NEWTON, Mass. – Senior Brianna Hoffman (Milford, N.H.) drained a three-pointer from the left corner as time expired Saturday afternoon to lift Lasell College to a dramatic 67-64 victory over Simmons College in a Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women's basketball game at the Lasell Athletic Center.
Hoffman's buzzer-beater capped a strong comeback by the Lasers, who trailed most of the third quarter and by seven points (55-48) with 7:42 to play in the fourth quarter. Lasell came back to tie the game at 57-all with just under six minutes remaining, and led by six points (64-58) with 2:30 to go. Simmons fought back to tie the score at 64-all with 1:23 remaining and had chances to regain the lead, but missed two shots before turning the ball over with 30 seconds to play.
After a Lasell timeout with 20 seconds on the clock, senior Morgan Church (New London, N.H.) drove the lane and dished to Hoffman in the corner, and Hoffman's shot from beyond the arc hit nothing but net as the horn sounded.
Lasell snapped a 10-game losing skid to improve to 3-10 overall and 1-5 in the GNAC, while Simmons slipped to 1-11 overall and 1-6 in conference play.
Church finished with 25 points and six steals to lead the Lasers, her third 20-point game in her last four outings, while Hoffman added 17 points. Both connected on three three-point shots in the victory. Sophomore Dana Ross (East Haven, Conn.) reached double figures in rebounds for Lasell with 11.
Senior Presley Silva (Wilmington, Mass.) led all players with a career-high 27 points and 12 rebounds for Simmons, her third straight double-double and fourth in the last five games. She connected on 11-of-15 shots from the field and 5-of-7 free throws. Junior Rebekah Carroll (Londonderry, N.H.) chipped in with 11 points and eight assists for the Sharks.
Lasell led most of the first quarter, including a seven-point margin (19-12) with just over a minute to go after a three-pointer by junior Becca Fenton (East Hartford, Conn.). Silva hit a basket and a free throw in the final minute for Simmons to cut the margin to 19-15 after one.
Simmons scored the first 11 points of the second quarter while keeping the home team off the scoreboard for nearly five minutes to open up a seven-point margin (26-19). Hoffman broke the drought for Lasell and Church hit back-to-back baskets, including a long-range shot, to tie the game at 26-all with three minutes to go. The teams traded baskets before Simmons took a 31-30 lead into the locker room.
The visitors led by six points (39-33) in the early-going of the third quarter and after Lasell tied it at 39-39, Simmons pushed its lead back up to seven points (48-41) with just under three minutes to go. The Lasers managed just two points in the final four minutes of the quarter and trailed by six (48-42) heading into the fourth.
Lasell connected on 11 three pointers in the game (11-of-26) while Simmons was just 1-of-12 from long range, but the Sharks had a 50-37 advantage on the boards.
Both teams are back on the court on Tuesday (Jan. 23) with conference matchups as Lasell travels to Anna Maria College (5:30 p.m.) and Simmons visits Suffolk University (7 p.m.)
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