NEWTON, Mass. – Mount Ida College celebrated three seniors who were playing in their final game on Saturday afternoon, and then celebrated their first Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) victory of the year, a 55-51 win over Simmons on Senior Day at Mount Ida Athletic Center.
Abbey Fedigan (New Fairfield, Conn.), in her final game as a Mustang, led Mount Ida with 16 points and hit a three-pointer with under three minutes to play to break a tie game and give Mount Ida the lead for good, to the delight of the exuberant home crowd.
As they have done so many times before this season, though not often in the same game, junior Jenn Rafuse (Brockton, Mass.) and freshman Angelique Martinez (Taunton, Mass.) each put up double-doubles for the Mustangs.
Rafuse scored twelve points and Martinez poured in eleven, while each player grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds, helping Mount Ida to a 52-41 edge on the glass. It was the ninth double-double for Martinez, while Rafuse accomplished the feat for the eighth time.
Simmons was led by 12 points apiece from freshmen Liz Brasa (East Hartford, Conn.) and Kim Hixon (Taunton, Mass.).
It looked as though Mount Ida would lead from wire to wire in this game, as they jumped out to a 10-4 advantage thanks to a jumper and a triple by Fedigan, as well as five early points from Stephanie Champoux (Tewksbury, Mass.).
Sparked by a three-pointer from senior Leah Davis (Cranston, R.I.), Simmons kept the game close, trailing by four points with 6:02 left in the first half, but Mount Ida scored 11 of the final 17 points to open up a nine point lead, 28-19 going into the break.
The Mustangs extended that lead to double-digits in the second half, as Fedigan made two buckets in the first five minutes and senior Leslie Campbell (Quincy, Mass.) added a jumper.
Senior Amanda Hill (Weymouth, Mass.) banged home a three-point jumper with 10:51 to play for her first points of the season, giving Mount Ida a 13-point advantage, 41-28.
That margin was again at 13 points with under five minutes to play when Simmons senior Desh Perera (Reading, Mass.) converted a three-point play to start a game-tying run by the Sharks. Hannah May (Hamden, Conn.) hit a three-pointer, a feat that was duplicated by Hixon and then, on Mount Ida's next possession, Hixon stole the ball and converted a fast break layup that turned into a three-point play when she was fouled, enabling Simmons to tie the game.
Fedigan answered on the next possession with her second three-pointer of the game, and Martinez hit a free-throw and then made a layup on a nice feed from Rafuse to put the Mustangs up 53-47 with 1:46 left in the game.
Champoux and Marysa Dwyer (Quincy, Mass.) each hit free-throws allowing Mount Ida to secure the lead and capture their first conference victory (4-21, 1-10 GNAC).
Rafuse had four blocks in the game and handed out three assists. Fedigan and Champoux also had three dimes apiece, and Fedigan collected three steals in the win.
Martinez had already racked up eleven rebounds by the end of the first half, while Rafuse had ten boards in the opening twenty minutes.
For Simmons, Brasa was one rebound shy of a double-double. Davis scored eight points, while May and freshman Megan Edwards (Bellingham, Mass.) paced the offense with three assists apiece. One the defensive side, Hixon and Nicole Alberghini (Northborough, Mass.) had three steals and freshman Katherine Kroeger (Hollis, N.H.) had a pair of blocks.
Fedigan finishes her Mount Ida career as the all-time leader in games started and minutes played, and in the top ten in almost every statistical category. Her performance on Saturday puts her career scoring mark just 36 points shy of the 1,000-point plateau.
Simmons ends their season with a mark of 3-19 and also a 1-10 GNAC record after collecting their first conference win last Saturday at home against Saint Joseph (CT).