Assumption Rallies to Beat No. 24 Bentley in OT, 78-72; Gemma Scores 31

Jen Gemma
Jen Gemma

WORCESTER, Mass. – Assumption College closed regulation with a 9-2 run over the final four minutes and limited Bentley University to just 11 percent shooting in overtime to claim a 78-72 victory over the 24th-ranked (Division II) Falcons in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Tuesday night at Laska Gymnasium.

The loss, the Falcons' first of the season after four wins, spoiled a 31-point, 12-rebound double-double for junior forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy). It was the fourth time in her career that she has put that number up on the scoreboard.

Bentley, which had trailed by as many as 10 in the second quarter, turned things around and had a seven-point advantage, 66-59, with four minutes left in the fourth after a pair of Gemma free throws.

The comeback by the undefeated Greyhounds (5-0, 3-0 NE-10) began with a three-pointer from junior guard Morgan O'Brien (Laconia, N.H.) and a driving lay-up from classmate Allison Stoddard (East Lyme, Conn.). After a Gemma lay-up put the Falcons back up four with 1:26 to play, Assumption again closed to within two on a lay-up by junior forward Jaclyn Storey (Cumberland, Maine) with 37.5 seconds left.

Bentley committed one of its 21 turnovers on its next possession, giving the ball back to the home team with 11.5 showing on the clock. Stoddard was fouled attempting a corner three with 5.9 seconds to play and after missing the first, made the next two to even things at 68 apiece. The Falcons' final possession of regulation ended with a travel with 0.4 ticks left.

A runner in the paint by Bentley sophomore guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) with 3:32 in OT gave the Falcons the first points of the extra session, but the next seven went up on the Assumption side of the scoreboard, beginning with a three from freshman forward Morgan O'Donnell (Easton).

Two free throws by freshman Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) reduced the Falcon deficit to three, 75-72, with 47.7 seconds left but Bentley got no closer, the Hounds locking up the win by making three of four charity tosses in the final 30 seconds.

The Falcons went into the halftime intermission down six, 41-35, as Assumption capitalized on nine Bentley giveaways (resulting in 16 points) and hot shooting from three (7 of 13). Stoddard and guard Kelly Carey (Long Beach, N.Y.) combined to make five of six in the half.

Most of Bentley's first half scoring came inside, powered by Gemma, and at the line with the Falcons seven of nine. Gemma had 16 of her points by the break, making eight of 12, and also had five first-half rebounds.

Bentley came alive over the final six minutes of the third, outscoring the Hounds 16-3 to erase a 10-point deficit. Five different players contributed scoring over that stretch with Green scoring five of her 11 and both Gemma and junior center Melina Kollia (Athens, Greece) adding four.

The Falcon lead hit seven points three times in the fourth before Assumption staged its rally to force the OT.

Gemma achieved her 31 on 13 of 22 from the floor and four free throws in as many attempts. Her rebounds were evenly divided at each end of the court. In addition to Green's 11, Bentley received eight from lux and seven from freshman guard Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England).

Stoddard and O'Brien each scored 18 for Assumption with Stoddard also registering six assists and five rebounds.

Bentley dominated the boards, 46-30, including 17 at the offensive end, but Assumption had a big edge in second chance points, 17-7. Points off turnovers also favored the Hounds, 25-19, with the home team committing 14, seven fewer that the visitors.

Bentley, now 2-1 in conference play, will host Indianapolis in a non-conference game Saturday at 4 pm.