WALTHAM, Mass. – Freshman guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) matched her career-high with 21 points and junior co-captain Jane White (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan HS) followed with a season-best 13 as Bentley University opened 2015 with a 66-51 win over Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
It was the third straight win for the defending NCAA Division II national champions, who shot an even .500 from deep, knocking down 11 of 22 three-point attempts. Green and White led the barrage from deep, combining to make nine of 12.
A 10-0 run sandwiched around halftime broke a 26-all tie and put the Falcons in front to stay. White got it started by banking in a three from the right wing and a long baseline jumper from freshman guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./Gill St. Bernard's School) sent Bentley into the locker room up 31-26.
Senior guard Kelsey Mattice (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero North Syracuse HS) began the second-half scoring with a fall-away from the baseline and Green followed with a three-ball from the left side, making it 36-26.
White, who had missed the team's last two games after averaging just 2.6 in the first nine contests, connected twice from long distance during a 9-2 spurt that made it a 14-point lead, 49-35, with about 12 minutes left.
Saint Anselm (4-7, 2-5 NE-10) got as close as nine twice during the remainder of the game, but both times the Falcons had an answer. Four straight points, including three from sophomore forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) made it 58-45 with 4:31 and Bentley closed out the game with a 6-0 spurt over the final 2:04.
Green, who previously scored 21 at St. Michael's Dec. 6, buried five of seven from outside and was eight of 11 overall. She also contributed five rebounds, a steal and an assist. White came off the bench to knock down four triples in five attempts and also had two assists in 15 turnover-free minutes.
Bentley also received 12 points, nine rebounds, five assists and a block from Gemma, the reigning two-time NE-10 Spalding Player of the Week. Mattice added seven points to the Falcon attack.
Bentley limited the Hawks to 29 percent shooting, a season-low for a Falcon opponent, including just 24 percent in the second half. The Falcons finished at .452 with the 11 triples matching a season-best.
Turnovers were even at 16 and Saint Anselm won the rebounding battle, 38-35.
Bentley, 7-5 overall and 2-5 NE-10, will be back in the Dana Center Monday at 7 pm for a non-conference encounter with LIU Post.