WALTHAM, Mass. -- Senior guard Adriana Johnson (Tobyhanna, Pa.) doubled her season-norm with 22 points and played a role in a late 13-0 Yellow Jacket run as American International College rallied to upend conference-leading Bentley University in Northeast-10 women's basketball Tuesday night at the Dana Center.
Bentley, ranked 15th in Division II this well, saw its 12-game winning streak come to an end, with the Falcons (12-2) falling into a tie for first with Assumption College in the Northeast-10 standings, both clubs with 9-1 conference records. The tie will be broken on Saturday when the Falcons make the trip to Worcester to take on the Greyhounds, who rallied for a 74-65 win at Stonehill.
The back-and-forth game saw Bentley holding a 45-42 lead as the clock went under 6:40. The Falcons wouldn't score again for nearly five-and-a-half minutes , and by that point, the basket from freshman Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames ) reduced the deficit to eight, 55-47 with 1:07 left.
The AIC run began with a six straight points by junior forward Rhea Pascal (Pickering, Ont.). She opened the spurt with a lay-up, gave her team the lead for good with a short jumper, and made it 48-45 with a put-back.
Johnson followed with two free throws, junior guard Michelle Lafond (Holyoke) hit a jumper and junior guard Marie Li Sicard (Montreal, Que.) made it a 10-point differential when she connected from outside the three-point line.
Bentley closed to within seven three times in the final minute, but four free throws by Johnson kept the home team from getting any closer.
A running three-pointer by Johnson at the halftime buzzer sent AIC into the break up two at 23-21. Bentley, on the strength of an 8-0 run that included two three-pointers from freshman forward Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg/Wachusett Reg. HS), came back to go up four at 31-27. The lead would change hands four more times before AIC's clinching run.
Thirty-three of Bentley's season-low point total were scored by the team's three available post players. Battista led the way with 13 points and eight rebounds, Brugliera followed with 11 points and four boards, and junior six-footer Shatasia Kearse (Framingham/Lincoln-Sudbury HS) had a strong showing off the bench, with 10 points and eight rebounds. Four of those came during an early 13-0 spurt that erased an early 13-5 AIC lead.
In addition to the 22 from Johnson, AIC received 17 points from Pascal and a dozen from Lafond.
AIC (10-4, 7-3 NE-10) shot 38 percent, made six three-pointers and converted 10 of 12 free throws. Bentley struggled in all three shooting areas, finishing at 36 percent overall, 2 of 19 from three and only 7 of 16 from the foul stripe. The Yellow Jackets also won the rebounding battle, 44-38, with Johnson grabbing a dozen and Pascal ten.
At Waltham, Mass. (Dana Center)
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL 60, BENTLEY 53
MERICAN INTERNATIONAL (10-4, 7-3 NE-10) -- Adriana Johnson 7-14 6-6 22; Rhea Pascal 7-17 3-4 17; Michelle Lafond 5-13 0-0 12; Marie Li Sicard 2-6 0-0 5; Josephine McLane 1-5 0-0 3; Lauren Deverin 0-2 1-2 1; Sarah Noble 0-0 0-0 0; Lauren Griffith 0-1 0-0 0; Erica Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-58 10-12 60.
BENTLEY (12-2, 9-1 NE-10) -- Lauren Battista 6-11 1-2 13; Jacqui Brugliera 3-9 3-4 11; Shatasia Kearse 5-9 0-3 10; Kim Brennan 4-13 1-1 9; Katherine Goodwin 2-7 2-6 6; Kelsey Roberson 1-5 0-0 2; Christiana Bakolas 1-4 0-0 2; Meghan Thomann 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 22-61 7-16 53.
Halftime: AIC 23-21; 3-point goals--AIC 6-15 (Lafond 2-8; A. Johnson 2-3; Sicard 1-2; McLane 1-2), B 2-19 (Brugliera 2-5; Brennan 0-4; Goodwin 0-2; Roberson 0-4; Bakolas 0-1; Thomann 0-3). Fouled out-- None. Rebounds--AIC 44 (A. Johnson 12), B 38 (Battista 8, Kearse 8). Assists--AIC 11 (Pascal 3; Sicard 3), B 8 (Bakolas 3). Total fouls--AIC 16, B 14. Technical fouls-- None.