WALTHAM, Mass. – The post tandem of senior Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) and junior Monica Viapiano (Holden/Wachusett Reg. HS) combined for 30 points to lead Bentley University to a 63-58 win over American International College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Wednesday night at the Dana Center.
Lux finished with 17 points, including nine in the third, and Viapiano added 13 as the Falcons, ranked 16th nationally in Division II, improved to 15-2 overall and a conference-best 9-1 NE10. AIC dropped to 9-8 overall and 4-5 conference.
After eight ties and seven lead changes during the opening half that ended with the home team down one, Bentley outscored the Yellow Jackets 18-7 in the third to claim a 50-40 lead.
The Falcons came out of the locker room with seven straight points, opening a 39-33 lead. Junior guard Maddy Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant HS) made a pair of free throws, Lux followed with a free throw and a put-back and Viapiano scored inside.
The run grew to 15-4 and the lead hit double figures for the first time, 47-37 with 1:51 showing, after a 6-0 burst that included three points from Lux.
After a foul-line jumper from senior guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS) put Bentley up 12 with seven minutes to go, AIC got back in the contest with eight unanswered, including four from the game's high scorer, six-one senior Dana Watts (Rochester, N.Y.).
Ford quieted the visitors with a driving lay-up with 3:06 left, making it 58-52, and took a charge a minute-and-a-half later with the score the same.
After an AIC basket, Bentley made five of six free throws in the final 30 seconds, including two apiece from Ford and McConnell.
Lux, in addition to 17, had five rebounds, two assists and was a +14. She and Viapiano were joined in doubles by Ford, who came off the bench to match her career-high of 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Sophomore guard Katie Meriggioli (Waunakee, Wis./Edgewood HS) scored only six, half of her team-leading average, but came up with a career-high 15 rebounds.
Watts, less than 100 points from 2,000, finished with 21 points and ten rebounds for AIC.
Bentley limited the Jackets to 30 percent shooting and only 2 of 15 from outside the arc. The Falcons also hit only two from deep, but shot better (.382) and had a big edge at the line, making 19 of 27 to AIC's six of nine.
The Falcons will be back in the Dana Center for a 3:30 game against New Haven on Saturday. Following the contest, the Barbara Stevens court dedication will be held.