Basketball Drops First GNAC Game in 60-54 Loss to Norwich

Senior Liz Brasa posted her third double-double of the season.
Senior Liz Brasa posted her third double-double of the season.

BOSTON, Mass. - The Simmons College women's basketball team's three-game win streak came to an end this afternoon with a 60-54 loss to visiting Norwich University in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks fall to 4-6 overall and suffer their first defeat in league play to dip to 4-1, while the Cadets improve to 8-5 and 4-2.

Norwich shot 40.7% (22-54) for the game, while holding Simmons to 31.3% (21-67). 

Senior forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) recorded her third double-double of the season with 12 points and 13 rebounds in addition to a steal, a block and an assist to lead the Sharks. Senior point guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) netted 12 points on 5-9 from the field, handed out two assists and grabbed four rebounds. Senior forward Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.) contributed with 11 rebounds, six points, three steals and two assists. 

Senior forward Heather LeBlanc (Sanford, Maine) led the Cadets with a double-double of 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds in addition to three steals, two assists and a pair of blocks. Senior guard Kayla Mercer (New Britain, Conn.) finished with 14 points, including four made three-pointers to go with five rebounds, a steal and an assist, while sophomore forward Vanessa Fleury (Lebanon, N.H.) netted 10 points on 5-7 from the floor in 15 minutes off the bench in addition to grabbing three rebounds. Junior point guard Shyann Josler (Thetford Center, Vt.) finished an assist shy of a double-double with nine assists and 10 points to go with three boards and an assist. 

The teams were tied at 41-41 with 1:10 left in the third quarter, before Norwich took a 44-42 lead into the fourth quarter. Mercer capped an 11-1 run with a three-pointer to give NU a 51-42 lead with 6:25 left in the game. The Cadets later held their largest lead of the game at 58-48 with 2:03 left on the fourth quarter clock, before Simmons closed to within 58-52 on a McAdams layup with 49 ticks left in the game. It was as close as the Sharks would get though, as Norwich held on for the six-point win. 

The Cadets hit their first three shots of the game as part of a 12-3 burst in the first seven minutes of the opening period. Simmons scored the next five points and pulled to within 12-8 with 21 seconds left in the quarter. Mercer drilled a three-pointer just before the period to give the visitors a 15-8 lead. 

Sophomore guard Francesca Corsinetti (Johnston, R.I.) scored the first five points of the second quarter for the Sharks, including a three-pointer to cut the deficit to 15-13 with 8:41 left in the second stanza. Simmons stayed close with Norwich later maintaining a 26-22 margin with 3:24 to go in the first half. Josler scored the next four points to increase the Cadets lead to 30-22, before Norwich took a 33-27 lead into the intermission. 

Zoldy gave the Sharks their first lead of the game since the opening minute of play when she canned a trifecta to cap an 11-2 run and make it 36-35 at 5:22 of the third quarter. The Cadets responded with six unanswered points to take a 41-36 lead with 2:17 remaining in the third period. Simmons countered with five points from senior guard Kimberlee Hixon (Taunton, Mass.), including a three-pointer to pull the home team even at 41-41. 

The Sharks return to action on Monday, January 16 when they head to Providence, R.I. to take on GNAC rival Johnson & Wales University at 3:00 p.m., while Norwich hosts Suffolk University on the same day at 7:00 p.m.