NORTH ADAMS, Mass. - The Simmons College women's basketball team's comeback bid fell short in the second half as host Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts held on for a 53-43 victory this afternoon in North Adams, Mass. The Sharks fall to 2-4 on the season, while hte Trailblazers improve to 6-2.
Sophomore forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) scored eight points to go with three rebounds and three steals for Simmons, while junior forward Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.) led all players with 14 rebounds and added seven points, three steals and an assist. First year guard Jessica Phinney (Malden Mass.) also chipped in for the Sharks with six points, and a rebound in 17 minutes off the bench.
Facing a 48-22 deficit with 3:52 left in the third quarter, Simmons would not quit, going on a 21-5 burst, while allowing just one field goal over the final 13-plus minutes of play. The Sharks pulled to within 51-43 following a jumper from junior guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) with 56 seconds left in the contest, but it was as close as they would get the rest of the way. McAdams scored all seven of her points during the Simmons' run, while sophomore guard Celina Jones (Milford, Mass.) dropped in six points.
MCLA wasted little time in taking control as it never trailed in the opening half. The Trailblazers scored the game's first eight points over the opening four minutes forcing six turnovers and Simmons missed their first four shots. The home team led 19-7 after the first quarter.
MCLA opened the second quarter in similar fashion again scoring the first eleven points to move out to a 30-7 advantage, for its largest lead of the half. Their defense held Simmons scoreless in the period until three minutes remaining, before the Sharks began their inspiring comeback. The hosts settled on a 36-15 lead at halftime as it held Simmons to just 22% shooting and their defensive pressure forced 17 turnovers.
The Trailblazers placed four players in double figures led by Kayla Hotaling's double-double effort of 11 points and 11 rebounds. She added five blocked shots as well. Ashley Clawson, Courtney Pingelski, and McKenzie Robinson all ended with 10 points and Clawson dished out six assists in the win. MCLA shot just 37% from the floor, including a 5-17 (29%) showing in the closing half. The Sharks' defense forced the Trailblazers into making 26 turnovers on the afternoon.
Simmons returns to action on Tuesday, December 8 when it travels across the river to take on Lesley University in Cambridge, Mass. for a 8:00 p.m. tip-off at Buckingham, Browne and Nichols School. The Trailblazers are back in action on December 9, hosting Mount Holyoke College at 5:30 p.m.