LYNN, Mass. - Junior guard Jennifer Janiak (Chelmsford, Mass.) poured in 19 of her career-high 30 points in the second half to lead the Simmons College women's basketball team in a 91-64 victory over host Fisher College this evening at Fectau-Leary Gym in Lynn, Mass. The Sharks win their second straight game in as many days to improve to 3-7 on the season, while the Falcons fall to 1-10.
Simmons outscored Fisher, 55-31, in the second half to put the game away and finish with its highest scoring output (91) since a 93-24 victory over Fisher on February 14, 2012. The Sharks shot a season-high 52.7% (39-74) from the field for the game and pulled down a season-best 60 rebounds to hold a plus-26 rebounding advantage for the contest.
Junior guard Shakieya Roland-Drake (Boston, Mass.) drilled a three-pointer and classmate Christine Briggs (Rumford, Maine) made a jumper with 17:50 to play in the second half to erase a five-point deficit and pull the Falcons even at 38-38. Fisher stayed close, trailing 43-41 at the 16:16 mark of the half, but Simmons reeled off 12 unanswered points in less than two minutes. The string was led by a combined eight points from Janiak and junior forward Nicole Alberghini (Northborough, Mass.) to give the visitors a comfortable 55-41 cushion with 14:26 remaining in the second stanza.
The Sharks later maintained a 58-45 lead with 13:08 showing on the first half clock, before putting together a 19-3 run, fueled by seven points from Janiak and six from sophomore forward Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.), to increase the Simmons' lead to 77-48 with 6:37 to go in the game. The Sharks took their largest lead of the night, following a jumper by junior forward Gracie Rolfe (Newton, Mass.) to give Simmons an 84-51 lead at the 4:11 mark. The Sharks held Fisher off for the rest of the way to secure the victory.
Simmons scored the first six points of the game and opened an 18-7 advantage within the first nine minutes of the first half. Janiak paced the Sharks with eight points during the stretch. Following a pair of made free throws from sophomore guard Kelsey Heavener (Stafford Springs, Conn.), Simmons took a 26-15 lead, but the Falcons battled back with a 16-4 burst, led by a pair of three-pointers from first year guard Murphy Carroll (Methuen, Mass.), to take their first lead of the game at 31-30 with 1:54 to play in the opening period. The Sharks scored six of the half's final eight points to take a 36-33 lead at the half.
Janiak was 12-17 from the floor, including 3-6 from three-point range and added three rebounds, three steals and three assists for Simmons. Rolfe finished with 12 points on an efficient 6-8 from the field and added five rebounds, a steal and a career-best six assists. McAdams came off the bench to score 14 points and grab eight rebounds in addition to a pair of steals and two assists in 18 minutes of action, while first year forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) chipped in with eight points, nine rebounds and a steal in 17 minutes off the bench. Sophomore point guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) dished out a career-high eight assists to go with three points, four rebounds and a steal.
Carroll led Fisher with 27 points, seven rebounds, four assists and added a pair of steals, while Roland-Drake ended the evening with 19 points, five boards, three assists and a game-high five steals.
The Sharks will be in action again on Thursday, January 8 when they host Lyndon State College at 7:00 p.m. at Moore Gymnasium, while the Falcons also play on the same day with a 2:00 p.m. road tip-off in Plymouth, N.H. vs. Plymouth State University.