RIVERDALE, N.Y. – Most teammates like to recollect their playing days, even years after those moments. Two players of the Fairfield University women’s basketball team will forever have one of those historic memories together. Kelsey Careyand Casey Smithboth entered the 1,000 point club as the Stags tied a season-long four-game winning streak as they led for all but three seconds in a convincing 64-43 victory at Manhattan. Careyachieved the mark first and became the 29th player in program history reach the milestone. Smithalso hit the mark with a behind the back hook shot to close out the first half. The two unofficially become the fifth duo in NCAA Division I history to accomplish the feat in the same game.
Fairfield (13-11, 10-5 MAAC) got off to their fastest start of the year when Samantha Coopergot the opening tip and threw a pass to Macey Hollensheadwho converted the fast break layup just three seconds into the game. That was the beginning of a 9-0 run to open the game as the Stags held Manhattan (7-18, 3-13 MAAC) scoreless for the first 3:30 of the contest. The capper of that opening 9-0 run was a little bit of history as Carey hit a jumper at the 6:55 mark, on a Smith assist, to officially become the 29th member of the Fairfield 1,000 point club.
The Stags earned their biggest lead of the first half just four seconds before the half came to an end. Smith got the ball on the weak side and tossed the ball over her head for a highlight reel layup, and giving her the distinction of becoming the 30th member of the club.
Fairfield held a double-digit lead for the rest of the way, extending their advantage to as many as 23 with Sam Kramer’s layup to close out the third quarter. Manhattan opened the fourth on a 8-0 run, but five-straight points on a layup from Kristine Millerand a 3-pointer by Casey Foleypushed the lead back to 20.
As has been the tradition through this hot streak, the Stags took advantage of a complete team effort. Nine different Stags scored with three players (Carey, Cooper, and Miller) reaching double figures. Cooper also led the team with eight rebounds and had three assists without a turnover. The MAAC leader in assist-to-turnover ratio, Foley, added four assists with just one miscue. The Stags’ passing was led by Kendra Landywho dished out six of the 21 assists for the team. It was the fifth time all season the Stags tallied 20 or more assists in a game, as they keep a perfect 5-0 record in those games.
Kayla Grimme recorded a double-double for the Jaspers with 15 points and a game-high 14 rebounds. Carey tied Grimme for the game-high 15 points. Miller was the most accurate shooter of the night, hitting all five of her attempts.
The wire-to-wire win is the second in the last three games for the Stags who have trailed for just 34 seconds in the three games combined.
Fairfield will look to continue their hot streak when they travel to Saint Peter’s on Tuesday at 5pm.