Sluggish start stalls PMC, sweet-shooting Sharks sink Gators

Box Score

CHESTNUT HILL, MA – A 10-0 Simmons run to open the first half and a 15-3 run to close it distanced the sweet-shooting Sharks from Pine Manor in an easy 87-46 victory Monday night in Great Northeast Athletic Conference women’s basketball play.

            Senior guard Julianna Eagles (Quincy, MA/Fontbonne) scored all of her 14 before halftime, hitting on 4-5 first half threes. Fellow forward Stephanie Fox (West Springfield, MA/Suffield) chipped in with 11 in the first, as did guard Emily Thomas (Cheshire, CT/Cheshire), who hit on all seven of her field goal attempts on the night for 14 points. Tony Price’s Sharks (10-5, 3-1 GNAC) shot 45 percent from the floor, converting on 8-16 first half three-pointers in opening up a 46-24 halftime lead.

            A jumper from leading scorer Paulette Wright cut the Sharks lead to 31-21 at the 4:30 mark of the first. Eagles answered with back-to-back treys, with Fox throwing in a three of her own in a 9-0 run to over the next 2:00 to put the game away before halftime before intermission.

            Wright (Baltimore, MD/Seton Keough), who entered tonight’s contest leading Pine Manor (0-11, 0-3 GNAC) with 11.9 points and 8.9 rebounds per game, was held to eight points and six rebounds in only 19 minutes. Freshman forward Tia Nelson (Rockport, MA/Rockport) led the Gators with 10 points.  In her first career start, forward Lacree Robinson scored six on 3-5 shooting.

            The third-leading scorer in the GNAC entering the night at 14.8 points per game, Fox led all players with 28 points and five steals, as all five Simmons starters finished in double figures. Eagles, Emily Thomas and Liz O’Conner followed with 14 a piece, with O’Conner (Milton, MA/Milton) corralling a game-high 10 rebounds.

            In addition to the team’s hot shooting, the Sharks also won the battle of the boards, outrebounding the Gators 54-38. A Pine Manor opponent shot over 80 percent at the charity stripe for the second straight game, as the Sharks made good on 17-21 free throws for 81 percent.

            Pine Manor travels to Johnson & Wales on Wednesday at 7 p.m. Simmons returns to action at St. Joseph’s (ME) on Saturday at 1 p.m.

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