WALTHAM, Mass. – Seniors Carlene Kluge (Reading/Reading HS) and Kelsey Mattice (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero North Syracuse HS), sophomore forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) and freshman Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) combined for 67 points on 26-of-47 shooting as Bentley University closed out its regular season home schedule with a 75-62 win over Southern New Hampshire in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Wednesday night at the Dana Center.
Bentley flirted with the school records for shooting accuracy in a half (.786) and a game (.659) before finishing the game at .630 overall (including .739 second half), .583 from three (7-12) and .909 at the line (10-11). It was the team's best shooting night since tying the school record against Stonehill in 2007.
Gemma, the Northeast-10 scoring leader, led the way with 24 points on 9-of-12 shooting. Mattice, playing at home for the final time, made five of seven, including three triples, for 15 points, and both Kluge (7-10 fg) and Green (5-8, 2-3 3's) finished with 14.
The four also helped out in other ways. Mattice had seven rebounds, four assists and two steals, and Gemma's line included four rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal. Kluge amassed six boards, four helpers and three takeaways, and Green assisted on five baskets and made three steals.
The win, coupled with St. Michael's loss to Assumption and Saint Anselm's victory over Merrimack, moved Bentley (11-14, 6-13 NE-10) into a three-way tie for the fifth and final playoff berth out of NE-10's Northeast Division with two games left.
Superior shooting (52-38 percent), a 9-1 advantage in free throws made and attempted, and a 12-0 run over the final three minutes sent Bentley into the half up nine at 35-26.
Green began the late surge with a pair of free throws. Gemma put the Falcons in front with her 12th three-ball of the season and the run continued with five more from Gemma (a three-point play and two free throws) and a six-footer from the six-foot Kluge.
The nine-point lead at the break came despite a rough start that saw the Falcons fall behind 9-0, due in large part to turnovers on the first four possessions.
As good as Bentley's shooting was in the first half, it was off the charts in the second with the Falcons a spectacular 16 of 18 during the first 16 minutes.
After the Penmen (11-15, 5-14 NE-10) closed to within three with a little under 11 minutes left, the Bentley offense went into high gear, putting together a 19-5 run over the next 3:40 to make it a 66-49 game. That run included a combined 14 points from the two seniors, including eight by Mattice.
Bentley's lead peaked at 18, 73-55, on a Gemma lay-up with 4:15 to play.
Grad student Vic Wiseman (Montreal, Quebec) led SNHU with 16 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals. The Penmen also received 14 points from senior guard Brooke Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H.).
Southern New Hampshire shot 45 percent overall, but made only 2 of 14 three-pointers and half of its 12 free throws. SNHU won the rebound battle, 28-26, and had one fewer turnover, 21-22.
Bentley will play its final two games on the road, beginning Saturday night at division champion Stonehill.