FAIRFIELD, Conn. – Before the nation turns its attention to the football field, Faifield fans will get the chance to see one of the hottest teams in the conference on the hard wood. The Fairfield University women’s basketball team will look for their third-straight win and move higher up in the conference standings when they host the Saint Peter’s Peacocks on Super Bowl Sunday at 2pm.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Stags are coming off a signature win as they took down the first place team in the MAAC in the Quinnipiac Bobcats. In their most impressive win of the season, Fairfield not only defeated the Bobcats but did so in dominating fashion. Fairfield held the lead wire-to-wire and held a three possession advantage for the final three quarters. The Stags accomplished this by having their most balanced effort of the season both offensively and defensively. On the offensive side, eight different Stags got in the scoring column, including seven in the first half. Casey Smith was one of the big reasons the Stags were able to build a double digit halftime lead by scoring 13 of her game-high 17 points in the first 20 minutes. On the defensive side, the Stags held Quinnipiac to a 31 percent shooting night and a 14.3 percent clip (4-for-28) from behind the arc, the lowest of any opponent this season. Samantha Cooper dominated the boards, tying a career-high with 16 rebounds.
STAGS ON SUPER BOWL SUNDAY: The Stags will play on the biggest sports night of the year for the third-straight campaign and the 12th time in program history when they lace up against Saint Peter’s on Super Bowl Sunday. The Stags hold a 7-4 record in those contests, the same exact record that the AFC teams holds when the Stags play. Fairfield has won the last two Super Bowl Sunday games with wins over Siena and Monmouth. The AFC has won the last three years where the Stags have competed. However, the New England Patriots hold a 1-2 record when they kick off the same day as the Stags, with their only victory coming against the Seahawks two years ago.
THE RACE TO 1,000: Kelsey Carey and Casey Smith are both tracking down the 1,000 point plateau, a number that has been reached 28 times in program history. In their entire careers, Smith (983) has tallied just two more points than Carey (981) coming into the game. Smith has reached this point total in just 81 games and her 12.1 scoring average is 14th in program history. Carey enjoyed a breakout sophomore campaign after scoring just 32 points during her entire freshman season. Since her sophomore year, Carey is averaging 11.4 points. Carey is known as a pure scorer and is Staten Island’s all-time leading high school scorer.
THE PEACOCKS SCOUTING REPORT: Saint Peter’s comes into the weekend on a nine-game losing streak before their Friday night matchup against Marist. The Peacocks are near the top in the MAAC standings in one category as they tally 4.1 blocks in conference games, the second best number in the league. The Peacocks are led by Junior Taliah Hughes who is the only player on their roster to average double figures in scoring at 12.9 per contest. The Beacon, N.Y., native also leads the team in blocked shots and is tied for the team lead in rebounds at 5.8 per game. Rookie Zoe Pero was named the MAAC Rookie of the Week on January 2, and has had an impressive conference start, averaging 9.1 points and a team-high 6.0 rebounds in her 12 MAAC games which includes six starts. Her biggest contribution comes from the foul line as she has been successful on 84.4 percent of her free throws. The offense is run through Sammy Lochner, who leads the team with 2.9 assists to go along with her 5.6 points per game average. Alyssa Velles is the team’s top 3-point shooter in MAAC games as she has connected on 38 percent of her long range shots. Lochner and Velles both had a hand in the signature win of the season for the Peacocks as the duo combined to 5-for-9 from behind the arc as the Peacocks hit 13 3-pointers as Saint Peter’s defeated Marist on the road for the first time since 2002.
UP NEXT: The Stags will take a week off before opening up a busy stretch with three games in five days, starting with a road contest at Manhattan on Sunday at 3pm.