FAIRFIELD, Conn. – After a week of rest to recover from their three wins over a five-day span, the Fairfield University women’s basketball team will return to the hardwood and will have to persevere through another difficult stretch. The Stags will begin a four-game road trip with the first two contests coming against the top-two teams in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC). Fairfield begins this stretch when they travel to Lawrenceville, N.J. to take on the surprise of the conference in the Rider Broncs on Saturday at 2pm.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Stags are coming off their busiest regular season week in five years as Fairfield won three games in five days capped off with a 71-56 victory over Manhattan. Fairfield set a few offensive standards for the season in their win against the Jaspers as Fairfield tied a season-high with 71 points and also shot 54 percent from the field which set a new season best. The Stags trailed for just 24 seconds in the contest as the Jaspers took a 3-2 lead in the opening minutes. The Stags would out-score Manhattan 20-9 during the rest of the first quarter and led by at least five points the rest of the way. Fairfield led by as many as 19 points after Kelsey Carey swished a 3-pointer giving the Stags one of their biggest leads of the season. Carey led all players with 21 points and recorded her third career double-double by grabbing 10 boards. Samantha Cooper and Casey Smith were the other Stags to reach double figures as both players finished with 14 points. Casey Foley tallied a career-high nine assists, the most by a Stag this year.
COOPER IS HONORED: Samantha Cooper had quite the busy off week as the redshirt junior received two weekly honors to recognize her three game effort during Fairfield’s 3-0 week. Cooper was named the MAAC Player of the Week and the National Jesuit Player of the Week, taking home both accolades for the second time in her career and the first time since the 2014-15 season. During the week, Cooper averaged a double-double with 15 points and 10.7 rebounds while also chipping in 3.3 assists and 2.0 3-pointers per contest. For the season, Cooper is second in the MAAC in rebounds with 8.2 per contest.
THE BRONCS SCOUTING REPORT: Without a doubt, the Rider Broncs have been the surprise of the conference, posting a 12-4 overall record and a 6-1 conference mark after being selected to finish 10th in the MAAC Preseason Poll. Their only loss in league play came against MAAC leading Quinnipiac. The Broncs have won four-straight decisions since that contest, including a thrilling victory over Siena where Rider trailed by six with 32 seconds to play. Four Broncs average double figures in scoring led by Robin Perkins, who enters the contest fourth in the league with a 16.3 scoring average. Perkins is also one of their three main threats from behind the arc as the senior leads the team with 37 3-pointers (2.3 made per game). Rookie Stella Johnson has already put her name into the Rookie of the Year category as the freshman averaged 10.5 points per game, and also contributes 4.4 rebounds, 2.4 steals, and a team-high 2.8 steals.
UP NEXT: The Stags will meet the conference leading Quinnipiac Bobcats for the first time this season when the squad travels to Hamden, Conn., on Monday with tip-off scheduled for 2pm.