WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior guards Courtney Finn (Winthrop/Winthrop HS) and Kelsey Roberson (Arlington/Arlington Catholic HS) combined for 27 points as Bentley University stayed unbeaten and extended its winning streak against East Region opponents to 26 with a 69-53 win over Pace University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Finn finished with 14 points, seven rebounds and three assists, and Roberson (13 points) connected on four of six from downtown as Bentley, the number two ranked team in Division II, reached the midpoint of the regular season at 13-0 overall and 9-0 NE-10. Pace slipped to 7-6 overall and 5-4 in the conference.
After a slow start offensively by both teams, Bentley used a 16-2 run midway through the first half to open a 23-9 lead with 5:29 left in the first. The Falcon bench did most of the damage, accounting for 12 of the 16 with sophomore guard Kelsey Mattice (Cicero , N.Y./Cicero North Syracuse HS) leading the way with five points.
Pace reduced the difference to five late in the half before a Roberson three and a buzzer-beater by junior All-America forward Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS) sent the Falcons into the break up by 10, 36-26.
After Bentley scored the first three of the second half to stretch the lead to 13, Pace countered with a 15-6 run to make it a four-point game, 45-41, with 13 minutes still remaining. Finn answered back with a pair of lay-ups, igniting a 10-2 spurt that restored the Falcon advantage to double figures, 55-43 midway through the second.
Pace never got closer than ten points again and was limited to only one field goal and four points over the final seven minutes.
Finn and Roberson were joined in doubles by Battista, who finished with 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists. She moved into 16th on Bentley's all-time scoring list, with 1,211 points.
Mattice and senior forward Caleigh Crowell (Harwich/Worcester Academy) led the non-starters with nine apiece, and junior forward Tyler Parker Kimball (New Britain, Conn./New Britain HS) chipped in with nine rebounds and six points.
Guard Jessica Scannell (Cork, Ireland) led Pace with 13 points and two steals, and forward Brittany Shields (Cold Spring, N.Y.) followed with 12 points, five rebounds and five assists.
Bentley had its second best shooting game of the season, finishing at .520 overall and .500 from three (7-14). In contrast, Pace was limited to 37.5 percent and made only five of 14 triples. The Falcons had a 30-15 edge in bench points and also had the advantage in rebounds (34-28), free throws (10-6), second-chance points (10-4) and points off turnovers (18-12).
Next up for Bentley, which has a 17-game Dana Center winning streak, is a Tuesday night home game with American International (5:30 pm).