WALTHAM, Mass. – The Bentley University women's basketball team will be looking to end a four-game slide when it returns to the Dana Center on Saturday to take on American International College. The opening jump is slated for 1:30 pm.
The Falcons, nearly ten months removed from winning the 2014 NCAA Division II national championship, will be looking to bounce back from a 77-45 loss at nationally-ranked Adelphi University that dropped the team to 7-9 overall and 2-8 in the Northeast-10.
AIC also had a rough time in its last game, scoring only 44 points in a 25-point loss to another nationally-ranked program, Stonehill. That dropped the Yellow Jackets to 8-9 overall and 3-6 in the conference.
Bentley, during the current losing streak, has had difficulties at both ends of the court. The Falcons have averaged only 61 points on 37 percent shooting, made a only 12 three-pointers in the four games and have seen the opponents shoot 47 percent and record a +10.7 rebound margin.
Sophomore forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) remains one of the dominant players in the conference, putting up 18.6 points and 11.1 rebounds a game. She led Bentley at Adelphi with 14 points, nine rebounds and three assists, the second time this season the six-footer has led the team in all three categories.
The Falcons' other double-figure is freshman guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS). She returns home with an 11.5 scoring norm after managing only four and six in the last two games. Green has had three games this winter with five three-pointers but has connected only twice from deep over the last four.
After those two, Bentley's top scorer since freshman point Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./ Windward School) suffered a season-ending knee injury last month has been her replacement in the starting lineup, senior guard Kelsey Mattice (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero North Syracuse HS). She's provided 6.5 points and 3.7 assists in the six games.
AIC, in Tuesday's loss to Stonehill, was limited to 23 percent shooting and held without a three-pointer. Despite the blemish, the Yellow Jackets have won five of their last seven, including an 88-62 rout of 11-2 NYIT in a non-conference encounter four days before Christmas.
AIC is the best in the conference at taking care of the basketball (only 13.7 turns a game) and has been solid at the defensive end most of the season, limiting their opponents to 60.4 points (third best in the NE-10) on 39 percent shooting.
Six-foot forward Krista Ferrentino leads the Jackets in scoring for the third consecutive season, putting up 13.2 points a game in addition to a team-high 8.3 rebounds. She was particularly effective in back-to-back wins over Post and NYIT last month, making 21 of 25 shots while averaging 22.5 points.
Guards Brianna Bishop and Alyssa Roach are the team's other two double-figure scorers with Bishop at 12.6 and Roach 10.5. Roach, who has 71 assists and 35 steals, is the only NE-10 player averaging both four assists and two steals.
Bentley will also be at home Wednesday with a very good New Haven team providing the opposition.