FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The phrase “Do Your Job” has not only been the motto for the Super Bowl bound New England Patriots, it has also been the rallying cry all season long for the Fairfield University Women’s Basketball team. The squad has lived by that slogan so much that the line is hung up in their locker room. And that was the theme of today’s game. Everyone did their job. Eight different players scored and the Stags turned up the defensive energy, winning their third-straight game with a 50-38 victory over Saint Peter’s. The 38 points is the fewest the Stags have given up this season.
“The idea is if everyone does what they are supposed to do and fills their role, then collectively we will be a lot better off,” Head Coach Joe Fragersaid about the motto. “Sometimes when things don’t go well it’s easy for your mind to play tricks on you, but I’m happy with the poise that we showed and the contributions. Different people stepped up in the win over Quinnipiac and now different players stepped up today.”
As coach mentioned, this was a complete team effort. In the first half, the Fairfield (12-11, 9-5 MAAC) offense struggled, putting up just 18 points and shooting 6-for-19, at 32 percent. However, the Stags grinded it out on defense and were able to bring a two point lead into the locker room.
The Stags also held Saint Peter’s (3-20, 2-12 MAAC) to a 32 percent shooting clip in the first half, which included a 2-for-12 showing in the second quarter where Fairfield surrendered just six points. Fairfield actually held Saint Peter’s scoreless for the first 7:26 of the second quarter until Sam Meier’s jumper broke the drought. Khadidiatou Dioufhad the highlight reel play at the end of the frame as she swatted a Saint Peter’s attempt, her fourth block of the season.
With the Stags struggling to score, Macey Hollensheadgave the team six valuable points, including a 3-point field goal in the first quarter.
Fairfield found their offensive rhythm in the third quarter, hitting on 64 percent of their shots (7-for-11), even after missing their first attempts in the quarter. After going 0-5 to start the game, Casey Smithtallied 10 points in the third quarter, while hitting all five of her attempts. Kelsey Careyfollowed her with six points in the frame as the Stags outscored the Peacocks 16-11 in the third.Hollenshead distributed three assists in the stanza without a turnover.
Casey Foleygot the big bucket of the fourth quarter as she connected on her only 3-point attempt of the game, giving the Stags their first double digit lead with 6:25 left in the game. The sophomore also recorded two steals in the period as Fairfield enjoyed a double-digit lead the rest of the way. The Stags shot 78 percent in the fourth quarter and connected on 14 of their final 18 attempts (78 percent) in the second half.
The race to 1,000 career points got a little more interesting as Carey led all scorers with 15 points, putting her career total at 996. Smith was right behind her finishing with 14 points, all in the second half, to put her career mark at 997.
Hollenshead led all players with five assists, one more than the entire Saint Peter’s team had with four, without a turnover.
For the Peacocks, their leading scorer Talah Hughes led the team again with 14 points while Meier pulled down a game-high eight rebounds. The Stags forced 18 turnovers on the defensive side.
Fairfield will now take a week off before starting another busy week with three games in five days, starting with a road contest at Manhattan on Sunday, February 12 at 3pm.