#6 Bentley Turns Back Stonehill, 69-50

Sophomore Asia Ewing scored a game-high 15 points to go with eight rebounds for the Skyhawks on Saturday. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Balanced scoring lifts Falcons to sixth straight win

WALTHAM, Mass. (February 18, 2012) – Bentley University, ranked sixth in this week's USA Today/ESPN/WBCA Division II poll, pulled away down the stretch to claim a 69-50 victory over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Dana Athletic Center this afternoon.

Bentley, which clinched at least a share of the NE-10 regular season championship with the win, used a balanced scoring effort which saw four player score in double-figures as the Falcons posted a 36-7 advantage in bench points on their way to a sixth straight victory. Senior Katherine Goodwin (Goffstown, N.H./Governor's Academy) led Bentley with 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting from the field, including 3-for-5 from three-point range, to go with two rebounds and an assist.

Sophomore Lauren Battista (North Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) led three Falcons at ten points, aided by 4-for-6 shooting, with eight rebounds (five offensive) and two steals. Sophomore Christiana Bakolas (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Central) added ten points, converting all six free-throws, six rebounds, three assists and three steals, while classmate Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg, Mass./Wachusett Regional) finished with ten points, five rebounds, two steals and a blocked shot. Junior Courtney Finn (Winthrop, Mass./Winthrop) chipped in eight points, eight boards and four assists.

Sophomore Asia Ewing (Westford, Mass./Westford Academy) led Stonehill with a game-high 15 points, keyed by 3-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc, eight rebounds, an assist and steal. Senior Priscilla Dodoo (Worcester, Mass./Burncoat) added 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, converting her lone three point attempt and both free-throws, to go with five rebounds and two assists. Freshman Tori Faieta (Lynn, Mass./Saint Mary's) chipped in with eight points and two boards.

Senior Priscilla Dodoo added 13 points, five rebounds and two steals. (PHOTO BY Richard Orr)

Bentley shot 37.7-percent (23-for-61) from the field, including 7-for-19 (36.8%) from three-point range, while converting 16-of-20 (80%) free-throws. The Falcons shot 41.4% (12-29) from the floor, including 4-for-7 (57.1%) from beyond the arc, in the second half and finished with a 45-30 rebounding advantage, limiting Stonehill to just eight offensive rebounds while pulling down 18 themselves. The Skyhawks shot 34-percent (18-for-53) from the field, including 6-for-18 (33.3%) from beyond the arc, and drained all eight free-throw attempts.

Bentley never trailed, with grad student Elise Caira (Wakefield, Mass./Arlington Catholic) scoring all six of her points in the contest to stake the Falcons to a six point lead four minutes into the game. A Dixon three and Ewing bucket pulled Stonehill within a point (6-5) 5:09 into the half, but the Falcons reeled off a 16-0 run to open a 17 point lead (22-5) after a Brugliera three at the midway point of the half.

Ewing snapped a five minute scoring drought for Stonehill with a three as the Skyhawks scored the next ten points to draw back within seven (22-15) after another Ewing three with 8:15 left in the half. She had eight of the Skyhawks ten points during that run, with Dixon adding a layup as well. Seven points would prove to be the closest Bentley would allow the Skyhawks the rest of the way, with the Falcons answering this time with nine straight points to regain a 16 point (31-15) cushion after a Bakolas layup with 6:16 remaining in the frame.

Stonehill was able to close within ten (35-25) at the break after Dodoo scored the final four points of the half and drew within seven (38-31) again after a layup from senior Tania Williams (South Setauket, N.Y./Ward-Melville) 3:13 into the second half. Bentley held firm again, scoring the next six points to push the lead to 14 (47-33) with a Battista layup with 12:56 to play.

Stonehill crept within ten (47-37) with a jumper from sophomore Morghan Farnsworth (Cornish, N.H./Windsor (Vt.)) midway through the half, but after the team traded baskets, Bentley started to pull away for good with an 18-7 stretch to push the lead to 23 (69-46) with 3:50 remaining after back to back threes by Goodwin and Finn. The Falcons held the Skyhawks without a field goal over the final 5:52 to help seal the win.

Stonehill (12-13, 8-13 NE-10) looks to clinch the final spot in next week's NE-10 Tournament when it hosts Saint Anselm College in the regular season finale on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The Skyhawks will clinch the tenth seed for the tournament with a win over the Hawks. Bentley (23-3, 19-2 NE-10) closes out the regular season at the University of Massachusetts Lowell on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

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