with the biggest break coming when Claire Oberdorf missed both of her free throws but was able to pick up the loose ball rebound and nail the 3-pointer to extend the Red Fox lead to 26-17. That 3-pointer was part of a second quarter stretch where Marist was responsible for seven of the final nine field goals of the quarter. Maura Fitzpatrick scored the team’s final 12 points of the half, including a 3-pointer with mere seconds left in the half. Marist went into the locker room with a 38-23 lead.
Casey Smithlogged only four minutes in the first half after picking up her second foul less than two minutes into the game. Smith’s absence accounted for the Stags not being able to find an offensive rhythm in the half.
Smith was able to get back into the lineup in the second half and provided an immediate spark by scoring six of the team’s first eight points. However, Marist continued their hot shooting in the third quarter and shot 40 percent as a team in the period. The Stags were able to cut the deficit to 12 points but Hannah Hand beat the shot clock buzzer to extend the lead and bring the momentum back to the home side.
The Stags looked like they had one last run in them when a 3-pointer by Casey Foleyand a Sam Kramerjumper off an offensive rebound opened the scoring in the fourth quarter, but just like they did all game long, Marist used their shooting to stop any runs. Kendall Baab hit a 3-pointer to stop the mini 5-0 run for the Stags and the Red Foxes went on for a 71-55 victory.
In the game, the Stags were paced by Carey’s 18 points with Smith the other Stag to tally double figures with 13 points. Samantha Cooperfell one assist shy of tying a personal best and led the team with five assists. Fitzpatrick led all scorers with 24 points.
The Stags will conclude their longest road swing of the season when they visit Monmouth on Wednesday, January 4 at 7pm.