Sunday, January 30, 2011

Guest Contributor Ray Floriani: Fairfield at St. Peter's WBB

by Ray Floriani
JERSEY CITY, NJ- The Fairfield women's team won their third straight, 61-46 over St. Peter's Friday night. The game at Yanitelli Center saw the Stags impose their defensive will on the contest. The pace and efficiency:

St. Peter's6274

Fairfield prefers a slower pace. St. Peter's, especially trailing the second half, utilized full court pressure to force turnovers and get the Stags in a quicker tempo of play.

The Four Factors:

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The St. Peter's pressure did get the Stags into rushing things. On the night they had 21 turnovers. Most of those however were in the latter 10 minutes of the game when they were enjoying a double digit lead. Fairfield coach Joe Frager was not pleased with the turnovers, especially with a number of them coming in the latter minutes (which are crucial in a close contest) when St. Peter's forced a chaotic tempo. Defense, boards and getting to the line were all strongly in Fairfield's favor.

Tempo-free proof. Discussing the game with Fairfield sophomore guard Katelyn Linney, she said that Fairfield's number one defense is "a source of pride and something we work on daily." Linney was referring to the Stags' defensive points allowed average of 48 points per game. Now the question, is the 48 ppg allowed due to a slower tempo? A tempo-free look at the 18 games prior to coming to St. Peter's yielded these results:


Without looking at some of the other top women's teams in the nations, the numbers show Fairfield is playing some pretty sound defense. The 64 possession pace is pedestrian. But the 75 allowed on the defensive end is nothing short of outstanding.


Fairfield is 13-6 (6-3 in the MAAC). St. Peter's falls 10 (3-17 (3-6). Linney led all scorers with 19 points. Lauren Morris paced St. Peter's with 14 points. Brittany MacFarlane, Fairfield's 6-1 sophomore, did not score but led all players with 11 rebounds. Fairfield junior forward Taryn Johnson had an impressive all around effort. Johnson scored 17 points while grabbing 9 rebounds and handing out a game high 6 assists. Admiring St. Peter's work ethic and resilience in a tough injury riddled year, Frager called them "the most dangerous 3-17 team you will find anywhere." St. Peter's freshman Teresa Manigrasso (8 points) and Linney were teammates on St. John Vianney's 2009 NJ High School Girls Tournament of Champions title winners.

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