PAXTON, Mass. - Sophomore guard Francesca Corsinetti (Johnston, R.I.) came off the bench to match her career high with four three-pointers and netted 12 points to lead the Simmons College women's basketball team to a 60-53 victory over host Anna Maria College this evening in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest to open the league slate in Paxton, Mass. The Sharks improve to 1-3 overall and 1-0 in GNAC play, while the AMCATS fall to 2-3 and 0-1.
The win is the first for Head Coach Michael Williams at Simmons College.
The Sharks drained a season-high nine three-pointers on the night, shooting at a 45% (9-20) clip from beyond the arc. The visitors got 27 points from the bench, led by Corsinetti and senior forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.).
Corsinetti also added two assists and a steal to her night for Simmons, while Brasa scored 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds, came up with a pair of steals, handed out an assist and blocked a shot. Senior guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) contributed with 11 points, three assists, two rebounds and a steal to give the Sharks three double-digit scorers.
Senior guard Deja Taitt (Cambia Heights, N.Y.) led Anna Maria with a game-high 17 points to go with eight boards, four assists and three steals, while sophomore forward Shannon Hofmiller (Oxford, Conn.) nearly posted a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds in addition to three steals and a blocked shot.
Anna Maria took an early 6-2 lead with 7:58 to play in the opening quarter, but Simmons reeled off nine unanswered points over the next four-plus minutes to take an 11-6 lead. Four different players scored for the Sharks during the run and seven in the opening quarter, as Simmons did not trail for the remainder of the night. The Sharks later got a three-pointer from Corsinetti, before the AMCATS countered with a triple of their own from sophomore guard Leah Wright (Summerville, S.C.) to pull the home team to within 14-11 with 1:44 to go in the period. Simmons closed out the quarter with four straight points, including a layup from Brasa to give the visitors an 18-11 margin heading into the second stanza.
Brasa continued where she left off with another lay-up just five seconds into the new period to give the Sharks their largest lead of the first half at 20-11. Anna Maria went on an 8-2 burst, capped by a three-pointer from senior guard Christina Gauvin (Dudley, Mass.) to cut the deficit to 22-19 with 8:45 to go in the second quarter. It was as close as the AMCATS got in the period as Simmons scored the next four points, including a trifecta from senior guard Kimberlee Hixon (Taunton, Mass.) to give the Sharks a 26-19 lead at the 4:20 mark. Simmons maintained the lead, owning a 32-25 cushion at halftime.
Senior guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) and Hixon bookended three-pointers around a layup from Anna Maria sophomore forward Shannon Hofmiller (Oxford, Conn.) to give the Sharks a 32-21 advantage with 7:25 to go in the third quarter. Gauvin later knocked down a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 41-35 for the AMCATS with 3:38 remaining in the period. Simmons scored the next six points as part of a 10-3 run to close out the quarter, fueled by four points from Brasa, to give the Sharks their largest lead of night at 51-38 to head into the final quarter.
Simmons later held a 53-42 lead with 6:25 to go, following a jumper from senior forward Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.), but Anna Maria closed to within 53-46 after scoring the next four points, while holding the Sharks scoreless for nearly four minutes. Corsinetti ended the drought for Simmons with her fourth three-pointer of the night to give the visitors a 56-46 margin with 2:47 showing on the fourth quarter clock. The AMCATS continued to fight to the end, scoring the next five points, including a three-pointer from junior guard Kristina Russo (Windsor, Conn.) to pull the home team to within 56-51 with 53 ticks left in the game. The Sharks held Anna Maria off, scoring four of the final six points, including three free throws from junior forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.), to come away with the road win.
The Sharks return to action on Thursday, December 8 when they host Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts at 7:00 p.m. in Moore Gymnasium, while the AMCATS head to Nashua, N.H. on December 3 to take on conference foe Rivier University at 1:00 p.m.