GARDEN CITY, N.Y. -- Freshman Lauren Battista (North Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames HS) scored a career-best 21 points and claimed 11 rebounds, and classmate Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg, Mass./ Wachusett Reg. HS) grabbed a career-high 16 boards, only two fewer than Adelphi University had as a team, as Bentley University rolled to a 72-47 win in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Wednesday night at Adelphi's Center for Recreation and Sport.
Bentley, ranked 18th in Division II, improved to 14-2 overall and 11-1 in the NE-10 with its 14th win in 15 games. The victory, coupled with Franklin Pierce edging Assumption, also extended the Falcons' lead in the conference standings to two games over both those clubs, who are now tied for second.
Dominance on the boards and at the foul line helped power Bentley to the win. The Falcons outrebounded the Panthers by an incredible 30, finishing with 48. The visitors also had one of their best nights of the season at the line, making 23 of 26 as compared to Adelphi's five of eight.
Battista played a major role in a first half that ended with Bentley up by 11 at 30-19. She scored 13 points, on five-of-seven shooting, before intermission and also filled the stat sheet with four rebounds, an assist and a steal.
Bentley built its 11-point halftime lead on the strength of two runs. A 10-2 spurt, launched by two Battista baskets, midway through the opening stanza resulted in an 18-8 advantage. After the Panthers closed to within three, the Falcons pitched a shutout over the final three minutes, scoring eight unanswered points to go into the break with their biggest lead of the half. Like the previous run, Battista got it going by scoring the first four points.
The Falcons put the game out of reach over the first seven minutes of the second half, a 20-6 explosion out of the game resulting in a 25-point bulge at 50-25. Six different Bentley players contributed points during that surge, with Long Island native and senior guard Kim Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) leading the way with eight on a lay-up, three-pointer and three-point play.
Coupled with the run at the end of the first half, the Falcons outscored the Panthers 28-6 over a stretch of ten minutes.
Battista earned her 21 points on seven of nine shooting, a performance that boosted her season accuracy to a lofty .599, and a six-for-six effort at the charity stripe. Her line also included three assists and a steal. Four of Brugliera's rebounds came at the offensive end, and she also provided nine points, two steals and a block.
Brennan followed with 13 points, all coming in the second half, and junior forward Shatasia Kearse (Framingham, Mass./Lincoln-Sudbury Reg. HS) had a double-double for the Falcons, with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Kearse had a strong night at the line, knocking down eight of nine.
Freshman guard Sade Jackson (Hackensack, N.J.) led Adelphi with 17 points and six steals.
Bentley had the shooting edge, 44-37 percent, and both teams finished with 20 turnovers. Giveaways particularly hurt Adelphi in the first half when it had 15 turns and only 20 shot attempts.
Bentley returns home to host Le Moyne College on Saturday at 1:30 pm.
At Garden City, N.Y. (CRS)
BENTLEY 72, ADELPHI 47
BENTLEY (14-2, 11-1 NE-10) -- Lauren Battista 7-9 6-6 21; Kim Brennan 5-8 1-1 13; Shatasia Kearse 2-6 8-9 12; Jacqui Brugliera 3-9 3-4 9; Meghan Thomann 2-5 1-2 7; Katherine Goodwin 2-6 2-2 6; Christiana Bakolas 1-5 2-2 4; Ashley Saia 0-0 0-0 0; Kelsey Roberson 0-2 0-0 0; Caralyn Hart 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 22-50 23-26 72.
ADELPHI (7-9, 4-8 NE-10) -- Sade Jackson 6-11 2-2 17; Samantha Breidenbach 5-10 0-0 10; Jessica Kitrys 3-6 1-2 7; Ashley Caiafa 2-9 0-0 5; Alexis Williams 1-3 2-4 4; Erika Cottle 1-5 0-0 2; Samantha Perez 1-5 0-0 2; Ashley O'Connell 0-0 0-0 0; Amanda Campusano 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 19-51 5-8 47.
Halftime: B 30-19; 3-point goals--B 5-13 (Brennan 2-4; Thomann 2-4; Battista 1-1; Goodwin 0-1; Roberson 0-2; Brugliera 0-1), A 4-12 (Jackson 3-4; Caiafa 1-3; Cottle 0-2; Perez 0-2; Campusano 0-1). Fouled out-- Breidenbach. Rebounds--B 48 (Brugliera 16), A 18 (Breidenbach 6). Assists--B 15 (Roberson 4), A 11 (Cottle, Breidenbach, Caiafa 2, Perez 2). Total fouls--B 14, A 21. Technical fouls-- None.