Sharks Basketball Topped By Blue, 69-56

Sharks Basketball Topped By Blue, 69-56

WELLESLEY, Mass -- Simmons Basketball was down just four at the half but the Wellesley College blue used a dominant second-half surge to defeat the Sharks, 69-56, on Tuesday night at Keohane Sports Center. The win lifts the Blue to 2-1 on the season, while Simmons drops to 0-4.

Simmons jumped to a quick 7-0 lead in the opening period, with two buckets from Leah Davis (Cranston, R.I.). Wellesley responded with six straight, capped off by a Chelsi Scott layup, then tied the score at 12-12 at the 12:53 mark on a breakaway layup from Meghan Sargent. Two minutes later, the Blue grabbed its first lead of the game, at 14-12, on a short Leslie Leong jumper.

The squads traded buckets through the middle of the period, with the Sharks capitalizing on a trey from Hannah May (Hamden, Conn.) and Wellesley using four straight points from Ailis Hanley to keep the score tight. Wellesley then jumped to a 25-19 advantage, highlighted by a Katie Shulenberger layup, before Simmons answered with back-to-back buckets from May and Nicole Alberghini (Northborough, Mass.) cut the advantage to 25-23.

Wellesley surged again in the closing minutes of the period, pushing the lead to 34-25 at 2:10 with a bucket from Morgyne Weaver and a trey from Kendall Bianchi. However, the Sharks' Gracie Rolfe (Newton, Mass.) responded with two points from the free throw line and three-pointer to put the score at 34-30 at the break.

Both teams came out hot in the second period, combining for 19 points in the first 3:30 of the period. Wellesley was led by six straight from Leong, while Simmons relied on three consecutive treys from Jen Janiak (Chelmsford, Mass.), May, and Rolfe to keep up.

With Wellesley holding a 44-39 edge at the 16:30 mark, both teams tightened up defensively and the scoring onslaught slowed. After trading buckets in the middle of the half, a full-court pass resulting in a Shulenberger layup sparked an offensive eruption for the Blue. The charge included free-throws from Alex Berman, a conventional three-point play from Hanley, back-to-back buckets from Sargent, and a trey from Leong to open a 63-41 lead.

Simmons' Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) broke the drought with a short jumper at the 3:30 mark and followed up with a trey one minute later, but the visitors' surge proved to be too little too late as Wellesley cruised to a 69-56 win.

Wellesley was led by 19 points from Sargent, a career-high for the junior, who also added six rebounds. Leong picked up 13 points and six boards, while Hanley and Weaver each had nine points and five rebounds. Rounding out the offense for the Blue, Shulenberger added eight points and a team-high four assists.

Simmons was paced by 14 points and five rebounds from Rolfe, while Davis added 11 points and three assists. May contributed eight points and five assists, while Brasa had seven points and a team-high six rebounds.

Both squads return to action on Saturday at 1pm, when Wellesley travels to Coast Guard for its NEWMAC opener and Simmons hosts Wheelock in a non-conference game.