ALBANY, N.Y. – This is it. All the work that the Fairfield University Women’s Basketball team has put in all year long has been for this weekend. The Stags will continue their quest for the fourth MAAC Championship in program history when they open up MAAC Tournament play on Saturday at noon against sixth-seeded Marist at the Times Union Center in Albany, N.Y. The winner of this contest will advance to the MAAC Semifinal match on Sunday at 1:30pm.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: The Stags wrapped up the 2016-17 regular season with a 53-49 victory over visiting Rider on Senior Day. It was only fitting that the biggest play of the game came from one of the three seniors being honored. With less than three seconds to play and the Stags clinging to a two-point lead, Kelsey Carey got her own offensive rebound and put back to give Fairfield much needed breathing room. In her final regular season game at Alumni Hall, Carey notched a team-high 14 points. As they have done for the majority of the season, Rider found some magic late to set up for the dramatic finish. The Stags had led by seven points heading into the final quarter, as Fairfield held Rider to just 30 points during the first 30 minutes of the game. The Stags had to persevere to send the seniors out with a victory, as the squad tallied just five points in the first quarter. Fairfield had much more success in the second quarter, scoring 21 points on a 60 percent shooting clip.
STAGS AS THE THREE SEED: This will be the 12th time in program history that the Stags enter the MAAC Tournament as the number three seed, and the seventh time in the 10-year career of Head Coach Joe Frager. The Stags hold a 12-10 record as the third-seed in the tournament, with their last wins coming during the 2014-15 season when they defeated sixth-seeded Niagara. That victory snapped a three-game losing streak as the three-seed. Fairfield earned their first #3 seed under Frager during the 2008-09 season. It was the first time since the 1994-95 season where the Stags earned that ranking. Fairfield has reached the Championship Game three times as the number three seed: (2010, 1995, and 1988). Fairfield won the tournament as the third place team in the conference once in their program history and that came in 1988, the first championship in Fairfield women’s basketball history.
THE RED FOXES SCOUTING REPORT: For the 15th-straight season, the Marist Red Foxes won a game in the MAAC Tournament, coming off a 71-60 victory against Saint Peter’s. Marist was led by Rebekah Hand who dropped a career-high 32 points in the win against the Peacocks. Hand is one of only seven players in the current rotation for Marist, leading those players with 14 points per game. Marist has won the last six meetings between the two schools, sweeping the Stags for the second-straight regular season. Maura Fitzpatrick has led the way in both contests, averaging 23 points per game in the series. The Red Foxes place four starters in double figures in scoring with Fitzpatrick tallying 12.3, Oberdorf pouring in 10.9 and Hannah Hand chipping in 10.1.