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Bentley University Falcons
136 Northeast-10 Championships
80 CoSIDA Academic All-Americas
2014 NCAA Div. II Women's Basketball National Champs
2001 NCAA Div. II Field Hockey National Champs
Women's Basketball: NCAA Record 35 NCAA tournaments

Brennan Scores 19 as #24 Bentley Opens NE-10 Schedule with 79-65 Win over Merrimack

Meghan Thomann
Meghan Thomann

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Senior All-Conference guard Kim Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) scored 19 points and delivered four assists as Bentley University topped Merrimack College, 79-65, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Wednesday night at the Dana Center.

The win, in the home and conference opener, was the first of the season for the Falcons, who opened the year Monday night with a back-and-forth 92-84 loss at fifth-ranked Holy Family. In the preseason rankings, Bentley was deemed the favorite in the NE-10 and was ranked 24th in the USA Today/ESPN Division II national coaches poll.

A fairly close game over the first 26 minutes (six ties, six lead changes), Bentley took command with a 17-3 blitzing over a span of six minutes. Brennan had seven of the 17, including a three-point play on a fast-break lay-up with 8:40 left that made it 62-46.  Junior guard Katherine Goodwin (Goffstown, N.H./Governors Academy) followed with a top-of-the-key triple to push the advantage to a game-high 19, 65-46.

The Warriors held the lead for much of the first half, but a late 13-3 spurt was largely responsible for Bentley's 41-33 advantage at the break.  Junior forward Shatasia Kearse (Framingham/ Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS) had four of the 13, junior guard Meghan Thomann (Andover/Andover HS) hit one of her three first-half treys, and three others provided points during the run.

After Bentley extended the lead to 11 early in the second half, Merrimack closed to within five after six unanswered points, including a three from senior guard Tiffany Colon (Lawrence).

Brennan, who moved past Lauren Fuller '02 into 12th on Bentley's all-time scoring list (1346 points), was followed in the scoring column by Thomann and Goodwin, both with 12 points. Thomann came off the bench to nail four of five threes in 14 minutes, and Goodwin was three of six from downtown.

Freshman forwards Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS) and Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg/Wachusett Reg. HS) were both productive in their Dana Center debuts. Battista finished with eight points, seven boards, two assists, two steals and a block, and Brugliera provided six points and seven rebounds.

Merrimack, which was opening its season, received 15 points apiece from senior Sarah Benischek (Shrub Oak, N.Y.) and sophomore Kelly Schatzlein (Tolland, Conn.). Benischek wasn't far from a triple-double, also recording eight assists and eight rebounds.

Bentley outshot the Warriors 40-36 percent, and had a significant edge at the line with the Falcons' 19 makes (in 30 attempts) matching Merrimack's number of attempts (19, with only nine made).

Bentley's next game is Tuesday night at home against Saint Anselm.

 

At Waltham, Mass. (Dana Center)

BENTLEY 79, MERRIMACK 65

MERRIMACK (0-1, 0-1 NE-10) -- Kelly Schatzlein 7-12 1-5 15; Sarah Benischek 6-19 0-0 15; Tiffany Colon 4-11 2-6 13; Taneka Brown 2-9 4-6 9; Chelsea Shea 2-4 2-2 7; Gennifer Roy 2-7 0-0 6; Katie Ganser 0-2 0-0 0; Valerie Avebe 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-64 9-19 65.

BENTLEY (1-1, 1-0 NE-10) -- Kim Brennan 6-13 6-7 19; Katherine Goodwin 4-9 1-2 12; Meghan Thomann 4-5 0-0 12; Lauren Battista 3-8 2-5 8; Elise Caira 2-10 2-4 6; Jacqui Brugliera 2-5 2-2 6; Kelsey Roberson 1-5 2-4 5; Shatasia Kearse 2-3 0-1 4; Courtney Finn 0-4 4-5 4; Lauren Massie 1-1 0-0 3; Christiana Bakolas 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-63 19-30 79.

Halftime: B 41-33; 3-point goals--M 10-23 (Colon 3-6; Benischek 3-7; Roy 2-4; Brown 1-4; Shea 1-1; Ganser 0-1), B 10-23 (Thomann 4-5; Goodwin 3-6; Brennan 1-6; Massie 1-1; Roberson 1-2; Finn 0-2; Brugliera 0-1). Fouled out-- Avebe, Massie. Rebounds--M 41 (Schatzlein, Colon 9), B 48 (Caira 12). Assists--M 12 (Benischek 8), B 15 (Caira, Brennan 4). Total fouls--M 23, B 21. Technical fouls--None