BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Griffs shot 54 percent between the second and third quarters and led by as many as 15 points to take an eventual 63-49 victory at the Koessler Athletic Center. The Stags cut the deficit to as little as five in the fourth quarter but their rally fell short as they fell to Canisius for just the second time in the last 15 games between the two sides.
The Stags (9-10, 6-4 MAAC) offense was efficient early in the game as Fairfield connected on four of their first seven shots for the first five minutes doubling up the Griffs (6-13, 5-5 MAAC) 10-5 early on. After the media timeout, the Griffs’ defense clamped down as the Stags hit just two of their final eight attempts and turned the ball over three times during that span. In the first five minutes, the Stags recorded three assists without a miscue, while dishing out only one assist during the second part of the first quarter. The Griffs took the lead after the first stanza when Sara Hinriksdottir converted a go-ahead layup with 30 seconds left.
The struggles on the offensive front continued in the second quarter with Canisius opening the period on a 9-2 run and score five-straight points after Kelsey Careywent to the bench. Carey scored 10 of the first 16 points for the Stags who did not score for the two minutes with the senior on the bench. Carey would break that streak with back-to-back layups, notching her 14th point just 15 minutes into the game. Those baskets were the beginning of an 8-0 run that Casey Smithhelped extend by taking a charge and then hitting two free throws on the other end. However, Canisius ended the frame on a 10-0 run to take that margin into the locker room. The Griffs shot 73 percent in the second quarter going 8-for-11 from the field.
The Griffs extended that lead to as many as 15 points in the third quarter after another 3-pointer by Hinriksdottir and a backdoor cut by Maria Welch.
Like they have shown all season long, the Stags did not quit. Fairfield cut the lead to just five points at 50-45 with five minutes left on five straight points by Samantha Cooper, but Canisius’ Margaret Halfdanardottir hit a 3-pointer and Amanda Schiefen converted a contested layup to bring the lead back to double digits.
Fairfield was led in scoring by Carey who tallied 20 points, the seventh straight game she has entered double figures and the fifth time this year she has reached 20. Cooper followed her with 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds and four assists. The Stags got back on track at the free throw line as the team hit 12 of their 13 attempts for a .923 percentage.
The Griffs were led by Hinriksdottir with 17 points and 11 from Halfdanardottir and Saliah Serrette and Welch off the bench.
The Stags are back in action on Thursday as they open a four-game home stand starting with a game against Monmouth at 7pm.