WALTHAM, Mass. – After becoming the eighth team to fall victim to undefeated Southern New Hampshire University, the Bentley University women's basketball team will look to get back on the winning track Monday night when the Falcons host Saint Anselm College. Tip off at the Dana Center is set for 6 pm with a free webcast available at www.bentleyfalcons.tv.
Like Southern New Hampshire, Saint Anselm has been one of the surprise teams in the Northeast-10 this season. Forecast to finish sixth in the NE-10's Northeast Division, the Hawks will come into the game sporting a 5-1 record (3-1 conference) and a five-game winning streak with the only blemish incurred by undefeated SNHU.
Bentley, ranked 22nd in last week's WBCA/USA Today Sports Division II poll, are 6-2 overall but have lost their last two conference games, including Saturday's 72-67 decision to the Penmen. The Falcons, 2-2 NE-10,won the fourth quarter in that one, 20-12, but the deficit (as much as 17 late in the second) proved too big to overcome.
Spoiled with the loss was a milestone game for All-Conference Bentley junior Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy). She eclipsed the 1,000-point barrier, becoming the 34th Falcon to reach that threshold and the 17th to do so before her final season, during a 25-point, 20-rebound afternoon.
It had been 34 years to the day since a Bentley player put up those numbers, a feat last achieved Dec. 5, 1981. That day it was Cathy Gallant, who finished a win over Salem State with 29 points and 23 rebounds.
Gemma's effort pushed her season norms to 20.3 points, best in the NE-10, and 10.5 rebounds, second best in the conference. It was her fifth double-double thus far this season, and 20th in 68 career games.
Sophomore guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS), the only other Falcon averaging as many as seven a game, scored a season-best 20 against SNHU to raise her season production to 11.1. It was the fourth time in the last five games she reached double figures and she continues to shoot well with a .548 accuracy mark from three-point territory.
Freshman guard Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) is next on the scoring list for the Falcons, averaging 6.6 points along with 4.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals.
Saint Anselm has scored at least 75 points in each of its last four games, including a season-high 80 in Saturday's 20-point win over Merrimack. The Hawks lead the NE-10 in scoring (73.2), three-point accuracy (.407), free throws (17) and blocks (4.5), and its .447 field goal percentage is second only to Bentley's .452.
The Hawks will come into the Dana Center with four double-figure scorers, a list headed by junior guard Candace Andrews. In addition to a team-best 15 ppg, she is second in the conference in assists, handing out 6.3 a game.
Sophomore guard Ali Glennon and junior forward Caitlyn Abela have also been dependable scorers, averaging 12.7 and 12.2 respectively, and junior forward Kaila Duarte has been productive off the bench (10.2 ppg, 7.0 rebounds).
Saint Anselm has limited its opponents to a .349 field goal percentage and only 2.5 threes per game
After Monday, Bentley will play its next two on the road, beginning Saturday at St. Michael's.