MANCHESTER, N.H. – Freshmen guards Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) and Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School) combined for 37 points and nine three-pointers as Bentley University, number 19 in the most recent USA Today Sports/WBCA Division II coaches poll, posted a 62-58 win at Southern New Hampshire University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Tuesday night at the SNHU Fieldhouse.
Green buried five of eight triples with her 19 points and seven rebounds both career-bests, and Smith came off the bench to drain four of five from downtown and score a career-high 17, with three assists and two steals.
It was a three from the left side by Smith, with 13:10 left, that put Bentley in front to stay, 39-38, and launched the Falcons' second 8-0 run of the night. Senior guard Kelsey Mattice (Cicero, N.Y./ Cicero-North Syracuse HS) followed with another three-ball and freshmen guard Kristin Brown (Poulsbo, Wash./North Kitsap HS) scored on a driving lay-up to make it 44-38 with 11:40 to play.
The Penmen (2-3, 0-3 NE-10) closed to within two points three times over the final 7:20, the last on a fast-break lay-up by sophomore Sara Ryan (Quincy, Mass.) with 1:05 left.
Green answered with her fifth triple, this one from the right side, and Mattice made a pair of free throws, with the 5-0 burst giving Bentley its largest lead of the game, 61-54, with 25.4 seconds left.
Bentley went into the break with its biggest lead of the opening half, 34-30, after Smith sparked an 8-0 spurt over the final 1:25. She buried a three from the right wing, did the same from the opposite side of the court and inbounded the ball to Gemma for a 10-foot jumper with three seconds left.
It was a particularly productive opening half for Smith and Green with the two rookies combining for six baskets from downtown. Smith netted 13 points off the bench and Green sank three triples for nine points.
The Falcon lead didn't last long as an early second-half dry spell that exceeded four minutes enabled SNHU to score eight unanswered to take its only lead of the second half, 38-36. It lasted only 24 seconds, until Smith launched the Bentley 8-0 run with her trifecta.
Green, who entered the game only two-of-ten from three-point land, posted a career scoring best for the third straight game. Smith had also made only two threes in her first four career games before providing double-figures off the bench for the third consecutive contest.
Overall, Green made 7 of 13 shots and Smith 6 of 12 to carry the offense. The Falcons shot only 36 percent with the rest of the team a combined 8 of 34. Sophomore forward Jen Gemma (Milton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) registered her fifth straight double-double, 11 points and 11 rebounds, and Mattice had a season-best eight points. Sophomore forward Brittany Gregory (Fishkill, N.Y./John Jay HS) helped out at the defensive end with seven rebounds.
Senior guard Brooke Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H.) was the only double-figure scorer for SNHU, finishing with 15, along with six rebounds and two steals.
Most of the team stats were even or favored the home team, with the exception of three-pointers (11-2) and assists (16-7).
Bentley (3-2, 1-2 NE-10) is back at it on Saturday with a 1 pm non-conference game at Dowling College.