BOSTON, Mass. – Senior forward Nicole Alberghini (Northborough, Mass.) nearly posted a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds to lead the Simmons College women's basketball team to a 64-51 victory over visiting University of Saint Joseph (Conn.) in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest this evening at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks improve to 7-8 overall and 1-3 in GNAC play, while the Blue Jays fall to 1-14 and 0-4.
The Simmons defense held Saint Joseph to just 27.9% (19-68) shooting from the floor, while the offense was very efficient with 22 assists on 27 field goals.
Alberghini was 6-8 from the floor and added three assists and a pair of blocks and no turnovers in 30 minutes of action for the Sharks, while junior forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) netted 12 points to go with a rebound and a steal. Junior guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) scored nine points off the bench on 4-8 from the field to go with five rebounds in 13 minutes, while junior forward Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.) ripped down 15 rebounds to match her career best and added six points, a block and an assist in 22 minutes off the bench. The pair led the Sharks' reserves, which outscored their guests, 25-0 in bench scoring.
Junior guard Carlee Putnam (Niantic, Conn.) poured in a game-high 18 points to lead the Blue Jays to go with four rebounds, three blocks, a steal and an assist. Sophomore forward Kayla Guest (Newington, Conn.) finished a rebound short of double-double with nine and added 13 points and a blocked shot. Senior guard Stephanie DeJesus (Meriden, Conn.) also contributed with 12 points, three assists, two rebounds and a pair of steals.
Simmons owned a 10-7 lead with 5:58 showing on the first quarter clock, before going on an 8-2 burst with Zoldy scoring the last four points of the stretch to give the home team an 18-9 margin with 2:40 to go in the period. The Sharks maintained a 23-14 advantage at the 1:13 mark, before Saint Joseph scored the final four points of the quarter to cut the margin to 23-18.
Simmons wasted no time taking control from the start of the second period with nine unanswered points, including four from Alberghini, to take a 32-18 cushion with 6:49 remaining in the first half. First year forward Katey Sullivan (Melrose, Mass.) later converted a lay-up to give the Sharks their largest lead of the half at 40-23 with 34 ticks to go in the period. Simmons took a 40-25 lead into the half, following a pair of free throws from the Blue Jays' Rajeen Mayo (Middletown, Conn.).
The Sharks scored 10 of the first 12 points of the third quarter to take their largest lead of the night at 50-27 with 4:15 to play in the period. Back-to-back three-pointers from DeJesus and Putnam pulled Saint Joseph to within 50-33 with 3:15 on the third quarter clock, before the home team took a 52-33 lead into the fourth quarter.
McAdams made a lay-up at 9:11 of the fourth quarter to give Simmons a 54-33 lead, but the Blue Jays whittled the deficit to 58-43 with 4:02 to go in the game. The Sharks built their lead back to 62-43 before Saint Joseph scored eight straight points to pull to within 62-51 with 18 seconds to play, but it was as close as they would get as Simmons held on for the victory.
The Sharks return to the court on Saturday, January 23 when they travel to Newton, Mass. to take on GNAC rival Mount Ida College at 1:00 p.m., while the Blue Jays host Wentworth Institute of Technology on January 21 at 7:00 p.m.