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It was perhaps the ugliest game Fairfield's women's basketball team had played all year.

But the Stags weren't too concerned about style points. The second-place team in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference was just happy to gut out a 59-48 win over Canisius in the first half of a doubleheader at the Koessler Center on Friday.

The Griffs dropped to 4-11 in the MAAC, 7-16 overall, while Fairfield solidified its second-place position behind Siena, improving to 13-2, 20-4 overall.

"It was certainly not good basketball," said Fairfield coach Diane Nolan. "It was just a gut-out kind of win for us. We feel good about the win. It was kind of a crazy win for us, but I'll take it."

It was an uncharacteristic performance by the Stags, who average 75.2 points per game with all five starters in double figures.

Friday, their offense ran in spurts. They shot just 29.7 percent for the game (19 of 64) and committed 21 turnovers. Schrene Isidora led the Stags with 13 points while Gail Strumpf added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Canisius didn't fare much better on the offensive end, shooting 31.7 percent with 26 turnovers. Shauna Geronzin's 12 points and 10 rebounds led the Griffs while Tricia Breznitsky had 10 points and seven assists.

Canisius head coach Mike Decillis was ejected with 52 seconds left in the first half after receiving two technical fouls for arguing with the officials.

It capped a frustrating first half for the Griffs, who posted an early 8-2 run, but couldn't sustain their outside shooting. The Stags started hitting their shots and took control with a 33-23 lead at halftime.

Canisius made a game of it, pulling within one point when Breznitsky hit the back end of a two-shot foul with 7:47 left in the game.

That's when Fairfield got serious, rattling off eight straight points to regain control of the game.

Bad free-throw shooting killed any Griffs hopes of a comeback as they made just 4 of 14 foul shots in the second half, shooting just 31.1 percent from the line for the game.

"Our goal is to play hard," Decillis said. "I think we do that every game. In the first half, we weren't working for some shots, but holding them to just 33 points at halftime was just good effort."

Injuries left Canisius with just eight players available for the game Renee Turpyn is out with a sprained wrist while Julie Lanphere was out with back spasms. Nancy Taylor didn't dress either, sitting out at the coaching staff's discretion.

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