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Missed opportunities lead to MAAC-opening loss for Canisius women’s basketball


Canisius women's basketball's defense clamped down when it needed it most, however the Golden Griffins suffered from poor free throw shooting and possession conversion, as Fairfield defeated the Blue and Gold, 56-52 at the Koessler Athletic Center, Friday. With the loss in the Griffs' MAAC home-opener, the Griffs drop to 2-10 overall and 0-1 in conference action while the Stags improve to 4-8 and 1-0 in MAAC play.
With the team trailing 31-27 at halftime, the Blue and Gold had its best defensive showing of the game in the third frame, limiting Fairfield to just nine points. However the Blue and Gold offense struggled mightily, hitting just one 3-point bucket, going 1-of-12 from the floor, and draining just two FTs (2-of-8) in the frame.
For the game Canisius shot 31 percent from the field, while the team registered a 47 success rate at the charity stripe (9-of-19).
Anna Sweny tallied career-bests in total points and three-pointers in a game, recording nine points and two treys.
Sara Hinriksdottir and Maria Welch used late treys in the fourth quarter to boost their point totals as the duo matched Sweny's nine points.
The short-in-stature Sweny didn't show her size in the paint as she led the team in rebounds, tallying six and chipped in three assists.
For Fairfield, the Stags got production from Samantha Cooper, as she tallied 12 points and a career-high 19 rebounds for the double-double. Khadidiatou Diouf joined her as she also notched a double-double scoring 12 points and tallying 10 rebounds.
The Stags and Griffs played fairly evenly in other main statistical categories, as the Blue and Gold tallied 13 turnovers to Fairfield's 12, while the Blue and Gold was bested on the glass, 44-41.
"I don't think our regular rotation is playing very well together; with any energy or any defensive intensity and it showed," head coach Terry Zeh said. "When we whole-sale subbed, those players went in, changed the game, get us back into it and held them scoreless for a long stretch. If we made some free throws we probably make a game of it, but the way we're defending with our regular group, it's just not good enough to win basketball games."

• With the loss, Canisius drops to 25-39 against Fairfield and 2-8 in its last eight games against the Stags.
• Anna Sweny continues to impress setting new career bests in points (9) and 3-pointers in a game (2), with her performance today. 
 The Griffs head out on the road for a trio of contests next week, facing Iona on Jan. 2, Manhattan on Jan. 4 and Rider on Jan. 7. The Blue and Gold will next play at the Koessler Athletic Center on Jan. 11 when the team hosts Manhattan. Game time is set for 7 p.m.