NORTHFIELD, Vt. - First year forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) scored 14 points to lead the Simmons College women's basketball team in a 79-59 loss to host Norwich University this evening in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference game in Northfield, Vt. The Sharks fall to 5-18 overall and 1-9 in league play, while the Cadets win their 10th straight game to improve to 20-4 and 7-3 in the conference.
Norwich jumped out to a 22-4 lead just under 10 minutes into the first half, paced by seven points each from senior guard Aliah Curry (Windsor, Mass.) and sophomore forward Heather LeBlanc (Sanford, Maine). Sophomore forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) ended a scoring drought of five-plus minutes for Simmons with a jump shot at the 9:08 mark of the opening half. Classmate Kimberlee Hixon (Taunton, Mass.) later converted a free throw for the Sharks, before the Cadets reeled off nine unanswered points, including seven from Curry, to increase their advantage to 31-7 with 4:18 left in the half. Norwich took a 45-16 cushion into the intermission.
LeBlanc later sunk a pair of free throws for Norwich to maintain a 62-28 lead at 13:33 of the second stanza. Simmons showed life with a 15-4 burst, fueled by a pair of three-pointers from junior guard Jennifer Janiak (Chelmsford, Mass.) to extend her streak of consecutive games with at least one made trey to 23 straight contests and pull the Sharks to within 66-43 with 9:22 remaining in the game. The Cadets held a 72-45 margin with 5:54 showing on the second half clock, before Simmons closed out the contest on a 14-7 run to set the final at 79-59 in favor of Norwich.
Silva was 8-9 from the free throw line and added two rebounds, three assists, four steals and a pair of blocks for the Sharks, while sophomore guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) came off the bench to net 12 points, grab a career-high eight rebounds and dish out three assists. Janiak finished with eight points for Simmons.
Senior guard Kelsey Lotti (South Yarmouth, Mass.) led four Cadets with double-figures, scoring a game-high 18 points, including four three-pointers to go with five rebounds, a pair of steals and an assist. Curry ended the night with 16 points, three boards, a steal and a game-high five assists, while LeBlanc dropped in 13 points on 5-8 from the floor and added six rebounds, an assist and a steal.
The Sharks will wrap up their season with a home contest vs. GNAC rival Emmanuel College on Saturday, February 21 at 1:00 p.m. in Moore Gymnasium, while Norwich hosts Lasell College on the same day at 1:00 p.m.