Bentley Turns Back Women's Basketball, 80-69

Senior Shannon Brown scored 14 of her season-high 18 points in the second half this afternoon. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Falcons hold off pair of second half Skyhawk rallies for win 

WALTHAM, Mass. (January 2, 2016) – Bentley University, receiving votes in both Division II national polls and ranked fourth in the D2SIDA East Regional poll, held off a pair of second half runs from Stonehill College, ranked sixth in the region, for an 80-69 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at Dana Athletic Center this afternoon.

Junior Jen Gemma (Milton, Massachusetts/Fontbonne Academy) posted a double-double to lead Bentley to its fifth straight win with game-high totals of 22 points and 12 rebounds, connecting on 8-of-16 shots from the field with three blocked shots, two assists and two steals. Sophomore Lauren Green (Demascus, Maryland/Demascus) added 17 points, six rebounds and two assists, while freshman Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) contributed 15 points on 6-of-9 shooting, including 3-for-5 from three-point range, with four rebounds, five assists and six steals. Sophomore Kristen Brown (Poulsbo, Washington/North Kitsap) chipped in 11 points, connecting on all three field goal attempts while converting 5-of-8 free-throws, with two steals off the bench.

Senior Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nevada/Centennial) scored 14 of her team-high 18 points in the second half to lead Stonehill as she made 7-of-14 shots from the floor and all four free-throw attempts to go with eight rebounds, two assists and two steals. Sophomore Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) added 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting, seven rebounds and two assists, while junior Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) rounded out the Skyhawks double-figure scorers with 15 points, aided by 6-of-7 shooting at the line, five rebounds and three assists. Senior Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) chipped in with a career-high nine assists with nine points and six boards.

Sophomore Samantha Hyslip contributed 17 points and seven rebounds. (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Bentley shot 49.2-percent from the field (29-for-59), including 7-for-18 (38.9%) from three-point range to offset a 15-for-32 (46.9%) effort at the free-throw line. The Falcons took advantage of 25 Stonehill turnovers to produce a 23-13 margin in points off, 15-7 in the second half when the Skyhawks committed just nine of their giveaways to aid in thwarting the guests comeback efforts. Stonehill finished shooting 41.9% (26-62), including 38.2% (13-34) in the second half, connecting on just 2-of-13 (15.4%) three-pointers and converted 15-of-16 (93.8%) free-throws. The Skyhawks also held a 37-35 rebounding edge, while the Falcons bench outscored the visitor's reserves 15-8.

Stonehill trailed by 12 (39-27) at the half after committing 16 turnovers, two more than its season average, and Bentley pushed its lead to 17 (47-30) after a Green three-pointer just over two minutes into the second half. The Falcons lead was still 16 (55-39) after a Kristen Brown layup with 4:22 remaining in the third quarter when the Skyhawks scored seven straight to cut the gap to nine (55-46) on two Martin free-throws with 2:52 to play. Shannon Brown trimmed the lead to eight with two free-throws and then Stonehill was back within six (58-52) on a Marshall triple with 49-seconds remaining in the stanza.

Bentley reclaimed a ten point lead at the break (62-52) with a three-pointer by senior Jane White (Amherst, New Hampshire/Souhegan) at the horn and then stretched the advantage back to 16 (68-52) after a Kristen Brown layup three minutes into the fourth quarter. Stonehill clawed back within ten (69-59) with a 7-1 run capped by a Hyslip layup with just under five minute remaining, sparked by a three-point play by Shannon Brown. The Skyhawks would get no closer the rest of the way as the Falcons were able trade baskets down the stretch and hold on to the win.

Bentley never trailed, scoring the first seven points of the game and holding a nine point cushion (13-4) after a layup from freshman Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) with 3:33 to play in the first quarter. Stonehill cut the gap to four (14-10) after a Hyslip layup, but the Falcons took a six point lead (16-10) at the first break. The Skyhawks were back within four after a Martin basket with four minutes to play in the half (25-21), but Bentley closed the frame with a 14-6 run to take a 12 point lead (39-27) into halftime.

Stonehill (8-5, 3-4 NE-10) is back in action on Wednesday when it hosts Le Moyne College for an NE-10 matchup at 5:30 p.m. Bentley (11-2, 5-2 NE-10) is off until next Saturday when it visits the University of New Haven at 3:30 p.m.

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