WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior All-America forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) buried two three-pointers during a game-opening 10-0 run and finished with 18 points and nine rebounds as Bentley University led all the way for a 78-54 win over Le Moyne College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Bentley, number 21 in the latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division II coaches' poll, improved to 15-4 overall after winning for the 11th time in 12 conference games. Le Moyne fell to .500 overall (9-9) and 5-7 NE10.
The opening salvo saw the Falcons explode for ten points in the first minute-and-a-half. In addition to the two triples from Gemma, sophomore forward Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/ Thornton Academy) made a pair of inside baskets.
Later in the first, Bentley extended its led to 15, 25-10 with 2:54 to play, on the strength of a 15-6 burst that began with a pair of lay-ups by Lux and a corner three from junior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS). The difference stood at 13 after the opening stanza, 29-16, with the Falcons shooting 61 percent overall and making four of seven from deep.
Neither team could get anything going offensively in the second quarter with Bentley taking a 36-25 lead into the halftime break despite making just one of ten from the field in the period.
The third quarter belonged to Bentley junior guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./Gill St. Bernard School), who buried four three-pointers and scored all of her 14 points in the stanza. Two of those triples came during an 8-0 run that made it a 57-35 game with 3:36 left.
Any hopes the Dolphins had of making a comeback vanished when Bentley opened the fourth with a 9-2 burst, including a three-point play from junior guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./ Windward School), to push an 18-point lead to 24, 67-43. Smith finished with career-high ten rebounds, seven points and seven assists.
Gemma, who finished the game with exactly 1,900 career points, made five of six shots overall, including both her free throws, and knocked down six of seven from the line. She also filled the stat sheet with three assists and a block.
Lux was Bentley's third double-figure scorer, finishing with 12 points on six-of-seven shooting.
Freshman guard McKayla Roberts (North Syracuse, N.Y.), Le Moyne's top scorer for the season, paced the Dolphins with 14 points, six rebounds and two assists. She made half of her ten shots, including four of six threes, while her teammates were a combined 15 of 49.
Bentley finished with a .519 field goal percentage while limiting the visitors to .322, including just .250 from inside the three-point line. Le Moyne made 11 triples while the Falcons sank nine, hitting half of their attempts from long distance.
Bentley also had a big edge at the line (15-19 as compared to 5-8), 11 more rebounds (39-28) and a 34-6 domination in points in the paint. The Falcons also recorded a 22-13 advantage in points off turnovers despite giving the ball away 20 times. Le Moyne was also careless with the ball, losing it 18 times.
Bentley will play its next two on the road, beginning Wednesday at Saint Rose.