BOSTON, Mass. - Sophomore forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) scored 14 points to lead the Simmons College women's basketball team in an 82-51 loss to visiting Emmanuel College this afternoon in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference regular season finale at Moore Gymnasium on the campus of Simmons in Boston, Mass.
The Sharks close out the season with a 5-19 mark, including 1-10 in league play, while the Saints improve to 16-9 overall and a perfect 11-0 in league play for their fifth straight undefeated conference campaign and their 63rd straight regular season league victory. Emmanuel has not lost a GNAC regular season tilt since a 70-67 home loss to Emerson College on February 9, 2010. The Sharks close out their season with a 5-19 mark, including 1-10 in GNAC play. Emmanuel earned the top seed in the conference tournament for the 15th straight season and will host number eight seed, Albertus Magnus College, on February 24 at the Yawkey Center in Boston, Mass.
The Saints shot 52.9% (18-34) in the second half to outscore Simmons, 45-25, in the period. The visitors also took advantage of 33 turnovers committed by the home team, owning a 38-6 advantage in points off turnovers for the game.
Emmanuel scored the first eight points of the game as part of a 16-2 run over the opening seven minutes, sparked by six points from senior forward Jennifer Bujnowski (Salem, N.H.). The Sharks whittled the deficit down to 22-15 with 8:03 showing in the first half, following a 13-6 spurt, paced by a pair of three-pointers from junior guard Jennifer Janiak (Chelmsford, Mass.). Sophomore forward Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.) later made a layup to pull Simmons to within 27-21 at the 3:43 mark, but a jumper late in the half from sophomore guard Olivia Marks (Canterbury, Conn.) with two ticks left on the clock gave the Saints a 37-26 lead at the intermission.
Emmanuel opened the second stanza by scoring 14 unanswered points, paced by six points from senior forward Vanessa Bramante (Stoneham, Mass.), to increase the Saints lead to 51-26 with 16:31 to go in the contest. McAdams later canned a pair of free throws for the Sharks to cap a 7-2 burst and cut the margin to 53-33 with 14:41 remaining, but it was as close as the home team would get the rest of the game. A layup from first year guard Sasha Puglisi (Cross River, N.Y.) gave Emmanuel its largest lead of the afternoon and its final points with 41 seconds to play.
Sophomore forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) led Simmons with 14 points, including 11 in the second half and added nine rebounds, two blocks and an assist. McAdams ended the day with nine points, eight rebounds and an assist, while Janiak scored nine points on three trifectas to extend her consecutive streak to 24 games with at least one made three-pointer. She also pulled down two rebounds and dished out a pair of helpers.
Bujnowski led all scorers with 16 points and was 6-12 from the floor and a perfect 4-4 from the line to go with eight rebounds and a blocked shot in just 15 minutes of action. Bramante finished with 15 points, eight boards, an assist and a career-high six steals, while junior guard Sarah Higgins (Groveland, Mass.) netted 15 points, grabbed six rebounds, handed out three assists, blocked two shots and also came up with a personal-best six thefts. Sophomore forward Jen Chalk (Horseheads, N.Y.) came off the bench to chip in with 13 points, eight caroms, three assists, two steals and a block. Junior guard Devin Rauh (Collegeville, Pa.) led all playmakers with six assists to go with a pair of steals.