WEST HARTFORD, Conn.— Behind an all-time night from sophomore guard Cassandra Stapelfeld (Brookline, N.H.), the University of Saint Joseph (USJ) women's basketball team fell to Simmons University (SU), 76-59, inside the O'Connell Center Tuesday night.
The Blue Jays (3-17, 0-7 GNAC) have lost three straight, while the Sharks (5-15, 2-5 GNAC) snap a six-game losing streak. Stapelfeld broke the Simmons school record for most points in a single game, scoring 42 points (17-25 FG, 6-9 3FG), grabbing five rebounds, and recording three steals. Her 17 made field goals is also a school record. Senior guard Rebekah Carroll (Londonderry, N.H.) added 15 points and six assists. Freshman forward Cheyenne-Mone Smith (Wethersfield, Conn.) led the Blue Jays with 16 points, while freshman forward Lindsey Montminy (Vernon, Conn.) scored 10 points, and had a game-high eight rebounds.
The Blue Jays trailed by just three, 14-11 with 3:40 left in the first quarter. The Sharks would cap the quarter though on a 9-2 run to take a 23-13 lead after one. A Stapelfeld jump shot started the run.
USJ started the second quarter with three layups; two from sophomore forward Shaniyah Williams (New Britain, Conn.) and one from Smith. The Blue Jays kept the lead at five, 29-24, midway through the quarter. The Sharks had their answers from deep, hitting big threes 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. SU kept a nine-point lead, 42-33 into the locker room.
USJ again came out and got two quick layups, this time by Smith and Montminy. Right on cue, another three came from Stapelfeld, who was only starting to catch fire. She scored 21 in the first half. She scored 16 in the third quarter, and did so in a variety of ways (three-pointers, mid-range, and lay-ins). It was more than enough to keep the Sharks in front, 62-50 to the fourth quarter.
An 8-0 run midway through the fourth quarter put the game away, as the 11-point lead quickly grew to 19, 76-57 with 2:49 left. The Sharks maintained the lead despite everything the Blue Jays threw at them. Stapelfeld hit six of the team's nine threes on the game, and 17 of the team's 28 field goals.
USJ is headed to the road for their final away game of the regular season, going up against Anna Maria this Saturday, February 2, at 12:00 p.m. Simmons will also play on Saturday, as they travel to Suffolk (MA) for a matchup at 1:00 p.m.