WEST POINT - Senior guard Anna Simmers scored a game-high 24 points to lead the Army women’s basketball team 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 to a season-low output.
Along with her 24 points, Simmers added seven rebounds and a game-high five steals 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 they began 10-1.
Yale jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead just four minutes into the game. The tide changed after that, as Yale managed just 10 more points the final 16 minutes of the half, while going without a field goal the final 9:32.
Freshman Kelsey Minato, who had 13 points and seven rebounds, drove to the basket with seconds remaining in the first half to give Army its first lead of the game, 22-20. Army is now 6-0 when leading at the half.
The lead was not safe for Army, however, as the second half proved to be more of a back-and-forth battle with the lead changing 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 her second technical 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.
Army stretched the lead to as much as eight before the Bulldogs cut it to a one-point game, 43-42, with 7:16 left. Army got the lead back up to 49-42, with 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 added 12 for the Bulldogs.
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.