ALBANY, N.Y. – Junior guard Keyontae Williams (Fredericksburg, Va.) scored 19 points on 8-of-12 shooting to lead The College of Saint Rose to a 79-67 win over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Thursday night at the Daniel P. Nolan Gymnsium.
Both teams had four double-figure scorers with the difference being the remaining players. The Golden Knights received 22 from the rest of its lineup while the remainder of the injury-plagued Falcons managed only six on 3-of-12 shooting. The defending NCAA Division II national champions currently are without three of their top six scorers due to injuries.
Sophomore forward Jen Gemma (Milton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy), Bentley's top scorer for the 13th time this season, powered the Falcons with 22 points. Senior guard Kelsey Mattice (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero North Syracuse HS) followed with 15, sophomore forward Brittany Gregory (Fishkill, N.Y./ John Jay HS) scored 13 in her second start of the season and freshman guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) netted 11, all in the second half.
After 12 lead changes in the first 12:30, Saint Rose closed out the opening half with a 22-7 blitz to take a 14-point lead into the break, 43-29. A short jumper by Williams accounted for the 12th lead change, making it 23-22, and the home team was off and running.
Saint Rose sophomore guard Taylor Nazon (Chicago, Ill.) was instrumental in that strong finish to the half, coming off the bench to score nine of the 22. She led the Golden Knights during the opening frame with 12 points, one more than Williams.
Although it took the lead six times in the first half, Bentley's biggest lead was four, 8-4, after a pair of free throws by Mattice capped an early 8-0 run.
Bentley came out strong to start the second, using a 14-4 spurt over the first five minutes to close within four, 47-43. All four double-figure scorers contributed during that stretch with Gregory leading the way with six. Green got it started with a top-of-the-key three, Mattice converted a three-point play and Gemma added a lay-up.
Saint Rose (9-10, 5-8 NE-10) bounced right back, outscoring the Falcons 17-3 over the next 4:40 to extend the lead to 18, 64-46, just past the midpoint of the second.
The Falcons (7-12, 2-11 NE-10) gradually cut into the difference but got no closer than 11 the rest of the way.
In addition to the 19 from Williams, Saint Rose received 14 from Nazon and 12 apiece from senior guards Jamie Hutcheson (Ancaster, Ont.) and Gabie Polce (Chelmsford, Mass.).
Bentley, which shot 50 percent in the second half after being held to .360 in the first, turned the ball over 17 times, three more than the home team. The Falcons, 19 of 24 from the line, had the edge in that category, making and attempting six more, but were outscored in both points off turnovers, 20-14, and second-chance points (9-4).
Bentley will be back in action Saturday afternoon with a 3:30 home game against Pace University.