BOSTON, Mass. - Sophomore forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) posted her fourth double-doule of the year with 19 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to lead the Simmons College women's basketball team in a 74-62 loss to visiting Lasell College this evening in the first Great Northeast Athletic Conference game of the year for both teams at Moore Gymnasium on the campus of Simmons in Boston. The Sharks fall to 4-9 overall and 0-1 in GNAC play, while the Lasers improve to 5-8 and 1-0.
Lasell was 22 of 26 from the free throw line as a team, including a perfect 13-13 from junior guard Katie Stopera (Hollis, N.H.), who finished the game with a career-high 35 points to lead the Lasers.
Lasell owned a 51-34 lead following a Stopera jumper at the 15:11 mark of the second half, but Simmons ripped off 10 unanswered points as part of a 20-6 burst, sparked by six points each from first year forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) and junior guard Jennifer Janiak (Chelmsford, Mass.) to pull the Sharks to within 57-54 with 7:02 showing on the second half clock. Following a pair of good free throws from Brasa, the Sharks stayed within 60-56 with 4:19 to go in the contest, but the Lasers pulled away with a 14-6 stretch, fueled by nine points from Stopera, to close out the game.
Lasell opened the game by scoring 11 of the first 13 points in the initial five minutes, including eight from Stopera. Simmons later cut the margin to 13-6 after a Silva layup with 13:33 remaining in the first period. The Lasers bared down with a 16-7 string, capped by a three-pointer from junior guard Deanna Barrett (Berlin, Conn.) to increase the visitor's cushion to 29-13 with 6:11 left in the half. The Sharks answered by scoring seven of the next nine points, including five from Janiak, to pull to within 31-20, but Lasell kept the pressure on and later owned a 40-24 lead with 1:44 to play in the first half. The Lasers maintained the lead and took a 45-30 advantage into the intermission.
Brasa added four assists to her night for Simmons . Janiak ended the night with 14 points, a rebound and an assist, while Silva registered her second career double-double with 12 points and 10 boards in addition to an assist, a steal and a blocked shot in 18 minutes of action off the bench. Sophomore forward Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.) chipped in with eight points, seven rebounds and two assists, while sophomore points guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) led all playmakers with seven assists.
Stopera canned four three-pointers as part of her career outing for Lasell and added 13 rebounds for her fourth double-double of the season. She also handed out five assists and came up with four steals. Sophomore guard Sherilyn Small (Springfield, Mass.) contributed with 13 points, five assists, three rebounds and a pair of steals, while Barrett finished with nine points and a steal off the bench.