Basketball Falls Short in Overtime to Rivier, 72-65

Senior Ashley McAdams scored a career-high 18 points for the Sharks.
Senior Ashley McAdams scored a career-high 18 points for the Sharks.

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior forward Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.) netted a career-high 18 points and added 12 rebounds for a double-double to lead the Simmons College women's basketball team in a 72-65 overtime loss to visiting Rivier University in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action this evening at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks fall to 6-14 overall and 5-9 in league play, while the Raiders have won five of their last six to improve to 10-13 and 7-8. 

Simmons' prowess on the offensive glass kept it in the game, pulling down 27 of its game-high 56 rebounds on the offensive end, while Rivier ended the night with 41 total caroms. The boardwork translated to a 25-8 advantage in second-chance points for the Sharks, despite shooting 31.7% (26-82) from the floor compared to the visitors' 43.1% (28-65) field goal mark. The teams battled to 18 ties and 13 lead changes throughout the evening. The contest also marked the first overtime game for Simmons since these same Raiders took a 67-55 decision in Boston on January 23, 2013.  

McAdams came off the bench to post a double-double with a career-best 18 points and 12 rebounds in addition to four steals to lead the Sharks. Senior forward Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) nearly registered a double-double of her own with 15 points and nine boards and added two assists. Senior guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) contributed with 10 points, six assists, four rebounds and a blocked shot.

Senior guard Caitlyn Perry (Nashua, N.H.) scored a season-high 28 points and sophomore guard Kaylee Kacavas (Dracut, Mass.) netted seven of her 23 points to combine for 51 points to lead Rivier. Perry added six assists, two rebounds and a steal for Rivier, while Kacavas was 10-15 from the floor in addition to grabbing five boards, handing out four assists and blocking a shot. Senior forward Savanna Butterfield (Londonderry, N.H.) pulled down 12 boards to go with four points, three steals, two assists and a block. 

The teams traded field goals to start the overtime and were tied at 63-63 following a pair of free throws from Simmons sophomore forward Lauren Brandau (Madison, Conn.) with 1:56 to play. Kacavas gave the Raiders the lead for good with her second three-pointer of the night at 1:46 to give them a 66-63 lead. McAdams converted a put-back for the home team to trim the margin to one with 1:26 to play, but that would be as close as the Sharks would get as Rivier finished out the contest on the free throw line. 

The Raiders raced out to a 15-7 lead in the first six minutes of play, fueled by seven from Kacavas, but Simmons countered with an 11-3 burst, behind six points from McAdams, to knot the game at 18-18 with 66 seconds remaining in the opening quarter. The teams ended the period tied at 20. 

The teams played even in the second quarter with four ties and three lead changes and were deadlocked at 28-28 with 2:05 showing in the second period. Rivier closed out the half with five of the final six points, including a three-pointer from senior guard Caitlin Bulger (Quincy, Mass.) with a second on the clock to give the Raiders a 33-29 halftime margin. 

Rivier increased its lead to 37-30 following consecutive lay-ups from Perry, but the Sharks answered with six straight points to stay within a point with 5:54 to go in the period. Kacavas later made a lay-up to give the Raiders a 44-39 lead, but Simmons countered again with six consecutive points, including four from McAdams to take a 45-44 edge with 38 seconds left in the period. Kacvas converted a lay-up with two seconds to go in the quarter to give Rivier a 46-45 lead, heading into the final quarter of regulation. 

No more than two points separated the teams in the fourth period of play with six ties and four lead changes. Kacavas gave the Raiders their last lead of the quarter with a lay-up at the 1:47 mark, before Brasa knocked down a mid-range jumper to knot the contest for the Sharks at 59-59 with 1:31 to go. Simmons looked to take the final lead of the night when McAdams toed the free throw line with six seconds left on the clock, but was unable to convert. Rivier had its own chance to win the game in regulation, but Bulger's three-point attempt failed to find the bottom of the net as time expired and the teams went to the extra period to settle the outcome. 

The Sharks will be in action again on Thursday, February 16 when they host Clark University at Moore Gymnasium at 7:00 p.m., while the Raiders close out the regular season on February 18 when they travel to Paxton, Mass. to take on GNAC foe Anna Maria College for a 3:00 p.m. tilt.