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Simmons reaches 1000 career points in loss to Red Storm

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Photo courtesy of Marquette Atheltics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Atheltics

Senior Sarina Simmons had the ball at the three point line and attempted to drive the lane. She pulled up and shot a jumper from the elbow, but the ball bounced out of the basket. Simmons followed her shot, got an offensive rebound and made the put-back. With the basket, Simmons reached 1,000 career points.

Marquette (12-14, 4-6), despite Simmons’ historic point total, fell to St. John ‘s (14-10, 8-4) at the Al McGuire Center. Simmons finished the night with 14 points and 10 rebounds, her seventh career double-double. She is the 22nd player in Marquette women’s basketball history to reach the 1,000-point plateau.

Simmons said she had thought about reaching 1,000 points before she came to Marquette, but it’s still a great feeling to accomplish such a feat.

“It’s a great accomplishment,” Simmons said. “As an individual, it’s something I can look back on after my years playing at Marquette and get to be proud of it … It’s a great feeling.”

Coach Terri Mitchell said she expected this kind of accomplishment from Simmons.

“I was really proud of her, the fact she did it with a double-double,” Mitchell said. “She’s been such a versatile player – she just can score from a variety of ways, so I’m really proud of what she did.”

The Golden Eagles seemed to be taking control of the game halfway through the second half. Before the first media timeout, junior Katherine Plouffe attempted to stop a drive to the basket by a Red Storm player and fell to the floor. She appeared to catch either an elbow or knee to the face, which resulted in a nose bleed. But when Plouffe returned to the court, she hit a three to notch the game at 34.

Marquette would continue to trade points with St. John’s until the second media timeout. Afterward, the Red Storm came out and scored six unanswered points, securing the lead for the rest of the game.

“That was really the game,” Mitchell said. “That was the momentum changer. We were playing catch-up the rest of the time.”

The Red Storm would not allow the Golden Eagles back into the game. In the second half, St. John’s shot 59.1 percent from the field, including 3-for-5 from behind the arc. Senior Shenneika Smith led the team with 24 points, including 17 points in the second half. Smith utilized her speed in creating points off of turnovers during fastbreaks.

“If you look at their shooting percentage in the second half … that was us letting them get by us,” Mitchell said.

St. John’s was also efficient in the first half, shooting 44.8 percent inside of the three-point line, and converted two of its three free throws. The Red Storm forced the ball into the paint, where the team scored 42 of its 67 points. Marquette scored 34 points in the paint, but could not match the fastbreak points of St. John’s.

“It was transition that was the game,” Mitchell said. “They scored in transition and we weren’t.”

The Golden Eagles have five days of rest before traveling to Providence to start the team’s final road trip. Marquette has excelled on the boards, but the team now needs to focus on defense in the final three games of the season.

“It’s always difficult to win on the road,” Mitchell said. “It’s going to be a fight down the stretch of the way we want to end the season.”

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