Lux, M. Smith Lead No. 3 Bentley to 5-0, 90-79 over NYIT

Macchi Smith
Macchi Smith

WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) scored 23 points and senior point guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School) added 17 points, seven assists and seven rebounds as Bentley University stayed undefeated with a 90-79 win over the New York Institute of Technology in non-conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.

Bentley, ranked third in this week's WBCA Division II national coaches poll, improved to 5-0 while NYIT dipped to 3-3.

An 11-2 Falcon run to finish the third quarter opened up the first double-figure lead of the afternoon, turning a one-point game into a 71-61 Bentley advantage. Sophomore forward Monica Viapiano (Holden/Holy Name HS) got it started with a second-chance basket, Smith scored on a driving lay-up and grad student Becca Musgrove (Plainview, N.Y./St. Anthony's HS) sank one of two from the line to make it 65-61.

After a Bear basket, Bentley scored the final six points of the third on two lay-ups by Viapiano and one by Musgrove.

With NYIT within five points with four minutes left, freshman forward Marissa Fontaine (Franklin/Bishop Feehan HS) drained consecutive three-pointers and Smith dropped in a six-foot runner. That produced a game-high 13-point advantage, 88-75 with 2:11 remaining.

Prior to the final minute of the third, the biggest lead of the game had come in the opening stanza when an 8-0 burst put Bentley up 19-10. Senior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) accounted for six of the eight with a pair of three-pointers.

In the second, NYIT tied the game at 27-all with 4:42 left on a three-pointer by junior Madison Strippoli (Ossining, N.Y.) and took a  30-29 lead on a three by grad student Maia Hood (Elmsford, N.Y.) about a minute-and-a-half later.

The Bears eventually stretched their lead to six before Smith scored the final four of the half to send Bentley into intermission down by two, 41-39.

In the third, five straight points by Musgrove accounted for the eighth and final lead change, putting Bentley up 55-51 with 5:31 to play.

Lux, who came within one rebound of a third straight double-double, collected seven of her nine at the offensive end and made 10 of her 16 shot attempts. Smith, in addition to the numbers mentioned earlier, had six steals and no turnovers in a standout all-around game. She also did an outstanding job containing NYIT senior guard Nina Vukosavljevic (Belgrade, Serbia), a 16.2 point-per-game scorer who finished with more turnovers (7) than points (6).

Musgrove, seven of ten from the floor, also scored 17 points and Green followed with 14 points and four assists.

Hood had a big game for the Bears, finishing with 25 points. She was 8-of-14 overall and 7-of-10 at the foul line.

NYIT shot better (47-43 percent overall, 8-7 3's, 13-11 FT), but Bentley took 83 shots, 21 more than the visitors. That was due to a 19-8 advantage in offensive rebounds and only six turnovers, ten fewer than NYIT. The Falcons outrebounded the Bears 47-38, including 25-16 in the second half.

Bentley will be right back on the Dana Center floor Sunday with a 2 pm game against the University of Bridgeport.