BUFFALO, N.Y. – The Fairfield University women’s basketball team will try and leave Western New York with two wins when they conclude their stay in Buffalo, N.Y., with a contest against Canisius on ESPN3. The Stags are in the midst of their best stretch of the season after winning five of their last six outings which matches the best record in the league over that span. With a victory, the Stags will move into a tie for second place in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) standings with Rider at the midway point of the conference slate.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Stags are coming off their fifth win in their last six outing with a 65-55 victory over Niagara to open up their Western New York swing. Casey Smith put the team on her back late in the game after Kelsey Carey went to the bench with her third foul in the third quarter. Smith scored 14 points in the second half and finished with a team-high tying 18 points. Smith’s biggest contribution came after a Fairfield timeout with 8:00 minutes left in the fourth quarter. After Niagara’s Victoria Rampado pulled off a 6-0 to get Niagara within a point at 48-47, the Stags called a timeout. At that point, the Purple Eagles were able to stay in the game by controlling the offensive glass with 10 offensive rebounds, doubling the Stags’ five. The very next play after the huddle, Smith collected two offensive rebounds on her miss and earned a 3-point play. The next possession, Smith flew in for another offensive board to keep the possession alive after a missed free throw, which led to a Casey Foley 3-pointer. Carey shared the team lead with Smith with 18 points while Foley recorded a team-high five assists without a turnover.
ALL IN THE ‘FOLE-Y’”: Shooting guard Casey Foley has been heating up over the last four games after struggling out of the gate to begin the season. Over the last four games, Foley is shooting .388 overall and .455 from behind the arc. Foley has raised her overall field goal percentage 41 points while improving her 3-point shooting percentage by 50 points. Foley has also become the team’s leader in assists and is averaging 5.8 dishes during the last four games, and has an assist-turnover ratio of 3.8 during that span.
THE CANISIUS SCOUTING REPORT: The Griffs are already a battle tested team as all nine conference games they have played being decided by 11 points or fewer. Canisius has won two of those last three contests most recently being a 65-57 win over Niagara. Canisius is a guard oriented team with only four true forwards on their roster and the backcourt averaging 41 points per game for 67 percent of the team’s points. Another number that shows their talent at the guard position is their accuracy from behind the arc, especially during conference games. The Griffs trail only the Stags in 3-point percentage in MAAC games as they connect on 38 percent of their long range shots. Canisius is the most accurate shooting team overall in MAAC only games with 45 percent of their shots going in. The two Iceland products rank in the top-three of the team in scoring with Sara Hinriksdottir leading the squad with 15.2 points per game. Margaret Halfdanardottir is shooting 59 percent from 3-point range in MAAC games.
UP NEXT: The Stags will return home to open up a season-high four game home stand starting with Monmouth on Thursday at 7pm.