#9 Bentley Slips Past Women's Basketball, 53-50

Kelly Martin led the Skyhawks with 16 points, seven rebounds and four assists. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Gemma leads Falcons with 23 points, scoring ten in the fourth, including their final six

EASTON, Mass. (February 3, 2016) – Junior forward Jen Gemma (Milton, Massachusetts/Fontbonne Academy) drained four free-throws over the final ten seconds as Bentley University, ranked ninth in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 media poll and receiving votes in the USA TODAY Sports/Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, slipped past Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Gemma led Bentley with a game-high 23 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the field, converting 4-of-5 free-throws, to go with eight rebounds (six offensive), two assists and two blocked shots. Sophomore Lauren Green (Damascus, Maryland/Damascus) added ten points on 4-of-7 shooting, connecting on 2-of-5 three-pointers, while freshman Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) pulled down a game-high ten rebounds to go with nine points, three assists and three steals.

Junior Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) led Stonehill with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the floor, including 1-for-2 from three-point distance, converting 3-of-4 free-throws to go with a team-high seven rebounds, four assists and two steals. Senior Shannon Brown (Las Vegas, Nevada/Centennial) added ten second half points on 4-of-8 shooting with two rebounds, while sophomore Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) contributed eight points on 4-of-7 shooting, six rebounds and two assists off the bench.

Bentley shot 37.3-percent from the field (19-for-51), including 5-for-19 (26.3%) from three-point distance, while converting 10-of-15 free-throws. The Falcons held a 40-34 rebounding edge, but Stonehill outscored the visitors 14-8 in second chance points. The Skyhawks also held a 16-12 edge in points off turnovers, while their bench outscored the Falcons reserves 13-2. Stonehill finished shooting 36.8% (21-57) from the floor, including 2-for-8 from deep, converting 6-of-9 free-throws (66.7%).

Shannon Brown scored all ten of her points in the second half to help lift the Skyhawks into a fourth quarter lead. (PHOTO BY Lewis Glass/SportsPix)

Bentley scored the final six points of the game in the closing 1:23 to claim its sixth straight win, the second in a row in comeback fashion. Gemma scored all six of the Falcons points, opening the closing run with a layup after Brown had given Stonehill a three-point lead (50-47) with 1:23 remaining. The Skyhawks turned the ball over on their next two possessions and then Gemma was fouled with 9.2-seconds to go where she made both to push the Falcons back in front. Martin missed a contested layup with two-seconds to go and then Gemma sealed the win with a pair at the line with 0.1-seconds left.

Gemma, who scored ten of Bentley's 12 fourth quarter points, gave the Falcons a six point cushion (45-39) with 5:36 to play. Martin split two free-throws and then senior Paige Marshall (Braintree, Massachusetts/Braintree) canned a three-pointer midway through the frame to pull Stonehill back within two. She knotted the score on the Skyhawks next possession and then Hyslip gave the hosts the lead (47-45) with a jumper with 2:41 to play.

Brown gave Stonehill its first three point lead of the fourth quarter (48-45) when she made one of two at the line and then her layup with 1:23 left led to another three-point margin (50-47).

Stonehill scored the first six points of the game to open an early advantage. The Skyhawks still led by five (10-5) with 6:39 to play in the opening quarter when Bentley netted seven straight to take the lead (12-10) after five straight points from Green midway through the frame. The Falcons carried a five point lead (19-14) into the second quarter and led by as much as seven on two occasions before Stonehill rallied to within a point (25-24) at the half, with neither team scoring over the final 3:07 of the quarter.

Stonehill grabbed the lead (30-29) on a Hyslip layup four minutes into the third quarter, but Bentley used a 10-3 run to grab a six point lead (39-33) after a Gemma triple with three minutes left. The Falcons held a four point lead (41-37) after the third quarter before pushing it back to six with a Gemma layup a minute into the fourth.

Stonehill (11-10, 6-9 NE-10) is back in action on Saturday when it visits Franklin Pierce University at 1:30 p.m. The Skyhawks return to Merkert Gym next Tuesday, February 9, to host Merrimack College at 5:30 p.m. Bentley (18-3, 12-3 NE-10) hosts Assumption College on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

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