Senior Mary Louise Dixon posted a team-high 18 points with three assists and two rebounds this afternoon.
Falcons hold Skyhawks under 30-percent shooting in second half to pull away
EASTON, Mass. (November 23, 2013) – Bentley University, ranked No. 1 in this week's USA TODAY Sports Division II Coaches' poll, held 7th-ranked Stonehill College under 30-percent shooting in the second half to pull away with an 81-62 triumph in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Merkert Gymnasium this afternoon.
Senior Caleigh Crowell (Harwich, Mass./Worcester Academy) paced Bentley in the early season top ten clash with 23 points on 9-of-10 shooting, including 3-for-4 from three-point range, while converting both free-throw attempts to go with five rebounds, two blocks and two steals. Classmate Christiana Bakolas (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Central) added 17 points on 6-of-8 shooting, drilling all three attempts from beyond the arc and both free-throw attempts to go with a game-high nine rebounds, four assists and two steals. Graduate student Courtney Finn (Winthrop, Mass./Winthrop) contributed 16 points on 6-of-14 shooting, to go with a 4-for-5 effort at the line, seven boards and four assists.
The upper class trio picked up for senior All-American Lauren Battista (North Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) who was held in check offensively with just two points on 1-of-8 shooting, but contributed with eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. Freshman Jen Gemma (Milton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) chipped in ten points and nine boards off the bench for the Falcons.
Bentley shot 47-percent (31-for-66) from the field, including 7-for-14 (50%) from three-point range, for the afternoon. The Falcons held Stonehill to 37.3% (22-for-59) shooting, including 29.6% (8-27) in the second half to aid in turning a two point (38-36) halftime lead into as much as a 28 point advantage down the stretch. Bentley posted a 45-34 rebounding advantage (26-16 second half), outscoring Stonehill 11-2 in second chance points to go with a 16-7 edge in points off turnovers.
Senior Mary Louise Dixon (Wellesley, Mass./Wellesley) led Stonehill with 18 points, but was 5-for-16 from the field, including 2-for-11 from three-point range, while converting all six free-throws to go with three assists, two rebounds, a blocked shot and a steal. Junior Ashley Gendron (Auburn, N.H./Manchester Memorial) delivered ten points, a team-high seven rebounds, two assists, a blocked shot and two steals, while classmate Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) added ten points on 5-of-10 shooting, five boards, three blocks and two assists. Junior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Mass./Bishop Fenwick) rounded out the Skyhawks double-figure scorers with ten points on 4-of-7 shooting, including 2-for-3 from long range, and four assists.
Junior Ashley Gendron posted ten points and a team-high seven rebounds.
Dixon canned a three-pointer on Stonehill's first possession of the second half to answer a Bentley jumper by Bakolas to pull the Skyhawks within a point (40-39). The Falcons posted a 12-4 run over the next four minutes to open a nine point cushion (52-43) after a three-point play from Finn with 15:42 to play. Stonehill was within seven (54-47) after a Gendron layup with 12:29 remaining when Bentley scored seven straight to take a 14 point lead (61-47) on a Crowell layup at the midway point of the half.
Marshall hit a three for Stonehill at the other end, but Bentley held the Skyhawks without a field goal for the next eight minutes to key an 18-1 run to open a 28 point margin (79-51) after a free-throw by junior Carlene Kluge (Reading, Mass./Reading) with 1:55 left to seal the victory. Gemma sparked the clinching run with the first six points of the stretch, while Bakolas drilled back to back three's. Stonehill was able to work the final deficit under 20 points (81-62) by outscoring the Falcons 11-2 over the final two minutes.
Bentley jumped out to a pair of quick six point leads, including a 10-4 margin after a Crowell layup four minutes in. The Falcons worked the lead to seven (17-10) on a Finn layup with 12:24 left and then Stonehill reeled off a 13-0 run over the next three minutes to take regain the lead and open a six point advantage (23-17) following a Marshall triple with 9:12 to play in the half. Pelletier scored the first ten points of the run for the Skyhawks.
Stonehill's lead was still five (26-21) after a three-pointer from sophomore Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nev./Centennial) with 6:29 left. A 9-4 spurt pulled Bentley even (30-30) on a Bakolas layup with 3:12 remaining in the half. Crowell drained a three to give the Falcons a four point advantage with 1:20 to go before settling on the two point (38-36) halftime lead.
Stonehill (4-2, 1-1 NE-10) returns to the court on Tuesday night when it visits Franklin Pierce University at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return to Merkert Gym after the holiday to host Assumption College, among teams receiving votes nationally, on Wednesday, December 4, at 5:30 p.m. Bentley (6-0, 3-0 NE-10) hosts Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
|Highlights and Coach Brown Postgame Interview