BOSTON, Mass. – Sophomore guard Cassandra Stapelfeld (Brookline, N.H.) scored a game-high 19 points to lead the Simmons University women's basketball team over visiting Wentworth Institute of Technology, 61-49, this afternoon at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks improve to 2-7 on the season, while the Leopards fall to 0-9 following the first match-up between the schools since 2012.
Simmons held Wentworth to just 32.1% (18-56) shooting, while owning a 44-29 rebounding advantage. The Sharks also converted 14 of 17 from the free throw line for an 82.4% success clip.
Stapelfeld was 8-14 from the field in addition to handing out two assists, grabbing a rebound and making a steal for Simmons, while senior point guard Rebekah Carroll (Londonderry, N.H.) recorded her second career double-double with 13 points and a career-best 14 rebounds to go with five steals and two assists. Senior forward Molly Phillips (Cranston, R.I.) chipped in with 14 points, seven boards, a block and an assist.
Sophomore guard Erin Morton (Norway, Maine) led the Leopards with 12 points and added four rebounds, four steals, a pair of blocks and a game-high four assists, while junior guard Sam McGibbon (Pembroke, Mass.) dropped in 11 points, pulled down a rebound, dished out an assist and made a steal. Senior forward Michelle McCloskey (Madison, Conn.) contributed with nine rebounds, four points, an assist and a game-high four blocks in 14 minutes off the bench.
The Sharks erased a 30-26 halftime deficit with a 12-0 run to start the third quarter, fueled by six points from junior forward Kirra Courchesne (Wilmington, Vt.), who converted a lay-up to give the home team a 38-30 lead with 5:19 showing in the third period. Simmons didn't look back after the run and maintained the margin at 46-38 heading into the fourth quarter.
Courchesne later hit a mid-range jumper to give the Sharks their largest lead of the game at 54-42 with 4:03 remaining in the contest. Wentworth made a late charge with a 7-2 burst, including five points from sophomore forward Stephanie Mini (Topsfield, Mass.), to pull the Leopards to within 56-49 with 2:01 to play in the game. Simmons responded by closing out the afternoon with the final five points, including four from Phillips to take home the 12-point victory.
The teams played within two points of each other through the first five and a half minutes of the first quarter and Wentworth stayed within a deuce following a pair of free throws from Morton to make it 12-10 with 68 seconds to go in the quarter. The Sharks ripped off five unanswered points, punctuated by a three-pointer from Stapelfeld, to take 17-10 lead with 24 ticks left on the clock.
The Leopards controlled the second quarter by a 20-9 margin and began the period with 14 of the first 16 points, paced by six from McGibbon and five from Morton, to take a 24-22 lead with 3:45 left in the second quarter. Sophomore forward Molly Duclos (Greenfield, Mass.) knocked down a jumper with 19 seconds left in the period to give Wentworth its biggest lead of the game at 30-24, before Carroll converted a pair of free throws for Simmons to make it a 30-26 game at the intermission.
The Sharks return to action on Tuesday, December 11 when they host Mount Holyoke College at 7:00 p.m., while the Leopards host Bridgewater State University for a 4:00 tip-off on December 13.