Brugliera, Bentley Shoot Down UMass-Lowell, 84-60; Falcons Win 4th Straight

Jacqui Brugliera
Jacqui Brugliera

LOWELL, Mass. -- A career-best 24-point, nine-rebound effort off the bench by freshman forward Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg/Wachusett Reg. HS) propelled Bentley University to an 84-60 win over UMass-Lowell in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Wednesday evening at the Costello Athletic Center.

Bentley, with its fourth straight win, remained unbeaten in the conference, improved to 4-1 overall and moved coach Barbara Stevens to within three wins of the 800 milestone, a plateau only four women's basketball coaches have achieved. UMass-Lowell dipped to 2-4 overall and 1-2 in the conference.

In addition to Brugliera, Bentley received strong efforts from seniors Kim Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS), who moved into 11th on the program's all-time scoring list (1,375 points), and Elise Caira (Wakefield/Arlington Catholic HS). Brennan dropped in 16 points and delivered five assists, and Caira added 14 points and a like number of rebounds.

Turnovers (7 in the first nine minutes) and poor shooting plagued the Falcons early and enabled UMass-Lowell to open a 19-13 advantage.

Fueled by Brugliera, Bentley went on a 12-2 surge to grab a 25-21 lead. The rookie had half of the points, including the first three-pointer of her college career. By the time intermission came, she had hit two more from downtown and had tied her career-high of 18 points, in just 12 minutes of action.

A late 10-2 run, ignited by Brugliera's third trey, made it a 13-point Falcon advantage, 42-29, and Bentley went into the break on top by 10 at 42-32.

Brugliera's first half saw her make five of seven from both the field and the foul stripe, knock down all three of her three-point tries and claim five rebounds. She finished the game 6 of 11 from the floor and 9 of 11 at the line.

After the River Hawks opened the second-half scoring, Bentley broke the contest open with 14 unanswered, pushing the differential to 22 at 56-34. Junior guard Katherine Goodwin (Goffstown, N.H./Governors Academy) sank a pair of three-pointers during the surge, and both Brennan and Caira chipped in with four points.

UMass-Lowell closed to within 15 points, but Bentley ended any comeback hopes with six straight markers, with two Brennan free throws sandwiched in between two Caira lay-ups.

Goodwin was Bentley's fourth double-figure scorer, finishing with 10 points, and freshman forward Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS), the current NE-10 Rookie of the Week, provided nine points and four steals.

Sophomore guard Bianca Simmons (Middletown, Conn.) did the bulk of the scoring for Lowell, finishing with 17 points and seven assists. No one else reached double figures.

Both teams shot 40 percent, but Bentley took better care of the ball, had a big edge at the line (21-28 to Lowell's 8-11) and was plus-12 on the boards, 46-34. The Falcons, after the sloppy start, had just four turnovers in the final 31 minutes for a total of 11. The River Hawks, on the other hand, lost the 20 times, which resulted in 20 Bentley points.

Bentley, 4-0 in the NE-10 for the first time since 2004, is in a four-way tie for first and will face one of those teams, defending champion Franklin Pierce, at home Saturday afternoon (1:30 pm).

 

At Lowell, Mass. (Costello Athletic Center)

BENTLEY 84, UMASS LOWELL 60

BENTLEY (4-1, 4-0 NE-10) == Jacqui Brugliera 6-11 9-11 24; Kim Brennan 4-15 7-8 16; Elise Caira 6-11 2-3 14; Katherine Goodwin 3-14 2-4 10; Lauren Battista 4-7 0-0 9; Meghan Thomann 1-1 0-0 3; Christiana Bakolas 1-4 1-2 3; Kelsey Roberson 1-1 0-0 3; Shatasia Kearse 1-1 0-0 2; Lauren Massie 0-0 0-0 0;  Courtney Finn 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-67 21-28 84.

UMASS LOWELL (2-4, 1-2 NE-10) -- Bianca Simmons 7-15 2-2 17; Danielle DePierro 3-5 0-0 9; Alexandra Guidi 3-7 0-0 7; Whitney Wilson 2-4 3-4 7; Sha'Nay Bushner 3-9 0-0 6; Sarah Bennett 2-4 0-0 4; Krissy Little 1-2 0-0 3; Brianna Wilson 1-5 1-2 3; Briana Szidat 0-2 2-3 2; Erika Sjoberg 1-2 0-0 2; Dominique Pagan 0-2 0-0 0; Lauren Fiola 0-0 0-0 0; Nyachuol Biliew 0-0 0-0 0; Brianna Calver 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-57 8-11 60.

Halftime: B 42-32; 3-point goals--B 9-20 (Brugliera 3-3; Goodwin 2-4; Battista 1-2; Roberson 1-1; Thomann 1-1; Brennan 1-7; Finn 0-2), UML 6-17 (DePierro 3-4; Little 1-2; Simmons 1-5; Guidi 1-2; Szidat 0-1; Sjoberg 0-1; Pagan 0-1; Bushner 0-1). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--B 46 (Caira 14), UML 34 (Bushner 7). Assists--B 19 (Brennan 5), UML 11 (Simmons 7). Total fouls--B 13, UML 20. Technical fouls--None