The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


March 21, 2013

St. Francis bounced from WBI by Fairfield

FAIRFIELD, Conn. — In its first ever trip to the Women’s Basketball Invitational, St. Francis lost to Fairfield, 71-51, on Thursday evening.

Rebecca Sparks led all Red Flash (17-16) scorers with 13 points. The Stags (18-13) saw five different players reach double figures in scoring, including 16 from Kristin Schatzlein. Fairfield will go on to face Pennsylvania in the second round of the WBI.

“The experience we can take away from this game is great,” SFU coach Joe Haigh said. “I was proud of the team for not turning the ball over tonight.”

Fairfield took the early lead after back-to-back 3-pointers from Alexys Vazquez. SFU battled back and after a backdoor feed from Kelley Doogan to Alli Williams, the Flash took their first lead of the evening, 11-9.

Both teams continued to trade baskets for the majority of the half. The Stags then closed out the first half on a 9-0 run to take a 43-32 lead into halftime.

Hope Phillips scored the first field goal for SFU in the second half as she hit a reverse layup at the 15:51 mark. Fairfield’s lead stretched to 21 points with less than 15 minutes to play. A short run from SFU got the Flash within 14 after a 3-pointer from Brooklyn Taylor, but that was the closest it got down the stretch.

Alli Williams finished with 10 points and six rebounds for the Flash. Alexa Hayward knocked down three triples and added 11 points. SFU finished with a season low nine turnovers in the game.

“We need to get better individually for next season,” Haigh said. “We have to learn to execute better, especially on the defensive end.”

Brooklyn Taylor and Aisha Brock both earned their first career start for St. Francis. After making a surprising run to the finals of the Northeast Conference tournament, the Red Flash lost their finals two games.

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