Stonehill Shoots Past #3/5 Bentley, 81-67

Senior Tori Faieta had another monster game for the Skyhawks, scoring 17 of her game-high 25 points in the first half. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Faieta and Marshall combine for 46 points to keep Skyhawks unbeaten 

WALTHAM, Mass. (November 22, 2014) – Stonehill College, among teams receiving votes in the USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and D2SIDA Division II polls, upended defending NCAA Division II National Champions Bentley University, ranked 5th in the WBCA preseason poll and No. 3 by D2SIDA, on the afternoon the Falcons raised their championship banner 81-67 in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at the Dana Athletic Center.

Senior Tori Faieta (Lynn, Massachusetts/Saint Mary's) and junior Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) combined for 46 points to lead Stonehill, which shot 55.2-percent (32-for-58) from the field, including 10-for-24 (41.7%) from three-point range in the win. Faieta scored a game-high 25 points (17 first half) on 11-of-15 shooting, including 1-for-3 from three-point range, while converting 2-of-4 free-throws to go with a team-high eight rebounds, a season-best five blocked shots and two assists. Marshall added a career-high 21 points (12 second half) on 8-of-11 shooting, including 3-for-5 from beyond the arc while converting both free-throw attempts to go with four rebounds, four steals and two assists.

Senior Amy Pelletier (Beverly, Massachusetts/Bishop Fenwick) rounded out Stonehill's double-figure scorers with 11 points, five assists and three boards, while classmate Ashley Gendron (Auburn, New Hampshire/Manchester Memorial) contributed eight points, aided by 2-for-3 shooting from three. Freshman Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) chipped in with seven rebounds, five points and four assists.

Stonehill shot 58.6-percent (17-for-29) in the second half to seal the victory after connecting on 5-of-10 three-pointers as part of 51.7% (15-29) shooting in the first half. Bentley was limited to 38.1-percent (24-for-63) shooting overall, including 5-for-13 (38.5%) from three-point range. The Falcons turned a 39-33 rebounding edge into a 20-4 margin in second chance points.

Junior Paige Marshall netted a career-high 21 points for the Skyhawks. (PHOTO BY SportsPix)

Sophomore Jen Gemma (Milton, Massachusetts/Fontbonne Academy) led Bentley with a double-double effort of 16 points and a game-high 11 rebounds (eight offensive) on 7-of-21 shooting and three assists. Freshman Lauren Green (Damascus, Maryland/Damascus) added 14 points on 4-of-9 shooting, making her lone three point attempt, and 5-for-6 at the line, while classmate Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, California/Windward School) contributed 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 2-for-4 from three, and six rebounds off the bench. Freshman Trevena Bennett (Union, New Jersey/Gill St. Bernard's) chipped in 11 points and three boards for the Falcons.

Bentley rode the emotion of their pregame National Championship banner raising to a six point lead (24-18) midway through the opening half after a layup by sophomore Brittany Gregory (Fishkill, New York/John Jay). Stonehill took off from there and reeled off a 14-2 run over the next five minutes to reverse the lead (32-26) when freshman Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) made one of two free-throws with 5:40 remaining in the half. Pelletier, Walsh and Marshall all drained three-pointers to spark the run, while Marshall finished with five points in all during that stretch.

Stonehill took an eight point lead into halftime (38-30), led by Faieta's 17 first half points, and quickly pushed its lead into double-figures (40-30) when sophomore Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) opened the second half with a layup. The teams traded baskets for the first six minutes of the half before the Skyhawks stretched their lead to 16 (59-43) with a Pelletier triple with 12:48 to play.

Bentley cut the gap to ten (65-55) on a three-pointer by junior Jane White (Amherst, New Hampshire/Souhegan) with 8:58 on the clock, but Stonehill used a 12-2 run over the next four minutes to seal the win. Gendron and Marshall sparked the run with three-pointers, while the latter posted five points in all during the run, before Walsh capped it with a jumper for a 20 point lead (77-57) with 4:45 remaining.

The win is Stonehill's first at the Dana Center since a 55-53 decision here on February 24, 2010, and the largest margin of victory in Waltham over the Falcons since a 96-78 triumph during the 1994-95 season.

Stonehill (4-0, 2-0 NE-10) returns to action on Tuesday when it hosts Franklin Pierce University at Merkert Gymnasium at 5:30 p.m. Bentley (2-2, 0-2 NE-10) visits Southern New Hampshire University on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.

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