BOSTON, Mass. - Senior Kimberlee Hixon (Taunton, Mass.) netted 19 points to lead the Simmons College women's basketball team in a 77-67 loss to host Emerson College in the opening round of the Emerson College Tip-Off Tournament at Bobbi Brown & Steven Plofker Gym in Boston, Mass. The Sharks fall to 0-1 in their season opener, while hte Lions improve to 1-1.
Simmons will take on Suffolk University, which was defeated by Wesleyan University, 59-54 in overtime, in tomorrow's consolation game at 1:00 p.m., while Emerson plays Wesleyan for the tournament championship at 3:00 p.m.
Hixon added seven rebounds, three steals, an assist and a blocked shot to her afternoon for Simmons, while senior forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) came off the bench to score 14 points, grab seven boards, hand out three assists and make a steal in 22 minutes of action. Junior forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) chipped in with 12 points, two rebounds and a game-high four blocks.
Junior forward Sierra Ducey (Poway, Calif.) posted a monster double-double of 16 points and 18 rebounds to lead Emerson, while handing out five assists, making three steals and blocking three shots. Sophomore guard Natalie Busch (Weybridge, England) came off the bench to score 17 points, including 9-9 from the free throw line, to go with seven rebounds, five assists and a pair of steals in 21 minutes of play. Junior guard Eastin Ashby (Pittston, Pa.) dropped in 11 points, pulled down six rebounds, dished for three assists and came up with a game-high six steals.
Busch converted a pair of free throws with 2:27 to play in the opening quarter to give the Lions its largest lead of the game at 22-9. The Sharks closed out the period on an 8-4 run to cut the deficit to 26-17.
Emerson shot 67% (10-15) for the quarter, but the teams reversed roles in the second quarter as Simmons owned a 53.3% (8-15) shooting touch for the period, while holding the Lions to just 13.6% on 3-22 from the floor.
Emerson maintained a 31-22 cushion with 7:47 left in the second quarter, but the Sharks put together a 14-3 run, fueled by seven points from Hixon, to take a 36-34 lead with 1:31 to play in the opening half. Junior guard Maya Savino (Killingworth, Conn.) drained a three-pointer to reclaim the lead for the Lions at 37-36 with 48 seconds remaining, but a layup from Silva gave Simmons a 38-37 edge heading into the intermission.
The Sharks continued to lead through the first eight minutes of the third quarter and took their largest margin following a pair of good free throws from senior guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) at 4:29 of the period. Simmons later held a 52-48 lead at the 3:04 mark, but Ducey and Busch combined for five unanswered points to give Emerson a 53-52 lead with 1:56 to play in the quarter. Senior guard Elizabeth Horan (Ashland, Mass.) later hit a trifecta to give the home team a 56-53 lead, but two Brasa free throws and a jumper from senior forward Kelsey Heavener (Stafford Springs, Conn.) provided the Sharks with a 57-56 edge. It was the last time that Simmons led in the game as Busch knocked down a three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Lions a 59-57 lead heading into the final period.
Emerson maintained a 64-61 margin with 7:45 showing in the quarter, before going on a 12-3 run, paced by six points from Ducey, to take its largest lead of the day at 76-64 with 2:30 remaining in the contest.