Sharks Fall in Season Opener, 56-50 at Mariner Pepsi Challenge

Sharks Fall in Season Opener, 56-50 at Mariner Pepsi Challenge
CASTINE, Maine -- Maine Maritime sank 6 of 6 free throws in the final 1:37 to secure a 56-50 win over the Simmons College Sharks in the first round of the Mariner Pepsi Challenge Friday. The Mariners (1-0) advanced to to Saturday's championship tilt opposite Mount Holoyoke, a 77-63 winner over Bates, at3 p.m. The Sharks (0-1) will take on Bates in the 1 p.m. consolation game.

Jen Janiak (Chelmsford, Mass.) scored a game-high 17 points for Simmons, Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) had 11 and Kim Hixon (Taunton, Mass.) 10. Leah Davis (Cranston, R.I.) and Gracie Rolfe (Newton, Mass.) each had a team-high five rebounds.
Ashley Shine netted a team-best 13 points for Maine Maritime, Bekah Campbell scored 12 and Jillian Perron 10. Perron added seven rebounds and Hanna Lyons pulled down a game-high nine boards and dished out a game-best four assists.

The Mariners took their largest lead of the game in the second half, 44-36, after a pair of Campbell free throws with 7:19 left in the game. The Sharks answered with five-straight points to get within one, 44-43, after a Janiak three with 4:49 left. A pair of free throws from Cheyenne Malloy, and a layup by Shine, put Maine Maritime ahead 48-42 with 4:01 left in the game.

Simmons got as close as two, 52-50, after two free throws by Janiak but Lyons sank four free throws, and Perron two, in the final 1:19.

The Sharks jumped out to an early first half lead, 7-2, behind four points from Brasa and three from Leah Davis. Back-to-back Campbell buckets made it 7-6 with 16 minutes left in the first half. A Janiak jumper at 14:13 put Simmons ahead 12-8 and a Brasa jay at 8:53 gave the Sharks a 21-15 advantage.

Maine Maritime went on an 8-2 scoring run to even the game at 23-23 with 4:28 remaining. Perron led the run with four points, Kari Jones drained a trey and Alex Winchester hit a free throw for the Mariners.

The game was tied for a fourth time, 27-27, with 1:07 left before the break before Mackenzie Vosburgh sank a pair of free throws to give Maine Maritime a 29-27 at halftime.