COLCHESTER, Vt. – Junior Jen Gemma (Milton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) and freshman Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) put up double-doubles, combining for 37 points and 26 rebounds, and sophomore guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) added 18 points as Bentley University overcame a 16-point deficit to defeat St. Michael's College, 77-71, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Ross Sports Center.
Gemma powered her way to 21 points and 14 rebounds for her sixth double-double of the season (and 21st career) while Lux established career bests with 16 points and 11 boards for her first double-double.
The win in Barbara Stevens' 1200th game as a college head coach lifted the Falcons to 8-2 overall and 4-2 in the Northeast-10. St. Michael's dropped to 3-6 and 1-5.
Bentley took a 58-53 lead into the final quarter but quickly fell behind as the Purple Knights scored the first eight points of the fourth. A three-point play the traditional way by senior Makenzie Burud (Red Hook, N.Y.) tied the game at 58 and a three-ball from sophomore Leah Spencer (Brockton, Mass.) put the home team back in front.
With their team down four with under six on the clock, consecutive inside baskets by Gemma and Lux knotted the game at 65 and launched a 10-2 surge that put the Falcons in front to stay. Gemma had a total of six during that spurt and sophomore guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School) hit a runner in the lane for a 71-67 Bentley lead with 3:20 to play.
After Spencer made one of two at the line to bring her team within two with 1:18 left, Lux made an inside shot and the Falcons connected on two of four free throws. Bentley also got it done at the defensive end in the final minute with blocks by freshman guard Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) and Gemma.
Bentley went into the halftime break down six, 42-36, following a 20-10 run over the final 7:05 of the second that cut significantly into what had been a 16-point Purple Knight lead. St. Michael's, on the strength of 58 percent first-quarter shooting, closed the opening stanza with an 18-5 run to go up 24-12 and stretched it to 32-16 two-and-a-half minutes into the second.
Green and Gemma combined for 24 of Bentley's first-half points and junior guard Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass.) had a big first 20 minutes for St. Michael's, throwing in five three-pointers in six attempts for 18 points.
Bentley doubled St. Michael's in the third, 22-11, including a 10-4 run over the final 4:15. Included was a three-pointer and a free throw by freshman guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS).
Bentley, in addition to the advantage in field goal percentage, outrebounded St. Michael's 46-32 and spent more time at the line, 14 of 21 as compared to 6 of 11. The Purple Knights turned the ball over only seven times and had an 18-8 edge in points off.
Bentley will be back at it a week from Sunday when they visit LIU Post.