BOSTON, Mass. – First year guard Caitlin Aguirre (El Paso, Texas) scored a career-high 19 points to lead the Wellesley College women's basketball team over host Simmons College, 56-44, this evening at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Blue improve to a perfect 3-0 for their best start since winning their first five games to begin the 2000-01 campaign, while the Sharks fall to 0-3.
The teams combined for 62 turnovers, but Wellesley took advantage of Simmons' 34 miscues, outscoring the home team, 28-15 in points off turnovers. The Blue also shot 43.2% (19-44) for the game, while holding the Sharks to 33.3 (15-45) from the field.
Aguirre was 7-13 from the floor and also came up with three steals for Wellesley, while first year forward Keer Sun (Pine Brook, N.J.) came off the bench to net 11 points, grab four rebounds and make two steals. First year guard Emily Kopp (King Ferry, N.Y.) chipped in with 10 points, four boards and two steals in 17 minutes of action.
Senior forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) led Simmons with 13 points and eight rebounds to go with an assist, while junior forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) dropped in 11 points, pulled down eight rebounds, made four steals and handed out two assists. Sophomore guard Francesca Corsinetti (Johnston, R.I.) contributed with nine points, a rebound, an assist and a steal.
The Blue jumped out to a 14-4 advantage, including 10 points from Aguirre, with 2:12 to play in the opening quarter and took a 17-8 cushion into the second period.
Sun converted a layup at the 6:47 mark of the second quarter to increase the visitors' margin to 23-11, but the Sharks ripped off six straight points to pull to within 23-17 with 1:33 to go in the first half. Brasa later made a layup with 35 seconds to go to keep the home team to within six points, but Aguirre countered with a layup of her own for Wellesley to give it a 27-19 halftime lead.
Brasa opened the second half with a layup to cut the margin to 27-21 with 9:06 left in the third quarter, but it was as close as Simmons would get for the remainder of the contest. The Blue reeled off nine unanswered points to take a 36-21 advantage with 5:29 showing in the third quarter. Wellesley maintained a double-digit lead through the rest of the quarter and took a 43-29 cushion into the final period of play.
Senior forward Ailis Hanley (Cranston, R.I.) hit a jumper 11 seconds into the fourth quarter to give the Blue their largest lead of the night at 45-29. The Sharks closed to within 47-36 with a 7-2 run, fueled by five points from Silva, with 6:44 remaining in the contest, but Kopp scored the next four points to bump Wellesley's lead to 51-36 with 5:27 to play. Corsinetti pulled Simmons back to within 11 with a three-pointer with 62 seconds left, but the Blue held off any additional rally for the victory.
The Sharks will be in action again on Thursday, December 1 when they head to Paxton, Mass. to open the Great Northeast Athletic Conference slate at Anna Maria College at 6:00 p.m., while Wellesley hosts Worcester State University on November 27 at 1:00 p.m. in its home opener.