BOSTON, Mass. – Sophomore guard Cassandra Stapelfeld (Brookline, N.H.) led all scorers with 25 points to fuel the Simmons University women's basketball team to a 71-37 victory over visiting Mount Holyoke College this evening at Moore Gymnasium in Boston, Mass. The Sharks win their second straight game and improve to 3-7 on the season, while the Lyons fall to 0-11. The meeting marked the first game between the schools in nearly six years.
Simmons outrebounded its guests, 43-35, and pulled down 17 offensive boards. The Sharks also held Mount Holyoke to 32.7% (16-49) shooting and forced the Lyons into 30 turnovers.
Stapelfeld added five assists, four rebounds and three steals for Simmons, while senior forward Molly Phillips (Cranston, R.I.) dropped in 12 points to go with two rebounds. Senior point guard Rebekah Carroll (Londonderry, N.H.) netted 10 points, grabbed four rebounds, handed out three assists and made three steals and senior forward Lauren Brandau (Madison, Conn.) chipped in with 12 rebounds, five points, four steals, three assists and a blocked shot in 20 minutes of action.
Sophomore forward Annika Brooks (Portland, Maine) led Mount Holyoke with 13 points and added five rebounds, while junior guard Katlyn Grover (Bernardston, Mass.) scored 12 points, pulled down four boards, came up with a steal and blocked a shot. First year guard Mikayla McEwen (South Hadley, Mass.) contributed with a career-high 11 rebounds in addition to three points, two steals and a pair of assists.
The Sharks led from the opening whistle and limited the Lyons to just five points in the opening half as Stapelfeld scored 12 of the home team's 18 first quarter points. Simmons continued its offensive outburst with the first five points of the second quarter, including four from junior Kirra Courchesne (Wilmington, Vt.), to take a 23-5 advantage with 6:59 showing in the period. Mount Holyoke responded with a 10-6 run, paced by five points from Gover, to cut the deficit to 29-15 with 2:04 left in the opening half. The Sharks closed out the stanza on a 9-2 dash, including five points from Stapelfeld, to take a 38-17 intermission cushion.
Simmons took advantage of seven Lyons turnovers in the first five-plus minutes of the third quarter and put together a suffocating 19-4 run, capped by a pair of three-pointers from senior guard Francesca Corsinetti (Johnston, R.I.), to take a commanding 57-21 lead with 4:42 remaining in the period. Brooks scored the next six points of the game to pull Mount Holyoke to within 57-27 with 2:50 to go in the quarter. The Sharks maintained the margin and took a 59-29 lead into the final quarter of play.
Simmons scored 10 of the first 12 points of the period, led by eight points from Phillips, to take its largest lead of the night at 69-31 with 6:15 showing on the fourth quarter clock. Both teams combined for eight points in the final six minutes of play as the Sharks came away with the 71-37 victory.
Simmons will be idle for the rest of 2018 and returns to action on Friday, January 4 when it hosts Eastern Nazarene College at Moore Gymnasium for a 3:00 p.m. tip, while the Lyons head to Chicopee, Mass. on January 2 to take on Elms College at 6:00 p.m.