STANDISH, Maine - Sophomore guard Kimberlee Hixon (Taunton, Mass.) scored a career-high 21 points to lead the Simmons College women's basketball team in a 75-60 loss to host Saint Joseph's College (Maine) this afternoon in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest in Standish, Maine. The Sharks fall to 4-13 overall and 0-4 in league play, while the Monks improve to 12-5 and 4-1.
The first half was closely contested, as the conference counterparts swapped the lead on eight occasions in the opening 10 minutes. Simmons trailed 12-11 at the 15:39 mark of the first half, before putting together an 11-5 stretch, fueled by seven points, including a three-pointer from junior guard Jennifer Janiak (Chelmsford, Mass.), to give the Sharks their largest lead of the game at 22-17 with 12:32 to go before the break.
Saint Joseph's sophomore forward Molly Mack (Portland, Maine) made a layup at 11:41 to ignite a 16-2 run, a scoring binge that was capped by a Brianna Holdren (Portland, Maine) three-pointer six minutes later and provided the Monks with a 33-24 lead with 5:46 to go in the half. The home team did not trail for the remainder of play.
Hixon missed just one shot the entire day for Simmons, going 6-7 from the floor, 2-3 from downtown and 7-7 from the free throw line in just her fourth game back after missing the first 13 games of the season with an injury. She also added three rebounds, two assists and a steal to her day. Sophomore forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) came off the bench to net 11 points, grab four rebounds and come up with a steal during 13 minutes of play, while sophomore forward Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.) led all players with nine rebounds and added six points, an assist and a steal on the afternoon.
Eight players netted at least six points in the victory for the Monks, as freshman forward Norma Waggett (Saugus, Mass.) contributed 12 points and five rebounds and first-year guard Hayley Quirion (Augusta, Maine) scored nine with four assists while Holdren, senior Sarah Assante (Standish, Maine), sophomore Emily Kehoe (Perkinsville, Vt.) and first year Emily Quirion (Augusta, Maine) totaled eight points apiece. Mack added six points for the hosts.
Saint Joseph's posted a collective 45.5% (30-66) effort from the floor for the second-highest mark of the season. St. Joe's committed just 10 turnovers while scoring 26 points off 22 Simmons miscues in the victory and also registered a season-high 24 assists in the conference contest.
The Monks carried a 39-30 lead into intermission and put the game out of reach with an 11-2 outburst, which took place during a two-minute span midway through the second stanza. Waggett scored five points during the scoring surge while Hayley Quirion accounted for the other six points with a pair of trifectas, including a three that closed the run with the Monks ahead, 58-40, with 11:44 remaining.
The Sharks went on to post a 10-2 scoring run later in the half, cutting their deficit down to a more manageable 11 points (64-53) after Hixon capped the effort with a pair of freebies at the 6:04 mark, but the Monks closed the door on the visitors' comeback hopes by netting 11 unanswered points to secure a game-high 22-point (75-53) cushion with 3:24 on the clock.
Both teams host conference opponents on Tuesday night, when Saint Joseph's hosts Lasell College at 5:30 PM and Simmons hosts Mount Ida College at Moore Gymnasium in a 7:00 PM tip-off.