FAIRFIELD, Conn. – With their final exams in the rear view mirror, the Fairfield University women’s basketball team will get to close out another segment of their season: non-conference play. The Stags will travel to Philadelphia, Pa., to take on the Temple Owls for the first time in program history as both squads will complete their non-conference schedule. The Owls are in the midst of their best stretch of the season which includes three-straight wins including a 10-point victory over nationally ranked DePaul last week. The two teams will tip-off on Thursday at 2pm.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Stags got off to one of the best offensive starts of the season after shooting 55 percent (21-for-38) over the first three quarters, but La Salle’s superstar Amy Griffin stepped up for the Explorers late in the game as the home side ended the game on a 11-4 run to break a late tie. The improved shooting for the Stags was seen throughout the contest, especially from behind the arc. Fairfield connected on seven of their first 10 shots from long range. The athletic defense side of La Salle showed up in the fourth quarter and the Stags hot shooting started to get cold. Fairfield recorded a 15 percent shooting clip (2-for-13) in the final 10 minutes and totaled just 11 fourth quarter points. Samantha Cooper continued to be the iron player for the Stags this season as the redshirt junior carried the Stags throughout the game. Cooper went 4-for-7 from behind the arc and tallied a game-high 18 points. Her final long range shot gave the Stags a one point lead late in the fourth quarter. Fairfield had tied the game at 57-57 with 4:45 left in the game.
MAAC STUDENT-ATHLETE OF THE WEEK: With her recent numbers and leadership in the classroom, the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) has honored Samantha Cooper as their female Student Athlete of the Week. Cooper has been the iron player for the Stags this season by logging 37.1 minutes per game which is the most in the conference. She also ranks second in rebounding with 7.7 boards per contest and ranks 11th with 12.3 points per outing. In the classroom, Cooper has maintained a 3.70 GPA as a biology major.
THE OWLS SCOUTING REPORT: The offense for the Owls has been clicking at just the right time as Temple will open conference play on New Year’s Day, right after they play Fairfield. The Owls have won their last three contests, including a 10-point victory against No. 17/16 DePaul last week. In those three games, the Owls have eclipsed the 80-point mark twice to defeat Villanova and DePaul. In their most recent game, the Owls bared down on defense to take a 48-37 win at Rutgers. A big reason for the recent upswing on the offensive front has been their senior guard Feyonda Fitzgerald who recently was named the National Player of the Week by ESPNW after averaging 21.3 points during the last three games. The point guard leads the team with a 19.5 shooting clip and a .415 mark from behind the arc, ranking sixth in the American Athletic Conference.
UP NEXT: The Stags will have another week off to celebrate the Christmas holiday before turning their attention back to MAAC play when they travel to Marist on Friday, December 30 at 7pm.