NORTHFIELD — The Norwich University women’s basketball team rolled to its first Great Northeast Athletic Conference victory of the season Thursday night, defeating the Simmons University Sharks during a 69-54 victory.

Both teams came out of the gate searching for an offensive rhythm, with neither able to control the game early. Norwich turned on the offensive pressure in the second half, improving from a 30 percent shooting clip in the first half to a 41 percent mark in the second half. The Cadets built their way to a nine-point lead with under three minutes to go, and Riley Bennett combined with Emily Oliver to go 5 of 7 from the free-throw line during the final two minutes to seal the victory.

Kailynne Frederick broke out in a big way for the Cadets, netting a career-high 18 points on a 6-of-13 shooting effort to lead all scorers. She also contributed seven rebounds, three steals and a pair of blocks.

Bennett poured in 14 points, while Oliver had 11 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Mary Casamassa added 10 points and eight rebounds to round out the double-digit scorers. Vanessa Fleury scored seven points for the Cadets, outrebounded Simmons 43-35 and turned 12 turnovers by Sharks into 11 points.

Cassandra Stapelfeld scored 17 points for Simmons and teammate Molly Phillips added 13 points. Francesca Corsinetti (eight points) and Rebeka Carroll (seven points) were also solid in the loss.

The Cadets went 19 of 30 from the foul line, while Simmons made 8 of 11 free-throw attempts. The Sharks made 29 percent of their shots from the field and Norwich wound up going 35 percent from the field.

Norwich improves to 6-7 overall and 1-1 within the GNAC. The Cadets will travel to play the Regis College Pride at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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