WBB: Lasell falls to Simmons in GNAC opener

WBB: Lasell falls to Simmons in GNAC opener

BOSTON, Mass. – Senior Lauren Brandau (Madison, Conn.) and sophomore Cassandra Stapelfeld (Brookline, N.H.) combined for 40 points Tuesday evening to lead the Simmons University women's basketball team over visiting Lasell College, 67-56, in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) season opener at Moore Gymnasium.

The Sharks improve to 4-9 overall and 1-0 in league play, while the Lasers fall to 5-8 and 0-1.

 Stapelfeld was a perfect 10-10 from the free throw line to contribute to a game-high 21 points and extend her consecutive made free throw streak to 24. Brandau was 9-13 from the floor for a career-high 19 points to go with six rebounds.

Graduate student Breanna Muir (Wareham, Mass.) and junior Amanda Ortiz (Newton, Mass.) scored 13 points apiece to lead the Lasers. Muir drained 7-8 from the free throw line in addition to five rebounds and an assist, while Ortiz netted 13 points, grabbed four boards, handed out two assists and picked up a steal. Junior guard D'Asia Allen (Providence, R.I.) came off the bench to contribute with 10 points, three rebounds and a steal.

The teams traded the lead seven times in the first three minutes of the third quarter, before Brandau converted a lay-up to give Simmons the lead for good at 32-31. Muir sank a jumper at 4:37 to keep Lasell to within a point at 35-34, but the Sharks went on a 10-2 run, capped by senior Rebekah Carroll's (Londonderry, N.H.) second trifecta of the stretch, to give the home team a 45-36 cushion with 59 seconds left in the period. Simmons took a 45-38 lead into the fourth quarter.

Muir knocked down a pair of free throws to cut the deficit to 49-45 with 7:16 to play in the game, but the Sharks scored 11 of the next 13 points, including six from Stapelfeld, to take their largest lead of the night at 60-47 with 2:25 showing. The Lasers reeled off seven unanswered points, capped by a three-point play from Ortiz, to pull the visitors to within 60-54 at 1:21, but that would be as close as they would get as Simmons closed out the game on a 7-2 run to secure the victory.

Simmons returns to action on Thursday, January 10 when it travels to Northfield, Vt. to take on GNAC foe Norwich University at 5:30 p.m., while Lasell hosts Colby-Sawyer College in a league match-up on Saturday, January 12 at 2:00 p.m. 

(Courtesy of Simmons Athletic Communications)

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