BOSTON, Mass. – The Simmons College women's basketball team saw four players score in double-digits, including first year guard Jalissa Rodriguez (Waterbury, Conn.), who scored a career-high 22 points to lead the team over visiting Rivier University, 71-63, this evening in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference game at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks snap a 10-game losing skid and improve to 2-14 overall and 2-9 in league play, while the Raiders fall to 0-15 and 0-11.
The teams combined for 50 fouls and 57 free throws, including 24 fouls and 35 free throws in the fourth quarter. Simmons was 25-32 (78.1%) from the line, while Rivier shot 68% on 17 of 25 attempts.
Rodriguez scored 20 points in the first half, including six three-pointers to tie the school record for trifectas in a game. She also added three rebounds, two assists and a pair of steals for the Sharks. Junior forward Molly Phillips (Cranston, R.I.) poured in 16 points, including four three-pointers to contribute to the team's season-high of 10 for the game and also pulled down seven rebounds, handed out an assist and came up with a steal. Senior forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) posted her eighth double-double of the year with 15 points and 11 boards to go with five assists, four blocks and a steal, while junior point guard Rebekah Carroll (Londonderry, N.H.) scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished for eight assists and made three steals.
Junior guard Kaylee Kacavas (Dracut, Mass.) led all scorers with 32 points, including 12-13 from the free throw line, to net 30-plus for the second time this season. She also pulled down 10 rebounds in addition to six assists and four steals for the Raiders. Junior forward Lizzy Meehan (Nashua, N.H.) contributed with 10 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals, while junior forward Megan Hamel (Colebrook, N.H.) chipped in with a game-high 12 rebounds to go with five points, a block and a steal.
Simmons owned a 37-32 lead following a Silva lay-up with 3:14 left in the third quarter, but five straight points from Kacavas pulled Rivier even at 37-37 with 2:48 showing in the period. The score remained tied at 42-all as the horn sounded to end the quarter.
Phillips knocked down a pair of threes to open the fourth quarter and ignite a 15-3 run to give the Sharks their largest lead of the night at 57-45 with 5:27 to play in the contest. Phillips added another trey during the burst to give her nine for the run. Simmons later maintained a 66-56 cushion at the 1:49 mark, but the Raiders scored seven of the next eight points, including five from Kacavas, to cut the deficit to 67-63 with 40 seconds remaining in the game. The Sharks held off their guests, while scoring the final four points of the evening to secure the eight-point victory.
Rivier scored the first five points of the night, before Simmons answered with a 16-4 run, fueled by four three-pointers from Rodriguez to give the home team a 16-9 lead with 3:01 to go in the opening period. Hamel sank a pair of free throws for the final points of the quarter to pull the Raiders to within 19-14 heading into the second period of play.
The Sharks began the second quarter with a 7-2 burst behind five points from Rodriguez to take a 26-16 advantage with 5:17 showing and later held a 30-21 margin with 2:42 to play in the first half. Kacavas drained a three-ball and added a lay-up to cut the deficit to 30-26 for Rivier, before Simmons added a free throw from first year forward Julia LaMontagne (Amesbury, Mass.) to take a 31-26 halftime lead.
The Sharks return to action on Thursday, February 1 when they host GNAC foe Albertus Magnus College at 7:00 p.m., while the Raiders host Lasell College on the same night at 7:00 p.m.