BOSTON, Mass. – Sophomore guard Cassandra Stapelfeld (Brookline, N.H.) led all scorers with 24 points for the Simmons University women's basketball team in a 72-45 loss to nationally-ranked number 11 Saint Joseph's College (Maine) this evening in Great Northeast Athletic Conference action at Moore Gymnasium on the campus of Simmons in Boston, Mass. The Sharks fall to 4-14 and 1-4. The Monks, who are ranked the same by both the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and d3hoops.com, improve to a perfect 18-0 and 6-0 in league play and have won 24 consecutive regular-season contests over conference foes.
Saint Joseph's controlled the boards with a 54-39 rebounding advantage, including 24 offensive caroms to contribute to a 21-10 margin in second chance points. The Monks' defense held Simmons to just 26.4% (14-53) shooting from the floor.
Stapelfeld registered double-digits in scoring for the 18th straight game, including her 11th 20-plus point outing. She was 10-11 from the free throw line for the Sharks in addition to a rebound, a steal and a block, while senior guard Francesca Corsinetti (Johnston, R.I.) came off the bench to chip in with nine points, two blocks and a rebound. Senior forward Lauren Brandau (Madison, Conn.) contributed with four points, 10 rebounds and a steal.
Senior point guard Kelsi McNamara (West Newton, Mass.) netted 19 points and added five assists, six rebounds, three steals and a blocked shot for Saint Joseph's, while senior forward Emily Benway (Rochester, N.H.) posted her sixth double-double of the season with 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds to go with a pair of blocks and an assist. Junior guard Julia Quinn (Fryeburg, Maine) came off the bench to net 13 points, including all three of her three-point tries, and added two rebounds and two steals and senior guard Julia Champagne (Brunswick, Maine) finished with 13 points, five boards, a steal and an assist.
Stapelfeld drove the lane to give Simmons a 2-0 lead, but it was the home team's only advantage of the night before the Monks scored the next eight points. Senior Molly Phillips (Cranston, R.I.) pulled the Sharks to within 13-8 later in the quarter with a lay-up at the 4:19 mark, but Saint Joseph's closed out the period with an 8-2 run, capped by a three-pointer from Quinn to give the visitors a 21-10 lead after one quarter.
Corsinetti canned a three-pointer with 4:22 left in the second quarter to cut the deficit to 26-18 for Simmons, before the Monks put together a 13-4 stretch, fueled by six points from Quinn, to increase their lead to 39-22 with 1:23 to play in the opening half. Saint Joseph's took a 41-26 cushion into the intermission.
The Monks ripped off 11 unanswered points to open the third period and take a comfortable 52-26 lead with 5:26 showing on the third quarter clock. Saint Joseph's maintained its advantage throughout the quarter before taking a 58-31 margin into the final period of play.
Champagne knocked down a trifecta with 8:26 remaining in the contest to give the Monks their largest lead of the night at 61-31 and Quinn matched her later in the period with her third three-ball to keep the lead at 30 with just under five minutes to play. Stapelfeld cut the margin to 69-43 with 2:38 for the Sharks, but Saint Joseph's cruised to the victory at 72-45.
Simmons returns to action on Saturday, January 26 when it hosts GNAC rival Colby-Sawyer College at 3:00 p.m., while Saint Joseph's hosts Suffolk University on the same day at 1:00 p.m.