Basketball Falls Short at Albertus Magnus, 69-68

Basketball Falls Short at Albertus Magnus, 69-68

NEW HAVEN, Conn. -- Senior forward Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) scored 22 points and grabbed 13 rebounds but it wasn't enough as the Simmons College women's basketball team fell just short in a 69-68 loss to host Albertus Magnus College in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest this afternoon at AMC Athletic Center in New Haven, Conn. The Sharks finish the season with a 3-19 record, including 3-13 in league play, while the Falcons improve to 17-7 and 11-5.

Simmons was whistled for 28 fouls in the game to put Albertus Magnus on the line for 39 free throws, while making 21 of them. The Falcons also took advantage of a 21-9 turnover advantage, outscoring the Sharks, 19-9 in point off turnovers.

Silva was 9-16 from the floor and posted her 13th double-double of the season to go with four assists and a pair of blocked shots for Simmons, while junior guard Francesca Corsinetti (Johnston, R.I.) netted 17 points, including four three-pointers in addition to a rebound, an assist and a steal. First year guard Carli Koffinke (Franklin, Mass.) chipped in with 12 points, seven rebounds, two assists and a steal. Silva finishes her career with 785 points to stand 11th on the school's career list, while ranking as the career leader with 177 steals and 158 blocks and also places fifth with 609 rebounds. 

Senior forward Olivia Bolden (South Windsor, Conn.) led all players with game highs of 26 points and 16 rebounds and added a steal to lead Albertus Magnus. Junior guard Kiki Epps (Norwalk, Conn.) scored 17 points, grabbed eight rebounds, handed out two assists and came up with a pair of steals, while junior guard Jill Johnson (North Haven, Conn.) contributed with 14 points, five steals, two rebounds and a steal.

Epps knocked down a jump shot with 8:17 left in the third quarter to give Albertus Magnus its largest lead of the game at 45-33. Simmons put together a furious comeback with an 18-5 run, fueled by seven points from Corsinetti and six from Silva, to take a 51-50 edge following two free throws from Corsinetti with 38 seconds left in the period. The teams traded field goals, before Johnson converted one of two free throws for the Falcons to knot the contest at 53-53 heading into the final quarter of play.

Bolden sank a pair of free throws early in the fourth period to give the home team a 57-53 lead with 8:06 showing on the clock, before the Sharks went on a 7-3 burst, capped by a Francesca trifecta to tie the game at 60-60 with 3:45 remaining in the game. Senior guard Angela Piccirillo (Naugatuck, Conn.) matched her with a three of her own to give Albertus Magnus the lead for good at 2:54. Simmons stayed with the Falcons down the stretch, before a pair of Piccirillo free throws gave Albertus Magnus a 69-65 margin with 11 seconds to go. Corsinetti canned a trey just two seconds later to pull the Sharks to within a point at 69-68 with nine ticks left. Simmons fouled Bolden to put her on the line with four seconds left and after a pair of misses, the Sharks were unable to get a final shot off as the Falcons escaped with the victory.

Simmons scored seven of the first nine points of the game, including five from Koffinke to take a 7-2 lead at the 6:26 mark of the opening quarter. Albertus Magnus countered with a 10-2 run, led by six points from Bolden, to take a 12-9 lead with 3:16 showing in the period. The Sharks reclaimed the lead when Koffinke drained a three-pointer at 2:09 to make it 13-12, but the Falcons scored four of the final points of the quarter to take a 16-14 lead at the end of one period of play.

Bolden later made a lay-up with 7:37 left in the second quarter for a 21-18 Albertus Magnus lead, before Simmons ripped off seven straight points, punctuated by a three-pointer from Corsinetti to give the visitors a 25-21 cushion with 6:03 to go in the half. The Sharks maintained a 29-25 lead at the 5:01 mark, but the Falcons closed out the half with a 14-4 run to take a 39-33 halftime advantage.

Albertus Magnus advances to the GNAC Championship Tournament Quarterfinals as the number five seed and travels to Weston, Mass. on February 20 to take on fourth-seeded Regis (Mass.).