Simmers Goes For 24 As Army Dispatches Yale, 53-47

Anna Simmers has averaged 20.3 ppg the last four games

Anna Simmers has averaged 20.3 ppg the last four games

Dec. 1, 2012

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WEST POINT, N.Y.  - Senior guard Anna Simmers scored a game-high 24 points to lead Army women's basketball to a hard-fought 53-47 win over visiting Yale on Saturday afternoon at West Point's Christl Arena. Simmers sparked both the Army offense and defense as the Black Knights held the Bulldogs, who entered the game averaging 70 points per game, to a season-low scoring output.

Along with her 24 points, Simmers added seven rebounds and a game-high five steals, the most by a Black Knight since Feb. 25, 2012, to bump Army to a 7-1 record and drop Yale to 1-6. Army's 7-1 mark is its best start since the 2000-01 season when the Black Knights began with a 10-1 clip.

Yale came out firing as the Bulldogs jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead just four minutes into the game.  The tide changed after that, however, as Yale managed just 10 more points the final 16 minutes of the half, while going without a field goal the final 9:32 of the first stanza.

Freshman Kelsey Minato, who finished with 13 points and seven rebounds, drove to the basket with seconds remaining in the first half and scooped in a layup to give Army its first lead of the game, 22-20. The Black Knights entered the game 5-0 when leading at the half and would improve to 6-0 at game's end.

No lead was safe for Army, however, as the Bulldogs seemed to make a big three-point basket just went they needed it. Yale finished the game shooting 9-24 from outside, the most threes Army has allowed all season. Conversely, the Black Knights struggled from deep, shooting just 1-8. Army has made just five threes over its last three games.

The second half proved to be more of a back-and-forth battle as the lead changed six times, including four times before the first media time out. Yale seemed to capture the momentum after sophomore Olivia Schretzman was whistled for her third foul of the game with just under 14 minutes to play before getting hit with a technical, her second of the year, at 13:26. Megan Vasquez made both free throws for the Bulldogs to put them back on top, 32-31, but Simmers and Minato responded with the next seven points to put the Black Knights back on top with 13:14 remaining.  

Army held on to the lead from that point on but not without Yale threatening. The Black Knights stretched their lead to as much as eight before the Bulldogs cut it to a one-point game, 43-42, with 7:16 left before Army got the margin back up to three possessions, 49-42, with just under four minutes left.

Yale's Nyasha Sarju made one of her game-high five threes followed by a pair of free throws by Sarah Halejian to trim Army's advantage to two with 1:40 left, but Schretzman made a game-clinching layup with 36 seconds left to seal it for Army. Sarju finished with a team-high 15 points, while Halejian listed second among the Bulldogs with 12.

The Black Knights shot 41.2 percent for the game, their second-best outing of the season, while holding the Bulldogs to just 31.4 percent shooting. Army outrebounded its opponent for the sixth time this season, 41-29, led by freshman Aimee Oertner's eight-carom performance.

With seven nonconference wins this season, Army has surpassed its six-game total from 2011-12 and is the most since going 11-6 in non-league games in 2008-09.

The Black Knights will look to improve their overall record and undefeated road mark this week when Army travels to Manhattan on Tuesday and Rider on Friday. Both games are slated for 7 p.m. starts.

Game Notes:  Army is 7-1 under seventh-year head coach Dave Magarity for the first time in his tenure ... the Black Knights improved to 17-10 against Yale ... the 17 wins tie for the most wins in program history against a nonconference opponent ... Army is 17-1 against New York Tech but has not played them since 1989-90 ... the Black Knights have won six consecutive games for the first time since a six-game winning streak in 2011 (Jan. 3 - Jan. 19) ... Army's starting lineup remained unchanged for the seventh consecutive games as Kelsey Minato, Jen Hazlett, Anna Simmers, Olivia Schretzman and Aimee Oertner were the first five ... the Black Knights are 16-5 (.762) when Dave Magarity has two freshmen in the starting lineup.  

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