NASHUA, N.H. - The Simmons College women's basketball team was unable to overcome an early first quarter deficit and fell to host Rivier University, 74-57, this evening in a Northeast Athletic Conference contest at Muldoon Gymnasium in Nashua, N.H. The Sharks fall to 6-11 overall and 5-6 in league play, while the Raiders, who have won four of their last five, improve to 7-12 and 4-7.
Rivier held Simmons to just 23.2% (16-69) shooting from the floor and outrebounded the visitors by a count of 56-45.
Sophomore guard Francesca Corsinetti (Johnston, R.I.) came off the bench to score a team-high 15 points, including a trio of three-pointers in addition to three rebounds for the Sharks, while senior forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) netted 11 points, grabbed eight rebounds, blocked two shots, came up with a pair of steals and handed out an assist. Junior forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) chipped in with nine points, five rebounds, three blocks, two steals and two assists.
Senior guard Caitlyn Perry (Nashua, N.H.) led all scorers with 21 points, including 7-8 from the free throw line and added five rebounds, six assists and three steals for Rivier. Senior forward Rebecca DeBaldo (Pelham, N.H.) was 8-10 from the line, as part of a 28-38 team output from the charity stripe for the Raiders, to go with 10 rebounds, three steals and an assist. Senior guard Caitlin Bulger (Quincy, Mass.) scored 16 points, pulled down two rebounds, made three steals, dished out two assists and blocked a shot.
Rivier never trailed in the game and took a 9-3 lead with 4:25 to play in the first quarter. Corsinetti knocked down a three-pointer to pull Simmons to within 9-6 at the 3:15 mark of the opening period, but the Raiders ripped off eight unanswered points to take a 17-6 advantage with 58 seconds left in the quarter. Sophomore guard Rebekah Carroll (Londonderry, N.H.) canned a free throw for the Sharks for the final point of the quarter to make it 17-7.
Senior guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) later hit a jump shot at 8:25 of the second period to cut the deficit to 19-12 for Simmons, but Rivier scored the next six points to increase its lead to 25-12 with 6:26 showing in the quarter. The home team maintained its lead for the remainder of the quarter and took a 32-20 cushion into the intermission.
Bulger scored the first five points of the second half to give the Raiders a 37-20 lead with just over eight minutes left in the quarter, but the Sharks answered with five straight points of their own to make it 37-25. Rivier put together a 13-5 stretch, including four free throws from DeBaldo to take its largest lead of the night at 50-30 with 56 ticks left in the third period. Corsinetti netted the final five points of the quarter to pull the visitors to within 50-35 before the final horn of the third period.
The Raiders later held a 58-44 advantage with 5:08 to go in the game, before Simmons scored eight of the next 10 points to cut the margin to 60-52 with 4:02 left in the contest. The Sharks hopes for a comeback were dashed however, following a 12-3 burst by Rivier to take a 72-55 lead with 47 seconds remaining in the quarter.
The Sharks return to action on Saturday, February 4 when they head to New Haven, Conn. to take on GNAC foe Albertus Magnus College at 1:00 p.m., while the Raiders host Lasell College on the same day at 1:00 p.m.