QUINCY, Mass. -- Sophomore guard Cassandra Stapelfeld (Brookline, N.H.) scored 19 points to lead the Simmons University women's basketball team in a 70-57 loss to host Eastern Nazarene College today at Lahue Physical Education Center in Quincy, Mass. The Sharks fall to 3-8 on the season, while the Lions improve to 9-2.
The Eastern Nazarene defense held Simmons to just 31.1% (19-61) shooting from the floor and held a 44-39 rebounding advantage.
Stapelfeld registered double-digits in the scoring column for the 11th straight contest, scoring 11 or more points in all of the Sharks' outings this season. She added four assists, two rebounds and a steal and was a perfect 6-6 from the free throw line. Senior guard Francesca Corsinetti (Johnston, R.I.) came off the bench to chip in with eight points, three rebounds and a block in 21 minutes, while classmate Rebekah Carroll (Londonderry, N.H.) dropped in eight points to go with a rebound and a steal. Senior forward Lauren Brandau (Madison, Conn.) led all players with nine rebounds and added five points.
Kyra Fleharty (Lewistown, Mont.) finished with a game-high 23 points to go with eight rebounds and six blocks to lead the Lions, while Tia Torio (Manteca, Calif.) poured in 20 points and gathered eight boards. Courtney Barba (Pismo Beach, Calif.) chipped in with eight points and five steals in the contest.
The teams combined for six lead-changes in the opening five minutes of the first quarter before the hosts scored seven unanswered points, including five from Torio, to grab a 12-6 margin with 3:28 left to play in the period. Corsinetti drained a three-pointer for Simmons with 73 seconds left in the opening quarter, but Eastern Nazarene clung to a 14-11 lead at the conclusion of the first frame.
The Lions scored the first 10 points of the second period as part of a 17-5 run, capped by a three-point play from Shannon Chau (San Francisco, Calif.) to give the home team a 31-16 lead with 4:54 to play in the opening half. The visitors cut the deficit to 31-22 with 1:51 left in the period, following six straight points, including four from Stapelfeld. Eastern Nazarene maintained its lead with a 34-24 cushion heading into the break.
Carroll knocked down a three-pointer early in the third quarter to pull the Sharks to within 35-28 with 9:13 to go in the period, but the Lions put together an 18-6 run, fueled by six points from Torio, to take a 53-34 advantage with 1:51 remaining in the third period. Simmons closed out the quarter with six unanswered points to cut the margin to 53-40 after three quarters.
Eastern Nazarene held a double-digit lead throughout the final quarter and led by as many as 17 before coming away with the 70-57 victory.
Simmons returns to action tomorrow when they visit cross-city rival Emerson College for a 3:00 p.m. tip-off at Bobbi Brown and Steven Plofker Gym, while the Lions host Becker College on January 8 at 5:30 p.m.