WORCESTER, Mass. - The Simmons College women's basketball team was defeated by host Clark University, 62-35, this evening at the Kneller Athletic Center in Worcester, Mass. The Sharks fall to 0-4 on the season, while the Cougars improve to 4-1.
Clark shot 44.2% (23-52) from the floor, while holding Simmons to just 23.2% (13-56), including 18.8% (3-15) from three-point range. Both teams committed 26 turnovers in the contest, but the Cougars owned a 22-12 advantage in points off miscues.
Senior forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) led all scorers with 13 points and added seven rebounds, four steals, three blocks and a pair of assists to lead the Sharks. First year guard Jalissa Rodriguez (Waterbury, Conn.) contributed with nine points, a rebound, a steal and an assist, while junior forward Molly Phillips (Cranston, R.I.) chipped in with five points, seven rebounds, a steal and an assist.
Freshman Hannah Favaloro (Blackstone, Mass.) and junior Kacey Legare (Chicopee, Mass.) each came off the bench to net 11 points apiece in 14 minutes of action to lead Clark. Legare was 3-4 from the field and grabbed four rebounds, picked up two steals and handed out an assist, while Favaloro was 4-6 from the floor and a perfect 3-3 from the line to go with five rebounds and a steal. Ogechi Ezemma (Hope Valley, R.I.) chipped in with 10 points, seven boards, two blocks and an assist.
The Sharks scored the night's first point on a Silva free throw after 2:47 of scoreless ball and held the home team without a point over the first 4:54 of action and owned a 3-0 margin. Junior guard Maya Kerstetter (Northampton, Mass.) came off the bench to make a layup for the Cougars' first points of the game to make it 3-2 with 5:06 to play in the quarter. Legare later converted a layup with 2:51 to play in the opening quarter to give Clark a 5-3 lead. Favaloro sunk a pair of free throws to increase the Cougars' lead to 8-5, but Simmons netted the final five points of the period, including a three-pointer from Rodriguez with 21 ticks left on the clock, to give the Sharks a 10-8 lead after one quarter of play.
The second quarter followed the opening period's trend of struggling to put the ball in the net until Ezemma made a layup for the first points of the quarter coming after a near two and a half minute scoring drought to knot the game at 10-10 for Clark. The hoop ignited an 18-2 run, including 14 unanswered, over the next six-plus minutes for the Cougars, fueled by eight points from Ezemma and five from first year guard Idalis Miranda (Naugatuck, Conn.), to give Clark a 26-12 cushion with 78 seconds remaining in the half. Rodriguez knocked down another triple to cut the deficit to 26-15 with a minute to go in the period, before the Cougars took a 28-15 lead into the intermission after outscoring their guests, 20-5, in the quarter.
Clark scored 11 of the first 13 points of the second half, including six from Favaloro, to take a 39-17 lead with 3:05 left in the third quarter. The Sharks closed to within 41-22 after a Phillips free throw with 1:06 showing in the period, but the Cougars scored six straight to close out the quarter for a 47-22 advantage.
Clark later held a 54-29 lead, following a pair of free throws from Legare at the 7:17 mark of the fourth quarter. Silva countered with a three-point play, including a free throw to pull Simmons to within 54-32 with 6:39 to play in the game, but it was as close as it would get for the rest of the contest. The Cougars finished the night with an 8-3 burst to secure the win.
The Sharks will be in action again on Saturday, December 2 at 1:00 p.m. when they open the Great Northeast Athletic Conference slate in Paxton, Mass. at Anna Maria College, while Clark hosts Babson College on the same day and time.