Saturday, February 17, 2007

Women Fall to Iona, 59-47

The women’s basketball team let an opportunity for second place in the MAAC slip away on Saturday.

One game behind Iona and Loyola coming into today's game, Fairfield fell 59-47, to put the Stags in fourth place.

The Stags never looked comfortable and couldn’t get in a rhythm offensively all game.

Head Coach Dianne Nolan blamed Fairfield's struggles on a lack of teamwork.

“I think people were trying to get free on their own and not really using each other,” she said.

Iona held the lead the entire game and Fairfield could never put a run together to pull ahead.

“The game was on the ropes and we missed a couple shots, we missed a couple foul shots. We held, we held, we held and then they kind of gapped us,” said Nolan.

The Stags shot only 30.2 percent from the floor for the game, including 14.3 percent from behind the arc, and a pitiful 46.4 percent (13 of 28) from the charity stripe.

Why Fairfield struggled so much from the free throw line was a source of confusion to the players and coaches.

“I have no idea. I wish I knew that answer. We shoot them in practice every day. I think it just became a head game,” said Nolan.

Sophomore forward Baendu Lowenthal said she agreed with Nolan.

“We’ve been shooting them ever since we were little. I think most of it is mental when it comes to foul shots.”

However, Lowenthal did play well -- when she played.

The Stags' star forward was limited to 20 minutes on the court due to foul trouble. Despite this, she was able to put in 10 points and come up with two steals as well.

“You have to be cautious when you start the game with two fouls,” she said. “You have to pick and choose [when to go for a steal]. I guess my choices were wrong today.”

Junior guard Sabra Wrice led all Fairfield scorers with 14 points, but shot only 3 of 14 from the field. She also re-injured her left hand on a fast break. However, according to Nolan, it shouldn’t keep her out of Monday’s game.

Freshman forward Stephanie Geehan was a bright spot in the disappointing loss. She led the Stags with 10 rebounds and also filled out the rest of her stat sheet with eight points, a block, and a steal.

Despite Geehan’s rebounding, the Stags lost the battle overall, getting out-rebounded 43-39.

The loss drops the Stags back to .500 at 13-13 overall and 9-6 in the MAAC. They currently sit in fourth place, which will probably be their final seeding.

With only three games left to play and Loyola holding a two game advantage, it is unlikely that the Stags will be able to catch the Greyhounds for the third-place seed.

Nolan summed up the game with a remark that could also be applied to Fairfield's MAAC standings.

“I think we lost some opportunities when we had them,” said Nolan.

-Chris Simmons

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