Manhattan Suffers 55-50 Loss to Fairfield
RIVERDALE, N.Y. - After an early three-point barrage gave Fairfield an 18-point lead, the Manhattan College women's basketball team battled all the way back to eventually tie the score on Monday night. However, the Stags (14-9, 8-4 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference) countered with a run of their own to pull away for a 55-50 win over the Jaspers (6-17, 3-9 MAAC) at Draddy Gymnasium.
The Jaspers held an early 4-2 lead before a 27-7 Fairfield run, fueled by six treys, gave the Stags a 29-11 advantage with 6:02 remaining in the first half. Manhattan scored the next three buckets to trim its deficit to 12 points, 29-17, and the Jaspers trailed 34-23 at intermission.
Manhattan continued its run early in the second half, as jumpers by Allison Skrec (Roselle, N.J.), Ashley Stec (Cazenovia, N.Y.) and Toni-Ann Lawrence (Elmont, N.Y.) made it a five-point game, 34-29, with 16:53 to go. After Katelyn Linney drained a three-pointer on the other end, Skrec sank a trey of her own at the 16:09 mark. Lawrence then converted an old-fashioned three-point play to trim the margin to two, 37-35, before Shayna Ericksen's (Hackettstown, N.J.) layup evened the score at 37-37 with 14:59 remaining.
It would remain 37-37 for nearly three minutes until the Stags finally broke the tie on Brittany MacFarlane's layup at the 12:08 mark. That bucket ignited a 15-2 Fairfield run that put the Stags in front 52-39 with 3:58 left. After Felicia DaCruz hit a pair of foul shots to make it 54-41 in favor of the Stags, Skrec sank a three-pointer with 1:15 remaining to trim the Jaspers' deficit to 10 points, 54-44.
Fairfield's Brittany Obi-Tabot was whistled for a personal foul and a technical with 20 seconds left, and Lawrence nailed three of four free throws to pull Manhattan within seven, 54-47. A Linney foul shot brought the Stags' lead back to eight points, 55-47, then Maggie Blair (Briarcliff, N.Y.) sank a late three for the Jaspers, making the final score 55-50.
"We had a great second half defensively," Head Coach John Olenowski said. "We were putting way too much emphasis on their non-shooters, so in the second half we played off of them pretty nicely and we were very effective. I was very proud of our defensive effort in the second half."
Lawrence and Skrec paced the Jaspers with 14 points apiece. Lawrence added five rebounds, while Skrec also notched seven assists and a career-high six boards. Ericksen pulled down a team-high seven rebounds to go along with six points, and Stec tallied six points and five rebounds. The Jaspers shot 38.9 percent (21-of-54) from the field, 30.8 percent (4-of-13) from downtown, and 80 percent (4-of-5) at the charity stripe.
Alexys Vazquez sank six three-pointers and finished with a game-high 20 points for the Stags. Katie Cizynski had a double-double with 15 points and 12 rebounds, while Linney contributed seven points and Kristin Schatzlein distributed four assists. Fairfield shot 37.7 percent (20-of-53) as a team and outrebounded Manhattan 39-32. The Stags went 10-for-25 (40 percent) from long range and 5-for-10 (50 percent) at the line.
After playing five of their last six games at home, the Jaspers now hit the road for four straight, starting with their final visit to Baltimore for a MAAC matchup with Loyola (9-14, 4-8 MAAC). Manhattan defeated the Greyhounds, 62-50, at Draddy Gymnasium on Jan. 18. The rematch is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday.NOTES: The contest was originally scheduled for Sunday afternoon, but was postponed because of the blizzard that hit the Northeast over the weekend...Fairfield swept the season series for the second straight season...The Jaspers have faced the Stags more than any other opponent in program history, and Fairfield leads the all-time series 40-36...Skrec played the entire game for the first time in her career, and she dished out seven or more assists for the third time this season...Manhattan had more assists than turnovers for the fourth time this season...Every Jasper who saw action scored at least two points...Throughout the game, the Jaspers celebrated the 27th annual "National Girls & Women In Sports Night."