With Stevens Closing in on History, No. 7 Bentley Takes 7-Game Win Streak to New Haven

Head coach Barbara Stevens with captains Macchi Smith (l) and Lauren Green
Head coach Barbara Stevens with captains Macchi Smith (l) and Lauren Green

WALTHAM, Mass. – The march towards history and a spot in the exclusive 1,000-win club for Bentley University women's basketball coach Barbara Stevens will resume Saturday afternoon when her team attempts to give her win number 999 during a 1:30 pm game at the University of New Haven. A live webcast from Charger Gym will be available at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/newhaven/.

Should Stevens and Bentley gain the victory on Saturday, she'll make her first attempt at win number 1,000 on Wednesday when the Falcons host Adelphi University (5:30 pm).

Bentley, ranked seventh in the WBCA Division II national coaches poll, will take records of 15-1 overall and 9-1 Northeast-10 to New Haven, along with a seven-game winning streak. The Falcons will be taking on a New Haven team that has won four of five to improve to even its record at 7-7, including 3-6 in conference play.

Stevens moved to within two of 1,000, a milestone only four women's college basketball coaches have previously achieved, on Wednesday when her team led from the opening basket en route to a 65-47 win at American International. It marked the ninth time this season that the Falcons have limited their opponent to 52 points or less.

During the current streak, five of the seven wins have come on the road with Stevens' team limiting the opposition to 53.6 points with shooting marks of .316 overall and .232 from deep. There have been two wire-to-wire wins and only in one of the games have the Falcons trailed by more than three.

Senior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS), third in program history in career three-pointers with 223, has raised her season accuracy mark from downtown to .448 after hitting 23 of 47 during the streak, including 16 of 28 since the holiday break. She's second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.4 while playing 21.2 minutes a game.

Also averaging in doubles for the Falcons are junior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/ Thornton Academy) and graduate guard Becca Musgrove (Plainview, N.Y./St. Anthony's HS), at 13.3 and 11.1, respectively. Lux is the conference's leading offensive rebounder (3.9) and Musgrove is tied for second in steals, coming up with 2.1 a game.

Stevens has gone with the same starting five for every game except the opener, with the above three joined by seniors Cassie Smith (Edison, N.J./Metuchen HS) and Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./ Windward School). Macchi averages 7.5 points, 4.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists, and Cassie is third in rebounds at 5.3.

The Bentley bench has accounted for nearly 40 percent of the scoring with six-one sophomore Monica Viapiano (Holden/Holy Name HS) topping the list at 7.9 points, 5.7 rebounds and a .517 field goal percentage.

Bentley will enter the game averaging nine three-pointers a game, nearly triple the 3.3 that New Haven makes per game. For the season, the Falcons have outscored their opponents by over 230 points from downtown and the Chargers have been given up 99 more than they've scored from beyond the arc.

The Falcons average 78.2 points and give up 55.7 a game, ranking first in the NE10 in both categories. New Haven scores and allows slightly over 60 a game, good for 11th in offense and 10th in defense.

Like Bentley, the Chargers have three double-figure scorers with junior guard Alexandria Kerr, a recent NE10 Player of the Week leading she way. She has hit 19 of her team's 46 threes and is averaging 14.9 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.7 steals.

The other two are junior guard Allieyah Cubbage and freshman guard Brie Pergola, both at ten-and-a-half points a game.