NORTHFIELD, Vt. - The Norwich University women's basketball team rolled to their first Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) victory of the season on Thursday night, defeating the Simmons University Sharks by a 69-54 final score.
Both teams came out of the gate searching for an offensive rhythm, with neither side being able to control the game. Norwich turned on the offensive pressure in the second half, improving from a 29.7% shooting percentage in the first half to a 41.3% mark in the second half. The Cadets built their way to a nine-point lead with under three minutes to go, and Riley Bennett (Hopkinton, N.H.) combined with Emily Oliver (Sagamore Hills, Ohio) to go 5-7 from the free throw line over the final two minutes to seal up the 69-54 victory.
Kailynne Frederick (Adams, Mass.) broke out in a big way for the Cadets, netting a career-high 18 points on 6-13 shooting to lead all scorers along with seven rebounds, three steals, and a pair of blocks. Riley Bennett poured in 14 points, Emily Oliver had 11 points and eight rebounds, and freshman Mary Casamassa (Wexford, Pa.) netted 10 points and eight rebounds to round out the double-digit scorers. The Cadets outrebounded Simmons 43-35 and turned 12 Shark turnovers into 11 points in the victory.
The win brings Norwich up to 6-7 overall this year and an even 1-1 within the GNAC. They'll hit the road on Saturday for another GNAC matchup, this time against the Pride of Regis College at 1:00 PM.