Simmons Basketball fell to Norwich University, 73-53, in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest Saturday afternoon at Andrews Hall. With the win, Norwich keeps a perfect 3-0 in the conference (11-4 overall), while Simmons slips to 9-5 overall, 2-1 GNAC.
Norwich used a 19-2 run spanning the first and second halves to turn a 26-24 lead with 2:01 to play in the first half into a 45-26 advantage at 16:20 mark of the second half. Simmons got no closer than 12 points the rest of the way as the Cadets ended with the victory.
The first five minutes of the game went back and forth with Simmons holding a 10-8 lead at the 14:59 mark. Five quick points by senior guard Natalie Marchese helped ignite a 10-0 run by Norwich that gave the Cadets an 18-8 advantage with 10:49 to play. NU led by eight (26-18) with 4:10 remaining in the half, but consecutive three-pointers by sophomore guard Jessica Thomas (East Sandwich, Mass.) pulled Simmons to within 26-24 two minutes later. Norwich ended the stanza on an 8-0 spurt to carry a 34-24 lead into the intermission.
Senior guard Erica Rate led all scorers with nine points in the first half. The Cadets were on fire from behind the three-point line in the opening 20 minutes, knocking down 6-of-10 from downtown. Rate connected on 3-of-4 triples in the first half, while freshman guard Jessalyn Sweeney made both of her attempts from behind the arc.
Norwich began the second half on an 11-4 spurt to pull away from Simmons permanently.
Simmons was led by senior forward Stephanie Fox (West Springfield, Mass.), who posted a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Freshman guard Liz O'Connor (Milton, Mass.) added 10 points for the Sharks, while Jessica Thomas and freshman forward Emily Thomas (Cheshire, Conn.) each chipped in nine points apiece.
Senior guard Ally Daniels added 13 points and a game-high five assists for the Cadets, while Marchese chipped in 11 points and four assists.
The Sharks will return to action on Monday, Jan. 18, when they travel to GNAC opponent Pine Manor at 7:00 p.m.