WALTHAM, Mass. – Barbara Stevens, one of eight coaches in NCAA women's basketball history with over 800 career wins, will be looking for her 700th win as the head coach at Bentley University Saturday when the Falcons, ranked second nationally in the USA Today Sports/ESPN/WBCA Division II coaches' poll, visit Southern New Hampshire University. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:30 pm.
Stevens, a 2006 inductee into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame, will bring a 27-year Bentley record of 699-153 into the SNHU Field House following a 54-42 win at St. Michael's College earlier this week that boosted this year's team to 4-0 (3-0 Northeast-10). Overall, Stevens' record stands at 856-244 with her win total ranking sixth all-time.
During her first 26 seasons on the Bentley bench, Stevens' teams have averaged 26.7 wins while earning a dozen NCAA Division II regional championships and 16 regular season conference titles.
This season, the Falcons are currently one of three remaining unbeatens in the Northeast-10, a distinction they share with Assumption College and Stonehill College. Southern New Hampshire had an unblemished record until Wednesday when it lost at Franklin Pierce University, 69-51.
Bentley's three All-Northeast-10 performers, a list headed by All-America junior forward Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS), sit atop the scoring list for the Falcons. Battista averages 14 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 51 percent from the field and 89.5 percent from the foul line, all team bests.
Senior guard Courtney Finn (Winthrop/Winthrop HS) follows at 11.5 points, and junior forward Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg/Wachusett Reg. HS) is up to 9.8 after netting 11.7 ppg over the last three. Rounding out the starting unit are guards Christiana Bakolas (Manchester, N.H./Central HS) and Kelsey Roberson (Arlington/Arlington Catholic HS).
Sophomore guard Kelsey Mattice (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero North Syracuse HS), a transfer from Maine, became the third non-starter to score in doubles for the Falcons this season when she buried three trifectas en route to a career-best 11 points Wednesday.
Southern New Hampshire opened the season with wins over St. Michael's College, Saint Anselm College and Chestnut Hill College, but has yet to score 60 points in regulation this season. That's despite having three double-figure scorers and being one of the NE-10's best in three-point shooting (.397).
Six-foot-one senior Sloane Sorrell is off to a strong senior season, averaging 15.3 points and 9.3 rebounds while shooting 52 percent overall. Senior guard Michelle DeRoma and junior forward Victoria Wiseman are the team's other double-figure scorers, both averaging an even 10.
The two games between the two clubs last year couldn't have been more different. The Falcons won both, but the first was decided by 33 points and the second went right down to the wire, with a late Battista basket resulting in a 54-53 victory.
Next week, the Falcons will be at home twice, hosting Franklin Pierce Tuesday and Stonehill Saturday.