Basketball Falls in GNAC Quarterfinals at Emmanuel, 91-64

Basketball Falls in GNAC Quarterfinals at Emmanuel, 91-64

BOSTON, Mass. - The Simmons College women's basketball team was unable to match its first half effort and fell to host Emmanuel College, 91-64, this evening in the Quarterfinals of the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship Tournament on Andy Yosinoff Court at the Yawkey Center in Boston, Mass. The Sharks finish their season with an 8-16 record, while the Saints advance to the Semifinals to host Norwich University on February 23. Norwich defeated Suffolk University, 67-53.

Simmons, who was the four seed coming out of the GNAC North, held Emmanuel to just 37.5 (12-32) shooting in the first half, but the Saints, who were the number one seed in the GNAC South, rebounded to shoot a blistering 71.0% (22-31) in the second stanza and outscored their guests, 58-32 in the half. Emmanuel forced 29 turnovers to own a 29-18 advantage in points off turnovers, including 15 transition points on the fast break.

Senior forward Liz Brasa East Hartford, Conn.) netted 18 points and added five rebounds, three steals and an assist in the final game of her career. She finishes her tenure with 911 points. Sophomore guard Francesca Corsinetti (Johnston, R.I.) scored 17 points on 6-12 from the floor, including 5-7 from three-point range to establish a career-high for treys. She also added six rebounds, three assists and a pair of steals, while junior forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) contributed with 12 points, eight boards, four assists and a blocked shot. Senior guard Jamie Zoldy (Watertown, Conn.) chipped in with 10 points, two rebounds, two assists and a steal. 

The Saints were led by junior guard Alisha Fox (National Park, N.J.), who led all scorers with 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the floor to go with four assists, two steals and a rebound. Sophomore guard Madison McLaughlin (Westerly, R.I.)  ended her night with 16 points, two rebounds, two assists and a block in 19 minutes off the bench, while senior forward Jen Chalk (Horseheads, N.Y.) added 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds.

The Saints owned a 22-13 lead with 7:19 showing in the second quarter, before the Sharks ripped off six straight points to close to within 22-19 with 5:44 showing in the period. Emmanuel built its lead to 27-19 at 4:36 of the quarter, before Simmons put together an 11-4 burst, fueled by four points each from Zoldy and Silva, to pull to within 31-30 with 69 seconds to play in the first half. The Saints took a 33-32 edge into the intermission.

The Sharks stayed within five points at the 5:54 mark, trailing 41-36, before Emmanuel went on a 20-8 run, paced by nine points from Fox, to take a 61-44 advantage with three seconds left in the quarter. Brasa converted a layup as time expired to leave Simmons with a 61-46 deficit heading into the final period of play.

The Saints kept the pressure on in the fourth quarter continuing to increase their lead throughout the period. Emmanuel scored the final six points of the game to come away with the 91-64 victory.

The Sharks scored the first four points of the game, while holding the home team scoreless for the first 2:35 of the opening quarter. Simmons opened up a 9-3 lead after a three-pointer from Corsinetti with 4:42 showing in the frame. The Saints scored 17 unanswered points, including eight from McLaughlin and seven from sophomore center Mary McCarthy (Scituate, Mass.) to take a commanding 20-9 cushion with 41 seconds remaining in the period. Silva ended the scoring drought for the Sharks with a pair of free throws to cut the margin to 20-11 heading into the second quarter. 

Brasa, Zoldy and senior forward Ashley McAdams (Freeport, N.Y.) each finished their respective careers with 95 games played, while McAdams closed out her tenure with 636 points and 644 rebounds. Zoldy ended her tenure with 574 points.