WALTHAM, Mass. – The combination of 48 points in the paint and nine three-pointers, including four by senior guard Kelsey Roberson (Arlington/Arlington Catholic HS), helped propel the undefeated Bentley University Falcons to a 79-49 win over St. Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Tuesday night at the Dana Center.
Everyone in uniform scored for the Falcons, who improved to 22-0 overall and 18-0 in the NE-10 while extending its East Region win streak to 35 and notching its 21st consecutive Dana Center victory. With four regular season games left, Bentley leads the conference by three-and-a-half games over Stonehill, which plays third-place UMass-Lowell Wednesday night.
After St. Michael's scored the game's opening bucket, Bentley reeled off ten unanswered to take a lead it would never give up. Senior guard Courtney Finn (Winthrop/Winthrop HS) got things started for the Falcons with a three-ball from the left side, junior guard Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg/Wachusett Reg. HS) followed with a put-back, Roberson drained her first triple from the left corner, and Finn drove baseline for a 10-2 lead.
Later in the half, Bentley stretched its lead to 30-9 with a 14-0 burst, the 25th time this season the Falcons have put together a run of at least 10 straight. Junior All-America forward Lauren Battisa (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS), who moved ahead of Lauren Fuller '02 into 13th on the program's all-time scoring list, had six of the 14, and both sophomore Kelsey Mattice (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero North Syracuse HS) and freshman Jane White (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan HS) each dropped in a three.
Two more White treys and one by Roberson made it a 39-13 game with a minute left in the opening half, and the lead stood at 25 at the break, 41-16.
St. Michael's (9-13, 7-11 NE-10) never got closer than that in the second half as Bentley scored the first five (a Brugliera put-back and a Roberson three) for a 30-point bulge. The Falcon lead eventually peaked at 38, 71-33, with 6:28 left.
Roberson led a balanced scoring list for the Falcons with 12 points as she made four of six from downtown, and also contributed four assists. Finn just missed a double-double, finishing with 11 points and nine rebounds, and Mattice netted 11 off the bench. Battista was the fourth Falcon in doubles, with her line including 10 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three steals. White just missed joining that group with three triples for nine points.
Senior forward Nicole Adach (Schenectady, N.Y.) was the only Purple Knight to score more than five points as she finished with 14 points and seven boards.
The Bentley defense turned in another stellar effort, limiting the visitors to just 26 percent shooting while coming up with 13 steals. The Falcons converted 18 Purple Knight turns into 33 points and a +22 differential in that category.
Bentley only attempted three free throws (14 fewer than SMC) but had one of its best shooting games of the season, finishing at .507 overall and .500 from three (9-18). In addition to a 33-11 bulge in points off turnovers, the Falcons also had significant advantages in points in the paint (48-10), second chance points (23-11), fast break points (13-0) and bench points (38-11).
Bentley will conclude the two-game homestand Saturday afternoon with a 1:30 Senior Day and Play4Kay game against Southern New Hampshire.