WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) posted her 12th double-double of the season, finishing with 15 points and 13 rebounds, and three teammates joined her in double figures as Bentley University topped St. Michael's College, 75-63, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Wednesday evening at the Dana Center.
Bentley, ranked 14th in the latest Women's Basketball Coaches Association Division II national coaches poll, improved to 22-3 overall and 16-3 conference. St. Michael's fell to 8-16 overall (5-14 NE10) after being outscored by a slim margin in each quarter.
There were three runs that proved instrumental in Bentley gaining career win 1,005, fourth most in NCAA women's basketball history, for coach Barbara Stevens. There was a 17-6 spurt that encompassed much of the first quarter, a 10-2 over the final four minutes of the first half and 11 unanswered bridging the third and fourth quarters.
After St. Michael's opened the scoring with a three-ball, Bentley scored 17 of the game's next 23 points to go up 17-9 with 2:45 left in the first. Lux was a force during that surge, scoring eight of the 17, and graduate guard Becca Musgrove (Plainview, N.Y./St. Anthony's HS) helped out with a trey and two free throws.
The Purple Knights twice tied the game in the second quarter, the second time at 26-all. Freshman forward Marissa Fontaine (Franklin/Bishop Feehan HS) broke the deadlock with a three from the top of the key, a basket that ignited a 10-2 run and sent the Falcons into the break up eight, 36-28. That stretch also included traditional three-point plays from senior guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./ Gill St. Bernard School) and Lux.
After St. Michael's closed within six with just under a minute left in the third stanza, Bentley scored five unanswered in the final 40 seconds before the horn sounded. Bennett drained a three from the right wing and Musgrove came up with a steal and a lay-up.
Once play resumed, senior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) connected on a couple mid-range jumpers and Fontaine scored on a break after coming up with a steal. That made it 68-51 with 6:19 to play and St. Michael's never got closer than a dozen the rest of the way.
Lux amassed her 15 points by making five of nine from the floor and sinking all five of her free throws. She also helped with two steals and a block. Musgrove complemented her 12 points with three dimes and three steals, and both Green and Bennett followed with ten points. The Falcons also received nine apiece off the bench from sophomore forward Monica Viapiano (Holden/Holy Name HS) and junior guard Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England).
Senior guard Leah Spencer (Brockton) had a strong game for the Purple Knights, finishing with 20 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals. St. Michael's also received 15 points, along with six rebounds and three steals, from junior guard Emily Ferrari (Hyde Park, N.Y.).
Bentley outshot the visitors 44-38 percent and also had the advantage in rebounds (46-35), free throws (15-18 as compared to 4-6) and points off turnovers (20-10).
The Falcons will be back at home Saturday for a Senior Day and Play4Kay game against Merrimack, with the opening tip set for 12 noon.