WENHAM, Mass. -- Sophomore guard Cassandra Stapelfeld (Brookline, N.H.) scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Simmons University women's basketball team in an 88-67 loss to State University of New York College at Old Westbury this afternoon at the Bennett Center in Wenham, Mass. at the Gordon Classic. The Sharks fall to 0-3 on the season, while the Panthers improve to 2-0.
Old Westbury dominated the boards, owning a 54-26 rebounding advantage, including 21 offensive rebounds. The Panthers also shot 48.5% (32-66) from the floor, while holding Simmons to 34.4% (22-64).
Stapelfeld added a rebound, a steal and an assist for the Sharks, while senior forward Molly Phillips (Cranston, R.I.) scored 16 points, grabbed three rebounds, handed out two assists, made two steals and blocked a pair of shots. Senior guard Rebekah Carroll (Londonderry, N.H.) chipped in with 14 points, five rebounds, three steals and an assist.
Senior forward Monique Joseph (Elmont, N.Y.) scored 22 points on 10-18 from the field to go with four rebounds, three assists, a block and a game-high five steals for Old Westbury. Junior center Davida Warren (Brooklyn, N.Y.) and senior center Charlotte Renker (Mineloa, N.Y.) each posted a double-double for the Panthers with Warren scoring 19 points and pulling down 10 rebounds in addition to three blocks and Renker scoring 12 points and hauling in 10 caroms. Sophomore guard Micah Browne (Brooklyn, N.Y.) flirted with a triple-double with 11 points, eight rebounds and eight assists and came up with a steal as one of five players to score in double-digits for Old Westbury.
Simmons owned a 3-2 edge early in the opening quarter, but Warren made a lay-up to give the Panthers the lead for good with 5:55 to go in the first quarter. Junior center Paige Jelinek (St. James, N.Y.) converted a pair of free throws to give Old Westbury its largest lead of the quarter at 16-8 with 1:11 to play. Carroll drained a three-pointer to cap six straight points and pull the Sharks to within 16-14 before the end of the period. Carroll later hit a trifecta with 7:25 showing in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 20-17 for Simmons, but the Panthers put together an 11-3 stretch, fueled by six points from senior guard Tori Bellings (Brooklyn, N.Y.), to take a 31-20 lead with 5:12 left in the first half. The Sharks shot back with five unanswered points to close to within 31-25, but Old Westbury scored 10 of the final 12 points of the quarter to take a 41-27 cushion into halftime.
The Panthers later maintained a 48-32 advantage with 7:13 remaining in the third period, before Simmons went on an 11-2 run, led by eight points from Stapelfeld, to pull to within 50-43 at the 5:06 mark. Old Westbury built its lead up to 58-43 following six straight points, but the Sharks closed out the quarter with a 9-2 burst to keep the deficit in the single-digits at 61-52. Stapelfeld sandwiched a pair of lay-ups around a Joseph free throw to pull Simmons to 62-56 for its smallest margin since the second quarter, but the Panthers bounced back and later held a 77-65 lead with 3:47 to play. Old Westbury put the game away with 11 unanswered points, including seven from Renker, to take its biggest margin of the day at 88-65 with 36 ticks left on the fourth quarter clock.
The Sharks return to action on Tuesday, November 20 when they host Wellesley College at Moore Gymnasium at 7:00 p.m., while the Panthers will meet Simmons again on Saturday, November 24 in the first round of the Dr. Betty Shabazz Tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y. on the campus of Medgar Evers College at 3:00 p.m.