No. 1 Bentley Turns Over Georgian Court, 73-42; Gemma Continues Climb

Jen Gemma
Jen Gemma

LAKELAND, N.J. – Senior All-America forward Jen Gemma (Milton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) dropped in 18 points and moved into ninth on the program's all-time scoring list, junior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) drained five three-pointers and the Bentley University women's basketball team  scored 26 points off turnovers as the Falcons rolled to a 73-42 win over Georgian Court University Sunday afternoon in the GCU Invitational.

Bentley, the consensus preseason number one, held a second straight opponent under 50 points while completing the season-opening tournament with two wins. Georgian Court dropped to 1-1 on the season.

Coach Barbara Stevens' team established control early, putting together runs of 11-0 and 13-0 before the Lions reached double figures in the scoring column.

The opening spurt, after Georgian Court hit the game's first two baskets, featured five points by junior guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School) and four from Gemma.

The second run, which made it 26-9, started with 2:03 left in the opening quarter and continued for the first  2:37 of the second. Gemma scored four of the 13, as did junior guard Cassie Smith (Edison, N.J./Metuchen HS).

The first half lead peaked at 23, 34-11, following a free throw by senior center Melina Kollia (Athens, Greece) with 2:43 to play.

After the Lions drew within 15 with about three minutes left in the third quarter, Bentley put the game away by scoring 18 of the next 22 points to make it 67-38 with 3:24 to play. Gemma scored the first six and Kollia also tallied six during the spurt.

Gemma, who came within one rebound of a double-double, moved past Becky Davison '04 and Kim Penwell '93 on Bentley's scoring list and finished the game with 1,593 points. Green buried five of eight threes during a 17-point afternoon, and also had four assists and two steals. Macchi Smith scored 14, including at least three on coast-to-coast lay-ups, in addition to contributing five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 28 turnover-free minutes.

Cassie Smith also scored in doubles, providing 11 points, four rebounds and three assists in 18 productive minutes off the bench.

Junior guard Jaelyn Tweedy (Richmond, Va.) led Georgian Court with 12 points.

Bentley outshot the Lions 40-26 percent, enjoyed a +15 rebound margin (47-32) and forced 21 turnovers, seven more than the Falcons committed.

Bentley will play its home and Northeast-10 Conference opener Wednesday at 5:30 pm against Merrimack College.