BOSTON, Mass. - The Simmons College women's basketball team owned a double-digit lead at halftime and led into the second half, but couldn't hold on as host Pine Manor College came back to grab an 89-73 victory this afternoon at Brunelli Court in Chestnut Hill, Mass. The Sharks fall to 1-5 on the season, while the Gators improve to 4-1.
Simmons held Pine Manor to just 24.3 % (9-37) from the floor in the first half, before the home team started to get hot from the floor and shot 53.7 % (22-41) in the second half. The Gators were 9-18 from three-point range in the second stanza and forced the Sharks into 38 turnovers for the contest.
Sophomore forward Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.) converted a layup to give Simmons a 60-59 lead with 9:54 to play in the game, but it was its final lead of the game as Pine Manor reeled off 11 unanswered points, to take a 70-60 advantage with 6:19 to go in the contest. The Gators later maintained a 76-68 cushion at the 3:34 mark, before closing out the game with a 13-5 run, fueled by six free throws from junior guard Alexis Lee (Akron, OH), to come away with the win.
Freshman forward Erica Jones (Atlanta, Ga.) made a layup to give Pine Manor an early 4-3 edge less than five minutes into the game, but the Sharks took control with a 23-5 stretch, led by seven points from junior forward Gracie Rolfe (Newton, Mass.), to give them a commanding 26-9 lead with 7:37 showing in the opening half.
Simmons later held a 37-20 lead with 2:44 showing on the first half clock, but the Gators closed out the period by scoring five of the next six points to trail, 38-25, at halftime.
The Gators opened the second stanza with a 14-4 burst, paced by seven points from Jones, to pull them to within 42-39 with 17:17 left in the second period. A pair of made free throws from junior guard Sybil Lynch (Hoboken, N.J.) cut the deficit to 43-41 at 16:46 for Pine Manor, but the Sharks got some breathing room with five straight points to own a 48-41 lead with 15:58 left in the contest. The Gators responded by scoring nine of the next 11 points over the next two 2:43 to take their first lead at 50-49, since early in the game.
Sophomore point guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) scored a career-high 14 points to lead five Simmons players with double-digit scoring efforts. She also added five assists, four rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. Rolfe finished with 12 points, eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block in 16 minutes of action off the bench, while McAdams posted a double-double with 10 points and 12 board to go with a steal and an assist. Junior guard Jennifer Janiak (Chelmsford, Mass.) chipped in with 13 points, six rebounds and three assists and first year Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) contributed with 10 points, four rebounds, two steals and a pair of blocks.
Jones led all scorers with 21 points for Pine Manor on 9-13 from the floor, while pulling down six rebounds and coming up with three steals. Lee netted 18 points, came up with five steals, handed out an assist and came down with two rebounds. Lynch ended with 16 points, three rebounds, three steals, a block and an assist.
The Sharks return to action on Tuesday, December 9 when they head to Dorchester, Mass. to take on University of Massachusetts Boston at 7:00 p.m., while the Gators are off until after the New Year when they head to Framingham, Mass. to play Framingham State University at 6:00 p.m.