ALBANY, N.Y. -- Senior guard Kim Brennan (Locust Valley, N.Y./Locust Valley HS) and freshman forward Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg, Mass./Wachusett Reg. HS) each scored 17 points, but it wasn't enough to counteract the College of Saint Rose's 53 percent shooting as Bentley University dropped a 70-60 decision in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Wednesday night at the Nolan Gymnasium.
Bentley, which entered the game ranked number one in the NCAA Division II East Region and 13th nationally, dropped to 15-3 overall (12-2 NE-10) and saw its lead in the NE-10 drop to one game over both Franklin Pierce and Assumption. Saint Rose, number seven in the region rankings, improved to 14-4 overall and 10-4 in the conference.
The Golden Knights, who scored the game's first three points on free throws and never relinquished the lead, were powered by junior guard Ola Shajuyigbe (Albany, N.Y.) and six-foot-two junior Ali Johnson (Falls Church, Va.). Shajuyigbe scored 21 points on 9-of-13 shooting with three triples, and Johnson made nine of 14 shots, mostly inside, for 19 points.
Brennan's night saw her achieve a pair of significant personal milestones. She became the ninth player in the program's history to surpass 1,500 career points, finishing with 1,510, and broke the program's record for career minutes played. She's now been on the court for 3,868 minutes, surpassing the mark of 3,838 Shannon Kirwan held since 2007.
After Saint Rose junior guard Ashley Rath (Victor, N.Y.) made three from the charity stripe to open the game's scoring, the Golden Knights hit five of their first seven shots from the floor to grab an early 13-6 advantage. Johnson keyed the fast start by making her first four, all on lay-ups.
A left-handed driving lay-up by Brennan with 1:57 left in the half brought the Falcons within four at 32-28, but baskets by Shajuyigbe and Johnson in the final minute send the visitors into the break down eight, 36-28.
Johnson, Rath and Shajuyigbe combined for 30 points in the half, and the Golden Knights' 7-0 advantage in free throws made nearly matched the differential in the score.
A 6-3 start to the second half by Saint Rose pushed the lead to double figures for the first time but Bentley battled back a number of times to make it a two-possession game. However, each time, before the Falcons could get any closer, the Golden Knights would counter.
A three-pointer from Bentley junior Meghan Thomann (Andover, Mass./Andover HS) that made it a five-point game, 50-45, was followed by back-to-back mid-range jumpers by Shajuyigbe and Rath. Another Thomann three, with 8:43 left was countered by five straight points from Saint Rose, including a three from Shajuyigbe.
Brennan sank a three from the left wing with six minutes to play, reducing the deficit to a manageable six, but this time, it was answered by seven straight points, including five from Shajuyigbe. That made it a 13-point spread, 66-53, with 3:33 left.
Brennan's highest scoring game in three-and-a-half weeks saw her make half of her 14 shots with three treys. Brugliera, also 7 of 14 shooting, completed her fourth double-double with 10 rebounds. Thomann and freshman forward Lauren Battista (North Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames HS), who struggled through a 4-for-13 night after entering the game third nationally in Division II in field goal percentage, each followed with nine points.
Rath was Saint Rose's third double-figure scorer, finishing with 16 points, and the Knights also received solid efforts from its other two starters, seniors Amy Voelkel (Mohegan Lake, N.Y.) and Lynsey Timbrouck (Kingston, N.Y.). Each only scored six points, but Voelkel grabbed 10 rebounds and Timbrouck had eight assists and nine boards.
Saint Rose outshot the Falcons 53-43 percent, made five more free throws (the Falcons were just 4-9 from the line), and had a 34-29 rebounding edge. Bentley made twice as many threes (6-3), but that didn't offset the other number discrepancies.
Bentley's next game is at home Saturday, a 1:30 pm encounter with 16-4 Pace University.
At Albany, N.Y. (Daniel P. Nolan Gymnasium)
SAINT ROSE 70, BENTLEY 60
BENTLEY (15-3/12-2 NE-10) -- Kim Brennan 7-14 0-3 17; Jacqui Brugliera 7-14 3-4 17; Meghan Thomann 3-4 0-0 9; Lauren Battista 4-13 1-2 9; Shatasia Kearse 2-5 0-0 4; Katherine Goodwin 2-4 0-0 4; Kelsey Roberson 0-2 0-0 0; Christiana Bakolas 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 25-58 4-9 60.
SAINT ROSE (14-4/10-4 NE-10) -- Ola Shajuyigbe 9-13 0-0 21; Ali Johnson 9-14 1-2 19; Ashley Rath 5-11 6-7 16; Lynsey Timbrouck 3-9 0-0 6; Amy Voelkel 3-6 0-0 6; Jessica Walton 0-1 2-2 2; Adrianna Gaeta 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 29-55 9-11 70.
Halftime: SR 36-28; 3-point goals--B 6-15 (Brennan 3-5; Thomann 3-4; Battista 0-1; Goodwin 0-1; Roberson 0-2; Brugliera 0-2), SR 3-11 (Shajuyigbe 3-4; Rath 0-4; Timbrouck 0-1; Voelkel 0-2). Fouled out-- None. Rebounds--B 29 (Brugliera 10), SR 34 (Voelkel 10). Assists--Bentley 13 (Battista 4), SR 17 (Timbrouck 8). Total fouls--B 12, SR 10. Technical fouls-- None.