GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Senior guard Courtney Finn (Winthrop, Mass./Winthrop HS) scored 20 points, including 15 in the second half, and claimed ten rebounds as Bentley University took control with a 41-10 explosion and went on to a 66-53 win over Adelphi University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Wednesday night at the Center for Recreation and Sports.
Bentley, the number two ranked team in Division II, improved to 16-0 overall and 12-0 in the NE-10 while extending its winning streak against East Region opposition to 29 games. Coupled with American International's 59-55 upset of Stonehill, it also stretched the Falcons' NE-10 lead to two games.
After a rough start, Bentley found itself facing a double-digit deficit for the second straight game, 16-5, a little more than five minutes into the contest. The Panthers made six of their first eight shots while the Falcons had trouble finding the basket, misfiring on nine of their first 11.
Still down 11 with a little less than 11 minutes in the first half, the Falcons used a bench-fueled 13-2 run to even the score at 25 apiece with 4:38 left. Reserves had the middle nine, including four points from junior forward Tyler Parker Kimball (New Britain, Conn./New Britain HS) and a banked-in three from senior guard Chrystal Guarin (Aliso Viejo, Calif./Troy HS).
After Adelphi temporarily slowed the Falcons and regained a two-point lead, Bentley ran off six in a row, a run launched by a three-ball from senior guard Kelsey Roberson (Arlington, Mass./Arlington Catholic HS).
Bentley led by two at the break, 31-29, following just the third AU field goal of the final 10:30. After starting the game 8 of 12, the Panthers made only 3 of their final 16 first-half shots.
The Falcon momentum carried into the second half as Adelphi turned the ball over on seven of its first ten possessions after play resumed. Four different Bentley players combined on a 7-0 run to start the half, and that grew to a 22-4 explosion after eight-and-a-half minutes, with the lead hitting 20, 53-33.
Coupled with the strong finish to the first half, Bentley outscored the home team 41-10 over a span of nearly 20 minutes.
A late 2-2 spurt brought Adelphi to within 10 with 72 seconds left, but Bentley locked it up by hitting three free throws in the final 50 seconds, including two by Finn.
Finn, who was coming off a career-best Saturday at Saint Rose, struggled with her shot inside the arc but buried three of seven from downtown. Brugliera, with 13, and junior All-America forward Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS), with 11, were the other double-figure scorers for Bentley, with Brugliera also contributing eight rebounds.
The Falcons also received eight points and four assists from Roberson and nine rebounds off the bench from Parker Kimball, along with six points and a couple steals.
Adelphi's offense featured junior guard Sade Jackson (Hackensack, N.J.), who filled the stat sheet with 17 points, 10 rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and two steals.
Adelphi outshot the Falcons 41-38 percent, but Bentley had a 7-4 edge in threes and ten more free throw attempts, 17-7. Bentley also controlled the boards to the tune of 46-32, and was also more effective at capitalizing on turnovers, finishing with a 22-10 edge in points off despite AU only having one more giveaway (17-16).
Bentley will be at home for its next two, the short homestand beginning Saturday with a 1:30 pm encounter with the University of New Haven.