MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Freshman forward Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg, Mass./Wachusett Reg. HS) poured in 26 points and collected a dozen rebounds, both career-highs, with her second career double-double powering the Bentley University women's basketball team to a 68-57 win over Dowling College in the second round of the Southern New Hampshire University Holiday Classic Thursday afternoon at the SNHU Fieldhouse.
Division II's 24th-ranked team ran its winning streak to an East Region-best nine games and improved to 9-1 on the season. Dowling slipped to 4-8 overall after falling for the fifth time in its last six contests.
Runs of 11-0 and 16-4 over the final 11:20 of the first half staked Bentley to a commanding 42-21 advantage.
The former, which extended a two-point lead to 13 at 26-13, included four points from Brugliera, a lay-up and an assist from freshman Christiana Bakolas (Manchester, N.H./Central HS) and a three-ball from sophomore Meghan Thomann (Andover, Mass./Andover HS).
Ten of Brugliera's 14 first-half points came during the second spurt, which encompassed the final 4:35 of the half. She nailed a pair of threes as part of that surge, and in the final minute threw a long outlet pass, after coming up with a steal, to classmate Lauren Battista (North Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames HS) for a fast-break lay-up.
Eight unanswered points early in the second half, a run started by two Brugliera free throws, enabled Bentley to double the Golden Lions again, this time at 52-26 with 16 minutes left.
The Falcons managed only five points over the next ten minutes of play, an extended dry spell that allowed Dowling to cut the Bentley lead down to 13 at 57-44. It was reduced to 11, 61-50, after a fast break lay-up by sophomore guard Seja Gamble (Newport News, Va.) with 3:49 left.
A three-point play on a drive to the basket by Brugliera, a steal by junior guard Katherine Goodwin (Goffstown, N.H./Governors Academy) and one of two free throws from Battista righted things for the Falcons, pushing the advantage back to 15, 65-50, with 2:39 left.
Dowling still wouldn't go away, and pulled within 10 when freshman guard Shayla Felder (Cheltenham, Pa.) sank a triple with 1:07 to play. However, any hopes the Golden Lions had of a miracle comeback were dashed 25 seconds later when Brugliera knocked down her third three-ball of the night.
Brugliera, a two-time NE-10 Freshman of the Week, finished 9 of 13 from the floor, made three of five from outside the arc and was perfect on five attempts from the line. She also filled the stat sheet with three assists, three steals and two blocks.
Battista also had a double-double for the Falcons, with 11 points and 12 rebounds. Goodwin and senior forward Elise Caira (Wakefield, Mass./Arlington Catholic HS) both followed with seven points. Caira, who had a double-double in Bentley's first-round win over Bridgeport, was named to the All-Tournament team, as was Brugliera.
Freshman forward Julia Koppl (Innsbrook, Austria) led Dowling with 14 points and six rebounds.
Both teams finished at 41 percent from the field with Dowling evening things in the second half after the Falcons outshot the Lions 46-36 percent in the opening half. Bentley made and attempted six more free throws, finishing 11 of 16, and dominated the boards, 44-32, with a dozen at the offensive end producing a 10-4 edge in second-chance points.
Bentley will conclude a three-game road trip and resume Northeast-10 Conference play on Sunday with a 1:30 game at St. Michael's.
At Manchester, N.H. (SNHU Fieldhouse)
BENTLEY 68, DOWLING 57
BENTLEY (9-1) --Jacqui Brugliera 9-13 5-5 26; Lauren Battista 5-10 1-3 11; Elise Caira 2-5 -4 7; Katherine Goodwin 3-9 1-2 7; Courtney Finn 2-5 0-0 6; Kim Brennan 2-5 0-0 5; Meghan Thomann 1-4 0-0 3; Christiana Bakolas 1-3 0-0 2; Kelsey Roberson 0-1 1-2 1; Shatasia Kearse 0-6 0-0 0; Caralyn Hart 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-61 11-16 68.
DOWLING (4-8) -- Julia Koppl 5-10 2-2 14; Connie Simmons 4-9 1-2 10; Kelly Puwalski 4-9 0-0 10; Sarah Schicher 3-6 1-3 7; Seja Gamble 3-8 1-3 7; Shayla Felder 3-8 0-0 7; Rekik Worku 1-5 0-0 2; Emily Bonigiorno 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 23-56 5-10 57.
Halftime: B 42-21; 3-point goals--B 7-22 (Brugliera 3-5; Finn 2-4; Thomann 1-4; Brennan 1-2; Bakolas 0-1; Roberson 0-1; Goodwin 0-4; Battista 0-1), D 6-18 (Puwalski 2-4; Koppl 2-6; Simmons 1-3; Felder 1-2; Bonigiorno 0-1; Worku 0-1; Gamble 0-1). Fouled out--Simmons. Rebounds--B 44 (Battista, Brugliera 12), D 32 (Schicher 13). Assists--B 16 (Brennan 5), D 9 (Schicher 3). Total fouls--B 15, D 15. Technical fouls-- None.