BOSTON, Mass. – Senior forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) posted a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds and classmate Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.) netted a game-high 15 points to lead the Simmons College women's basketball team to a 54-51 victory this evening over visiting Lasell College in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference game at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks improve to 2-5 overall and a perfect 2-0 in league play for their best start in conference action since the 2009-10 campaign. The Lasers fall to 3-6, 0-2.
Simmons controlled the boards with a 47-29 rebounding advantage, including 26-11 in the second half and held Lasell to just 27.6% (20-61) shooting from the floor, including 18.5% (5-27) from three-point range.
Brasa was 8-10 from the line for the Sharks and added a pair of blocked shots and a steal, while McAdams matched her career high for points on 5-8 from the floor in addition to pulling down eight rebounds and making a steal. Junior forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) contributed with 10 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Junior guard Morgan Church (New London, N.H.) led the Lasers with 11 points to go with three rebounds, two assists and a game-high three steals, while sophomore guard Taylor Hughey (Redding, Calif.) came off the bench to net 11 points and grab a rebound.
Simmons owned a 46-38 lead with 6:22 left in the fourth quarter following four straight points from Brasa, but Lasell put together a 9-1 run over the next three and a half minutes, led by five from Church, to knot the score at 47-47 with 3:39 showing on the clock. Junior guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) hit a jumper at 2:29 to give the Sharks the lead for good at 49-47. Church later cut the deficit to 52-51 for the Lasers with a layup coming with 24 ticks left in the contest, but Zoldy sank a pair of free throws to bump the home team's margin to 54-51. Sophomore guard Becca Fenton's (East Hartford, Conn.) last second three-point try was off the mark and Simmons held on for the victory.
Lasell jumped out to a 7-3 lead following a Dana Ross (East Haven, Conn.) layup at the 5:39 mark of the opening quarter. The Sharks scored the next four points to tie the game at 7-7, before the team's ended the period with a 9-9 deadlock.
Hughey later knocked down one of her three trifectas for the game to give the Lasers a 16-13 margin with 5:54 left in the second period, before Simmons reeled off six straight points over the next three-plus minutes to take a 19-16 lead with 2:27 to go in the first half. Fenton drained a three-pointer to tie the game with 2:11 to play in the quarter, but sophomore guard Rebekah Carroll (Londonderry, N.H.) converted a layup just before the end of the period to give the Sharks a 21-19 lead.
The Simmons defense held the visitors without a point over the opening 3:13 of play, while scoring the first four points of the third quarter to take a 25-19 lead with 7:48 showing. Junior forward Brianna Hoffman (Milford, N.H.) netted the first points of the half for the Lasers with a jumper to pull them to within 25-21 at 6:47. The Sharks later took a 31-23 cushion after a pair of Brasa free throws with 4:04 left in the period, but junior forward Madison Cota (Bellows Falls, Vt.) made a layup and Hoffman stole the inbounds pass and scored a layup of her own to give Lasell four points in seven seconds and cut the margin to 31-27. Simmons answered with five straight points, including a jumper from first year forward Kirra Courchesne (Wilmington, Vt.) to take its largest lead of the night at 36-27 with 34 seconds to play in the quarter. Hughey kept the Lasers close with a three-ball to end the period facing a six-point deficit.
Hughey later hit a three to pull Lasell to within 38-36 at the 8:27 mark of the fourth quarter, but the Sharks responded with eight of the next 10 points.
Simmons returns to action on Saturday, January 7 when it hosts GNAC foe Mount Ida College at 2:00 p.m., while the Lasers head to Paxton, Mass. on the same day to take on conference foe Anna Maria College for a 1:00 p.m. tip-off.