WALTHAM, Mass. – For the 32nd time in the last 35 years, and the 33rd time in program history, the Bentley University women's basketball team has reached the 20-win milestone.
The Falcons, ranked third nationally in Division II, improved to 20-2 overall and 14-2 Northeas-10 with an 86-70 win over Assumption College Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center. The Greyhounds, who held a two-point halftime lead before Bentley took control with a 31-point third quarter, slid to 7-14 (4-12 NE10) with their fifth straight loss.
Bentley, in a bounce-back win after a midweek loss, were led by graduate guard Becca Musgrove (Plainview, N.Y./St. Anthony's HS) and junior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy). They combined for 36 with Musgrove scoring 19 on 8-of-10 shooting and Lux knocking down 9 of 12 free throws en route to 17 points.
It was a 19-3 run over the first 5:44 of the third quarter in which the game turned around, a two-point deficit becoming a 56-43 Falcon advantage. Lux tied the game at 39 with two free throws on the opening possession of the third and junior guard Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) hit a jumper in the paint 28 seconds later for the game's sixth and final lead change.
That stretch, which saw Assumption commit six early fouls and misfire on seven of its first eight shots, included Bentley spurts of 6-0, 6-0 and 7-0. The first included four free throws by Lux, the second a Musgrove triple and two more Lux free throws and the third two inside baskets from sophomore forward Monica Viapiano (Holden/Holy Name HS).
Bentley's lead remained in double figures for all but 30 seconds the rest of the way, peaking at 86-68 on a three fired by senior guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./Gill St. Bernard HS) with just about a minute to play.
Bentley went into the halftime break on the short end of a 39-37 score after giving up 24 second-quarter points, including a run of seven straight to close out the stanza.
The Falcons had led by 10 early, 16-6, following a pair of three-balls from senior guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School), another from Lewis and a traditional three-point play made by junior guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS).
Assumption answered with a 24-9 run over the next 7:25, a run fueled by five three-pointers. That produced a 30-25 lead with 5:48 left in the second, at which point the visitors were shooting 61 percent overall and 6-of-9 from three.
The next three-and-a-half minutes belonged to Bentley with a 12-2 run turning the five-point deficit into a 37-32 advantage. Seven of those points, including the last five, were scored by Musgrove.
The Hounds answered right back, scoring the final seven to take the halftime lead.
Musgrove (4 rebounds, 2 assists, 0 turns) and Lux (6 rebounds, 3 assists) were joined in doubles by Lewis and freshman forward Marissa Fontaine (Franklin/Bishop Feehan HS), who combined for 21 off the bench. Lewis had 11 in just 13 minutes and Fontaine drilled two triples en route to 10 points.
Five players scored in doubles for Assumption with senior forward Kiera O'Donnell (Cheshire, Conn.) topping the list with 14 points.
Bentley had a strong shooting performance, finishing at .500 overall, including 10 of 21 from three, while Assumption connected at a .426 clip. The Falcons also had the edge in rebounds (34-20), turnovers (11-13), points off turns (20-4) and points in the paint (34-24).
The Falcons return to action Wednesday when they'll look to even the series with Southern New Hampshire up in Manchester, N.H. in a game that will be broadcast by Fox College Sports. The Penmen upended the Falcons in their previous meeting, 73-68.