WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS) scored a career-high 21 points and junior forward Monica Viapiano (Holden/Wachusett Reg. HS) added 16 off the bench as Bentley University, ranked 11th in Division II, improved to 13-1 overall with a 74-59 win over LIU Post in non-conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
The two were a combined 15 of 19 from the field with Viapiano making eight of ten and McConnell seven of nine.
The Falcons took a 36-20 into the halftime break after limiting the Pioneers to just eight field goals in 30 attempts during the first 20 minutes.
The opening half featured a pair of 9-0 Bentley runs, one late in each quarter. The first put Bentley in front to stay, making it an 18-9 score. Junior guard Julia Ford (Charlton/Noble and Greenough) broke a 9-all tie with a triple from the right corner. Viapiano made a pair of inside baskets with two free throws by McConnell sandwiched in between.
The second made it 36-19 with 20 seconds remaining in the half. Sophomore guard Katie Meriggioii (Waunakee, Wis./Edgewood HS) made two free throws, six-foot-two classmate Erin Nolan (Binghamton, N.Y./Susquehanna Valley HS) scored the next five with both a three and a lay-up, and Meriggioli made a lay-up.
After Bentley's lead peaked at 43-23 early in the third, LIU Post embarked on a 16-4 run to reduce its deficit to single figures, 47-39. That surge included three-pointers by four different players.
The Falcons countered by scoring the next six points, three apiece by Meriggioli and senior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy), and were up by 14, 54-39, with less than a minute remaining in the third.
In the fourth, Bentley maintained a double-figure lead and was ahead by as many as 17, 69-52 with 4:25 left after Ford's second three-ball.
Bentley's scoring also included nine points from Meriggioli, eight from 'Ford and seven from sophomore forward Marissa Fontaine (Franklin/Bishop Feehan HS), along with six rebounds and five assists.
Grad student and forward Sasha Patterson (Brooklyn, N.Y.) led 10-3 LIU Post with 18 points and eight rebounds.
Bentley outshot the Pioneers 48-35 percent, doubled the visitors in the paint (44-22) and controlled the boards by a dozen, 43-31.
The Falcons will face another two-loss team, Le Moyne, on Wednesday when it concludes a five-game home stand and resumes Northeast-10 Conference play. Tip-off is at 5:30 pm.