PHILADELPHIA, Pa. -- Sophomore post Erin Mann (West Chester, Pa.) was a force inside, finishing with 25 points and 11 rebounds, and senior forward Catherine Carr (Bernardsville, N.J.) added 18 points and 10 assists as Holy Family University rallied for a 92-84 win over Bentley University in a season-opening women's basketball matchup between two nationally-ranked Division II programs at the HFU Campus Center.
Holy Family, which reached the NCAA Division II East Regional championship game a year ago, was ranked number five in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Division II coaches poll and Bentley was number 24.
In a game that saw 12 lead changes and 11 ties, junior guard Katherine Goodwin (Goffstown, N.H./Governor's Academy) led Bentley's balanced scoring attack with 15 points and senior forward Elise Caira (Wakefield/Arlington Catholic HS) filled the stat sheet with 14 points on 7-of-11 shooting, nine boards, five assists and three steals.
After the Falcons seemingly scored at will for the first 26 minutes (66 points at that juncture on 61 percent shooting), they embarked on a lengthy dry spell with only six points over a stretch of 10-plus minutes. That enabled Holy Family to turn a five-point deficit into a 10-point lead with a 21-6 burst. Mann and forward Samantha Thompson (Southampton, Pa.) each provided nine points during that span.
That run began with the Tigers scoring ten straight to take a 71-66 advantage. Bentley briefly came alive, using a long three from junior Meghan Thomann (Andover, Mass./Andover HS) and a Caira lay-up to even the count at 71 apiece. However, 11 of the next 12 points went on the Holy Family side of the scoreboard, producing the first double-figure differential of the night.
Bentley pulled within seven with about 49 seconds left, but Holy Family secured the outcome by hitting five of six free throws the rest of the way.
Holy Family's decisive run wasn't the only one in the back-and-forth contest. After the home team went up 20-16, Bentley embarked on a 19-6 spurt to open its biggest lead, 35-26. Sophomore guard Courtney Finn (Winthrop, Mass./Winthrop HS) changed the momentum by drawing a charge, and six different players provided the scoring.
The Tigers countered with a 14-2 spurt of their own to retake the lead at 40-37. A Finn three with 1:32 left in the half put Bentley up three, but Holy Family went into intermission up a deuce after a triple from senior forward Meghan Gibson (Philadelphia, Pa.).
Bentley shot 59 percent in the half, received scoring from nine different players and had eight players record at least one assist. Holy Family also shot well, hitting five of eight threes and 49 percent overall.
Bentley hit its first three shots of the second half, five of its first six and seven of its first 10 to regain the advantage at 66-61. Goodwin had the hot hand, with eight points in the first four minutes of the second.
Goodwin and Caira were followed in the scoring column by Finn with nine, senior guard Kim Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) and freshman forwards Lauren Battista (North Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames HS) and Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg, Mass./Wachusett Reg. HS). Brennan, Battista and Brugliera each tallied eight points, with the latter also grabbing six rebounds.
Holy Family, which had five players score in doubles, had the advantage in second-chance points (15-10), points off turnovers (20-12) and at the line (nine more makes, 14 more attempts). Bentley shot better overall, 49-44 percent, but the Tigers were more efficient from three, sinking eight of 15.
The Falcons are back in action Wednesday night, hosting Merrimack College at 5:30 pm in the home and Northeast-10 Conference opener.
At Philadelphia, Pa.
HOLY FAMILY 92, BENTLEY 84
BENTLEY (0-1) -- Katherine Goodwin 5-12 3-3 15; Elise Caira 7-11 0-0 14; Courtney Finn 3-3 1-1 9; Lauren Battista 3-6 2-2 8; Jacqui Brugliera 4-8 0-1 8; Kim Brennan 2-9 3-4 8; Meghan Thomann 2-4 0-0 6; Kelsey Roberson 2-4 0-0 6; Lauren Massie 1-3 2-2 4; Shatasia Kearse 2-4 0-0 4; Christiana Bakolas 1-1 0-0 2. Totals 32-65 11-13 84.
HOLY FAMILY (1-0) -- Erin Mann 9-20 7-9 25; Catherine Carr 7-15 3-6 19; Meghan Gibson 5-10 2-2 16; Lindsey Tennett 6-11 2-3 14; Samantha Thompson 3-7 4-5 11; Lauren Peters 1-7 2-2 5; Molly Hanlon 1-2 0-0 2; Mary Ellen McCollum 0-0 0-0 0; Carolyne Heston 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 32-72 20-27 92.
Halftime: HF 48-47; 3-point goals--B 9-23 (Thomann 2-4; Goodwin 2-6; Finn 2-2; Roberson 2-4; Brennan 1-4; Massie 0-1; Brugliera 0-1; Battista 0-1), HF 8-15 (Gibson 4-6; Carr 2-4; Thompson 1-3; Peters 1-1; Hanlon 0-1). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--B 33 (Caira 9), HF 41 (Mann 11). Assists--B 23 (Roberson 6), HF 22 (Carr 10). Total fouls--B 18, HF 14. Technical fouls-- None.