FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The third longest road trip in the history of the Fairfield University women’s basketball program will finally come to an end on Wednesday when the Stags make their fifth-straight road appearance as they take on Monmouth at 7pm. This contest will be a rematch of last year’s MAAC Quarterfinal matchup, a game where the Hawks defeated the Stags to eliminate Fairfield from MAAC Championship contention. The 7pm game will air live on ESPN3.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Stags dropped their fourth-straight game and fell to 1-2 in the MAAC after a 71-55 loss to Marist to close out the 2016 calendar year. Marist was able to take advantage after Casey Smith picked up her second foul less than two minutes into the game and was limited to four minutes in the first half. The Red Foxes would outscore the Stags 38-23 during the first half, including a 14-7 mark in the first quarter. The offense of the Stags had a difficult time getting into rhythm with the absence of Smith as the Stags shot 36 percent in the first half compared to Marist’s 55 percent clip. Fairfield relied on the offense of Kelsey Carey who scored 12 of the team’s first 14 points behind a career-high two 3-pointers. Carey notched five of the seven team points in the first quarter and finished with a team-high 18 points. The difference of the game came in the second half when Marist was led by sophomore Maura Fitzpatrick who scored 12-straight team points for the Red Foxes including a late 3-pointer that gave the squad the momentum.
HAPPY NEW YEAR: The Stags will be playing their first game of the 2017 calendar year when they oppose Monmouth on the road. Fairfield has been successful in their first game of a new calendar year, posting a 22-13 overall record during their first contest. The Stags snapped a mini-two game losing streak during the year’s first game when they defeated Canisius last season. Under Frager, the Stags are a combined 5-3 during these contests, including a five-game winning streak that stretched from 2009-2014. The Stags will be opening up the new year against Monmouth for the second time in program history. The two teams first met on January 3, 2014 and Monmouth edged Fairfield 62-57 in overtime. That loss was the result that snapped the five-game winning streak for the Stags.
THE HAWKS SCOUTING REPORT: After posting back-to-back 20 point losses to begin conference play, the Hawks have been flying high as one of the hottest teams in the MAAC as winners of four of their last five, including a 10 point win over Marist. The Hawks will enter the game as the conference leader in 3-pointers per game with 9.2 treys per contest, 1.5 more than the next closest school. That number is also the 11th most in the country. A senior-led team, Monmouth started three seniors during their most recent win against Marist. Senior Tyese Purvis leads the team at 12.8 points per contest while freshman Kayla Shaw follows her with 10.4 points. Both players have recorded 33 3-pointers in the first 12 games of the season. The Hawks are also a very deep team with 10 different players averaging at least 11 minutes per game. Monmouth played all 12 players in their last win against Marist.
UP NEXT: The Stags will finally return home and play their first home game in over a month when they welcome the Siena Saints to Alumni Hall during Fairfield’s annual Kids’ Day Out on Friday at 11am.