‘Refusing to lose.’ Fairfield University women’s team gets hero’s welcome

The Fairfield Stags women’s basketball team are March Madness-bound after a historic regular season included their first time in the AP Top 25 poll.

Tom Krosnowski and Robyn Karashik

Mar 17, 2024, 5:08 PM

Updated 33 days ago

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‘Refusing to lose.’ Fairfield University women’s team gets hero’s welcome
The Fairfield Stags women’s basketball team are March Madness-bound after a historic regular season included their first time in the AP Top 25 poll.
News 12 Connecticut’s Tom Krosnowski was there for the team’s return home.
The Stags were 31-1 this season and unbeaten in conference play. It all culminated with their fifth MAAC title and sixth NCAA Tournament appearance. They received a mighty welcome when they got back to campus.
“It’s amazing for our small school going into this game,” said Ally, a sophomore at Fairfield University. “We knew they were going to win the whole time and then it went into overtime and they pulled away.”
“March Madness. So excited,” said Madison, a sophomore at Fairfield University. “We had major confidence in the team the whole time.”
The 2024 MAAC champions had to fight for their spot. Trailing for most of the game, Fairfield took their first lead over Niagara in the last two minutes and forced overtime, where they took over.
“I was just so hyped the whole time. I was screaming in my dorm room, it was great. Upsets are possible. We’re coming for that,” said Will, a junior at Fairfield University.
Senior guard Janelle Brown explained her go-ahead shot:
“Jump stop and then I made the layup. I made sure to maintain my balance – that’s what the coaches have been on,” said Brown.
“She’s been able to play more under control and with poise coming down to that jump stop off two feet,” said Carly Thibault-DuDonis, the head coach of Fairfield University’s women’s basketball.
“Coach Carly Thibault-DuDonis will get you into the right place. She will treat you as she treats her daughter, not just a player,” said Brown.
The team says scrapping this game out has represented who they are.
“Our standards are ‘selfless, tough, accountable, grateful.’ When you watch our team, you’ll see them playing really hard for one another. You’ll have a lot of fun watching our team play,” said Thibault-DuDonis.
“Refusing to lose. I feel like that’s what our mentality is. We’re a bunch of dogs,” said Brown.
The next step would be taking that same Fairfield spirit to the big dance.
“We’ve built this to be a national program on a national stage and not just a local or mid-major. We want to be able to continue to put this program on the map,” said Thibault-DuDonis.


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