Trojans pull away from Fort Madison 53-37
Fairfield poured in 13 unanswered points to finish Friday’s Southeast Conference finale vs. Fort Madison, turning what was once a close fourth quarter into a 53-37 blowout victory for the Trojans.
Sidney Baumann set another career high with 33 points, scoring nine in the final four minutes, to lift the Trojans in the final home game of her prep career. And on Senior Night, no less.
“To go out with a bang was big,” said Baumann, who had four assists and five steals in addition to her 33 points. “It was very important [for me to play well] because we didn’t want to tie Fort Madison in the conference.”
The Trojans are now 9-12 overall, an improvement from last season’s 8-13 mark. They finished fourth in the Southeast Conference with a 3-5 mark; Washington earned the SEC crown at 6-2.
“Riding a two-game winning streak headed into tournament time is terrific,” said Flattery. “I’m very proud with how we ended the regular season.”
The Trojans led Friday from start to finish, but Fort Madison made it a game in the fourth quarter as they narrowed the deficit to 40-37 with four minutes to go. A trey by Baumann pushed Fairfield’s lead back up to six, and back-to-back baskets by Marisa Repp handed the Trojans a 47-37 lead with 2:30 on the clock. In the final minute of regulation and the Trojans still up by 10, Baumann silenced the Bloodhounds for good with the game’s final six points. Baumann finished the day 10-for-17 from the field and 6-for-11 from 3-point land.
“That basket looks like a hula hoop to her right now,” said Flattery. “When you get in a zone like that, that’s exactly what happens. She slowed the game down how she plays, and she picks and chooses when to accelerate,” Flattery said.
Flattery also praised his players for their ability to shut down Fort Madison in the final four minutes.
“I thought our defense really locked in when Fort Madison narrowed the deficit,” said Flattery. “Our defense was able to get some steals. They got too many good looks when they cut it to 3, so it had to change.”
The Trojans opened the game on an 8-2 run thanks in part to a pair of 3s by Baumann, but Fort Madison closed the gap by the end of the first period to trail 12-9. A putback by Hanna Greiner and layup by Karley Williams upped Fairfield’s lead to 16-9 at the start of the second quarter, and the Trojans held on to a 21-16 lead at the half.
The Trojans padded onto their advantage out of the break, going on a 10-2 run. They led by as many as 15 points in the third quarter.
In addition to Baumann’s stat line, Greiner scored 11 points with seven rebounds, and Repp netted four points with three steals. Miranda Metcalf and Williams scored two points apiece. Again, the Trojans collectively posted double-digit assists with 12. They also totaled 17 steals as a team.
The Trojans enter the postseason on a three-game winning streak at home, though they’ll need to replicate that magic on the road as the first round of regional play commences Wednesday at Mount Pleasant. The Panthers have won the teams’ two regular season matchups.
“We know that on paper Mount Pleasant is supposed to win, but everybody is 0-0 this time of year,” said Flattery. “I know our girls are looking forward to it, and we hope to have as many fans as we can get to turn that gym over there into Fairfield East.”
“We want it so bad, and it’s hard to beat a team three times. We’re definitely going over there with nothing to lose,” Baumann added.
Fairfield vs. Fort Madison
FT. MADISON — 9 7 9 12 — 37
FAIRFIELD — 12 9 15 17 — 53
FAIRFIELD — Baumann 10 7-8 33, Greiner 5 1-2 11, Repp 2 0-0 4, Williams 1 0-4 2, Metcalf 1 0-0 2, Kurtz 0 1-2 1, Burnett 0 0-0 0, Ledger 0 0-0 0, Totals 19 9-16 53.
3-point goals — Baumann 6. Rebounds — Greiner 7, Repp 3, Baumann 3, Kurtz 3. Assists — Baumann 4, Metcalf 2, Repp 2. Steals — Baumann 5, Greiner 4, Williams 3, Repp 2. Blocks — Greiner.