WEST HARTFORD, Conn. -- Sophomore guard Cassandra Stapelfeld (Brookline, N.H.) poured in a school-record 42 points to lead the Simmons University women's basketball team over host University of Saint Joseph (Conn.), 76-59, this evening in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference contest at the O'Connell Center in West Hartford, Conn. The Sharks improve to 5-15 overall and 2-5 in league play, while the Blue Jays fall to 3-17 and 0-7.
Simmons shot 45.9% (28-61) from the floor and took advantage of 24 Saint Joseph turnovers by outscoring the home team, 24-11, in points off turnovers.
Stapelfeld finished 17-25 from the floor to establish a new school mark for made field goals and scored 21 points in each half for the Sharks. Her 42 points broke the school standard that was set almost exactly 13 years ago to the day. The shooting guard was 6-9 from three-point range and added five rebounds, three steals and an assist. Senior point guard Rebekah Carroll (Londonderry, N.H.) scored 15 points, dished out six assists, grabbed four rebounds and picked up three steals. Senior Molly Phillips (Cranston, R.I.) came off the bench to chip in with eight points, seven rebounds, three blocks and an assist.
First year guard Cheyenne-Mone Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.) led the Blue Jays with 16 points on 7-13 from the field in addition five rebounds, two assists, two blocks and a steal. First year guard Silvana Barcomb (Middletown, Conn.) contributed with 11 points, six boards and four assists, while classmate Lindsey Montminy (Vernon, Conn.) dropped in 10 points, pulled down eight rebounds and handed out a pair of assists.
Stapelfeld converted a lay-up with four seconds left in the third quarter to give the Sharks a 62-50 lead and her 37 points for the game to break the former Simmons points record of 36 set by Kristen Lucek (2002-06) on January 28, 2006 at Pine Manor College.
Stapelfeld scored seven of the team's first nine points during a stretch to open the game to take a 9-2 lead with 6:27 to play in the initial quarter for the Sharks. Saint Joseph closed to within 9-7 following a Barcomb three-pointer at the 5:27 mark, but it was as close as it would get for the remainder of the night. Simmons maintained a 14-11 margin with 4:02 to play, before the Sharks ripped off seven straight points over the next minute and a half as part of a 9-2 run to close out the quarter and take a 23-13 lead.
USJ began the second quarter with three layups; two from sophomore forward Shaniyah Williams (New Britain, Conn.) and one from Smith. The Blue Jays kept the deficit at five, 29-24, midway through the quarter. Simmons answered from beyond the arc, hitting trifectas to maintain the gap. Back-to-back threes by Carroll and Stapelfeld pushed the lead to 11, 35-24 with 4:06 left in the second. The Sharks took a nine-point lead, 42-33, into the locker room.
The Blue Jays again came out and got two quick layups, this time by Smith and Montminy. Right on cue, another three came from Stapelfeld to ignite a third quarter that saw her net 16 points with three-pointers, mid-range jumpers and lay-ins for Simmons. It was more than enough to keep the Sharks in front, 62-50, at the end of the third quarter.
An 8-0 run midway through the fourth quarter put the game away for Simmons, as the 11-point lead quickly grew to 19, 76-57, with 2:49 left. The Sharks maintained the lead despite the Blue Jays effort to get back in the game.
Simmons returns to action on Saturday, February 2 when it travels across the city to take on GNAC foe Suffolk University at 1:00 p.m., while Saint Joseph heads to Paxton, Mass. on the same day to take on Anna Maria College at 12:00 p.m.