SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. – Fresh off holiday break, the Simmons basketball team fell to the Mount Holyoke College Lyons 70-51 in non-conference action on Thursday. The Lyons, who were led by a game-high 18 points from senior Angelica Pascual, improves to 2-7 overall. The Sharks slip to 1-7 on the season.
The Lyons jumped out to an early advantage, going on a 9-0 run, including a layup and a three-pointer from first year Genelle Green (Windsor, Conn.). Simmons got on the board at 15:29 as first year Nicole Alberghini (Northborough, Mass.) nailed a jumper, but a trey from Pascual (Lawrence, Mass.) pushed the lead back to 12-2.
Simmons refused to back down and capitalized on key free throws, including a pair from Alberghini, and multiple turnovers by Mount Holyoke to make it a 12-9 game with 12:22 to play in the opening half. The Lyons responded, pushing the lead to 13 points (24-11) on a jumper by junior Kathleen O'Connor (Southampton, Mass.) with 7:22 remaining.
The Sharks continued to battle, narrowing the gap to seven (28-21) on a layup from junior Leah Davis (Cranston, R.I.), but Mount Holyoke once again delivered as Pascual nailed two three-pointers over the final three minutes to give the Lyons a 38-24 lead at the intermission.
MHC capitalized with back-to-back buckets from junior Jennine Vizcaino (New York, N.Y.) and sophomore Amber Legare (Chicopee, Mass.) in the opening minute of the second half to make it an 18-point lead (42-24).
Sharks' junior Hannah May (Hamden, Conn.) sunk a jumper at the 16:57 mark to cut the deficit, but another three-pointer from Pascual made it a 45-28 score seconds later. Both teams matched bucket-for-bucket down the stretch and Simmons made it a 10-point game (55-45) behind first year Jen Janiak's (Chelmsford, Mass.) pair of free throw makes.
The Lyons saw Green sink a layup and nail a free throw on an ensuing foul to push the score to 58-45 with 8:39 left and MHC took advantage of missed shots and fouls to build its largest lead of the game (67-45) on a layup by Vizcaino.
In addition to Pascual, who added three assists and seven rebounds, the Lyons got 14 points and a game-best 11 rebounds from Legare. Green chipped in with 12 points, while senior Jasmine Brown (Enfield, Conn.) had a game-best five assists and a steal.
Janiak led the way for the visitors, pouring in 12 points. Alberghini added eight points and 10 rebounds, while sophomore Olivia LaCroix (Manchester, N.H.) had game-best figures in assists (5) and steals (4).
Mount Holyoke is back on the court on Saturday hosting NEWMAC-rival Wheaton at 1pm. Simmons is back on Monday in an 8pm contest against Fisher.