WALTHAM, Mass. – It's rare when a player reaches the 2,000 career point milestone. A player amassing 1,000 career rebounds also very seldom happens.
Bentley University senior All-America Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) reached both of those marks Wednesday night as the Falcons, ranked 19th nationally in Division II, hit the 20-win threshold for the 28th time in Barbara Stevens' 31 years as head coach with an 84-68 win over Southern New Hampshire University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action at the Dana Center.
Bentley, which had already wrapped up the NE10 Northeast Division title, improved to 20-4 overall and 16-1 conference.
Gemma, the first player in program history to reach both lofty plateaus, filled the stat sheet with a game-high 21 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal. She finished the game with 2,001 points and 1,005 rebounds.
Rebound number 1,000 came with a little less than four minutes in the first quarter as she became the third Falcon to collect that many, joining Alison Fay '84 and Kelly Barker '01.
Gemma became Bentley's second 2,000-point scorer, joining Lauren Battista '14, with a lay-up with 7:45 left in the fourth off a feed from junior forward Cassie Smith (Edison, N.J./Metuchen HS). With four regular season and an indeterminate number of postseason games remaining, she trails Battista by 111 points.
Bentley took charge of the game with a 16-2 burst that started with a Gemma three with 1:49 left in the opening quarter. That run, which included seven points by the reigning NE10 Player of the Week and five from junior guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./Gill St. Bernard School), made it a 32-19 game with just under six minutes left in the first half.
The halftime spread stood at 11, 39-28, with Gemma, junior guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School) and sophomore guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS) combining for 30 points on 12 of 18 shooting. Gemma had 11 in the half, McConnell netted ten off the bench without missing a shot, and Macchi Smith helped out with nine.
Any hopes the Penmen (10-14, 5-12 NE10) had of making a comeback were dashed when Bentley finished the third quarter with a 10-2 run that made it a 19-point spread, 62-43. The Falcon lead peaked at 26, 73-47, when Macchi Smith scored with 6:13 left.
Gemma was followed in the scoring column by Macchi Smith, who finished with 20 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. McConnell finished with 13 points on five-of-five shooting with three trifectas.
Southern New Hampshire was led by sophomore forward Kylie Lorenzen (Holliston) with 18 points.
Bentley shot a season-high .600, hitting at least half of its shots in each quarter. Southern New Hampshire finished at .444, a percentage inflated by an 11-of-14 effort in the fourth. There were 17 free throws in the game, all taken by the Falcons who made 11 of them.
The Falcons had a 48-30 advantage in points in the paint and two less turnovers (12-14). Stats that favored the visitors were three-pointers (8-7) and rebounds (33-31).
Bentley will be back at home on Saturday, hosting Franklin Pierce at 1:30. It will be the team's Play4Kay Game and also the alumni day.