Simmons' Double-Double Leads Marquette Past Mississippi Valley State, 69-61

Simmons had 12 points and 19 rebounds.

Nov. 12, 2011

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MILWAUKEE - Led by a 12-point, 19-rebound performance from junior forward Sarina Simmons, the Marquette University women's basketball team defeated Mississippi Valley State 69-61 Saturday evening at the Al McGuire Center to open the 2011-12 campaign.

The Golden Eagles (1-0) were paced by 17 points from sophomore forward Katherine Plouffe, who was 6-of-9 from the floor and added five rebounds and three steals in 31 minutes of action.

Simmons filled the stat sheet with five steals, four assists and three blocks in addition to the sixth double-double of her career. The Milwaukee native's 19 rebounds are a Marquette individual record at the Al McGuire Center, topping her previous mark of 17 recorded on Dec. 1, 2010 against Iona.

It is also MU's first double-double since Paige Fiedorowicz's 20-point, 12-rebound ledger against Providence on Feb. 12, 2011.

Sophomore point guard Gabi Minix, making her first career start in the place of graduated All-BIG EAST Conference performer Angel Robinson, played 35 minutes and notched a career-high nine assists.

The Devilettes (0-1) were led by 12 points from senior guard Ka'Neshia Smith and junior forward Alia Frank off the bench. Junior guard Lensie Stallings was the only other player to score in double digits for MVSU with 10 points.

The Golden Eagles outscored Mississippi Valley State 37-28 in the second half as they rebounded from a 33-32 halftime deficit.

Simmons' 19th rebound with 34 seconds remaining sealed the 69-61 victory for Marquette as it improved to 23-14 all-time in season openers and 13-3 under head coach Terri Mitchell.

The Devilettes built their largest lead of the game, 38-33, with 18:48 remaining in the second half before MU mounted a comeback to go up by as many as 17 points.

Marquette tied the contest at 38-38 on a layup by freshman center Lauren Tibbs with 17:40 remaining.

A reverse layup by Plouffe gave MU its largest lead of the game at 63-46 at the 6:40 mark of the second half.

MVSU's Davina Jefferson cut Marquette's lead to five, 66-61, with 1:38 to go before two free throws from Plouffe and one from freshman Apiew Ojulu sealed the victory for MU.

Plouffe led the way for the Golden Eagles at the half with eight points as each player to see action scored. Simmons had eight rebounds at the break to go along with four points, two blocks and a pair of steals.

The Golden Eagles shot 48.1 percent from the floor in the first half but had 12 turnovers and shot just 4-of-12 from the charity stripe. The Devilettes were able to convert MU's first half miscues into 10 points, while Marquette had just two points off MVSU's eight turnovers.

Stallings led the Devilettes with seven points at the half, while Smith added six points and three assists.

Saturday was the first meeting between the Golden Eagles and the Devilettes.

The Golden Eagles return to action Tuesday at the Al McGuire Center against in-state rival Wisconsin at 7 p.m. The contest against the Badgers is Marquette's $2 Tuesday promotion, featuring $2 general admission tickets and select concession items. Free Jimmy John's sandwiches will also be available to all students in attendance.




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