NE10 CHAMPIONSHIP: #12/14 Bentley Slips Past #6/13 Women's Basketball, 73-72 (OT)

Martin earned a spot on the All-Championship team after posting her fourth double-double of the year, netting a season-high 29 points. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Martin and Grip earn All-Tournament team honors for Skyhawks

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (March 4, 2018) – Northeast Division No. 2 Bentley University, ranked No. 12 in this week's Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll and No. 14 in the D2SIDA Top 25 Media poll, rallied from a 14-point third quarter deficit to capture its 20th Northeast-10 Conference Championship in program history with a 73-72 overtime decision over Northeast No. 1 Stonehill College, ranked No. 6 in the D2SIDA poll and No. 13 in the WBCA rankings at Chace Athletic and Fitness Center on the campus of Bryant University this afternoon.

Both teams were expected to receive an NCAA Tournament bid regardless of today's result, with Stonehill (26-3, 20-1 NE10) ranked No. 1 in the most recent NCAA Division II East Regional Rankings, and Bentley (27-3, 18-3 NE10) ranked No. 2. However, the Falcons earn the NE10's automatic bid and the Skyhawks will now wait for tonight's NCAA Division II Selection Show to find out if they will hang onto the top seed and hosting rights for next weekend's NCAA East Regional. The NCAA Selection Show will air on tonight at 10 p.m. The top seeds from each of the eight regions will be released via social media prior to the selection show.

Bentley junior Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) came off the bench to earn Championship Most Valuable Player honors after leading the Falcons with a double-double effort of 22 points and 11 rebounds, with four steals, three assists and a blocked shot. She made 7-of-13 shots from the field, including 5-for-9 from three-point range, while converting 3-of-4 free-throws for the afternoon.

Lewis was joined on the All-Championship team by classmate Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy), Stonehill seniors Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) and Elizabeth Grip (Shrewsbury, Massachusetts/Shrewsbury), as well as Le Moyne College sophomore McKayla Roberts (North Syracuse, New York/Cicero-North Syracuse).

Hyslip added 14 points, six rebounds, three assists and a steal. (PHOTO BY Bob Blanchard)

Sophomore Monica Viapiano (Holden, Massachusetts/Holy Name) was the only other Bentley player in double-figures with ten points and five rebounds in 16 minutes off the bench. Lux, though largely held in check, finished with nine points on 3-of-11 shooting, draining all three free-throws, with six rebounds, while senior Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, California/Windward School) chipped in nine points, seven boards, six assists and three steals, connecting on the game-deciding three-pointer with less than six seconds remaining in overtime.

Martin posted her fourth double-double of the season (sixth career) to lead Stonehill with a game and season-high 29 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 3-for-3 from beyond the arc, and converting 6-of-7 free-throws to go with ten rebounds, two assists and a steal. Senior Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) added 14 points, aided by 6-or-6 shooting from the free-throw line, with six rebounds, three assists and a steal. Grip contributed six points, seven boards and seven blocked shots, while senior Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) chipped in nine points, five assists and three boards.

Smith's three-pointer with less than six seconds to play in overtime gave Bentley its first lead since the opening three minutes of the first quarter. The Falcons erased a 12-point deficit with 4:17 remaining in the third quarter and still trailed by ten (56-46) after two Martin free-throws a minute into the fourth. The Skyhawks led by seven (66-59) after a layup from sophomore Grace Carter (Arlington, Massachusetts/Arlington) with 2:08 to play, but they wouldn't score again down the stretch.

Lux started Bentley's late rally with a layup off her own miss on the Falcons next possession and then Smith scored a layup off a steal with 1:20 to play to pull Bentley within three. Lewis drew the Falcons within a point off a Stonehill turnover with 40-seconds remaining. Stonehill turned the ball over again and Lewis was fouled with 22-seconds to go, but made just one of two at the line to knot the score. Stonehill had to weather one last Falcons chance after a turnover with ten seconds to play, but Smith's three-pointer at that juncture was off the mark.

Stonehill grabbed a three-point lead (69-66) after a Martin layup a minute and a half into overtime. The Skyhawks lead was four (72-68) after Martin made one of two at the line with 43-seconds remaining, but Bentley had one last push. Smith was fouled with 37-seconds remaining and hit both attempts to pull the Falcons within two (72-70) and then grabbed a steal on Stonehill's next possession. Bentley missed on its first shot, but Stonehill could not corral the rebound, giving the Falcons one more chance in which Smith buried the deciding three in front of her own bench with less than six seconds to play. Stonehill took possession inside midcourt, but was unable to get a shot off in the dying seconds to clinch the championship for the Falcons.

Stonehill limited Bentley to 32.4-percent shooting from the floor, but the Falcons took advantage of the Skyhawks 20 turnovers by posting a 23-7 advantage in points off.

Stonehill surged to a seven point lead after a quarter of play, scoring the last five points of the frame on a three-pointer by sophomore Kelsey Shaw (Bar Harbor, Maine/Mount Desert Island) and then Walsh layup over the final 30-seconds. The Skyhawks pushed their lead to 13 (30-17) midway through the second quarter, with Hyslip converting a three-point play and Martin connecting from long distance.

Stonehill took an 11-point edge (37-26) into halftime and maintained a double-digit lead through nearly the entire third quarter. Carter gave the Skyhawks a 14-point lead (45-31) with a layup with 6:23 remaining, but Bentley was able to draw within seven (49-42) after a Lewis three-pointer with 2:06 to play, before trailing by eight (54-46) at the conclusion of the third.

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