WALTHAM, Mass. – After being limited to 20 points through the game's first 25 minutes, Adelphi University erupted for 45 over the final 15 minutes to stun Bentley University, 65-59, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Wednesday night at the Dana Center.
Bentley, which had won its previous six, dropped to 12-3 overall and 6-3 NE-10, while Adelphi improved to 12-5 (5-4 NE-10). Despite the loss, the Falcons remained atop the conference's Northeast Division standings as second-place Assumption College lost its third straight (67-55 to Saint Rose).
The Falcons had a strong start, jumping out to a 14-2 lead after five-and-a-half minutes as the home team made five of its first seven shots and the Panthers came up empty on nine of its first ten possessions.
Bentley was still up nine, 16-7, after the first ten minutes despite scoring only two free throws over the final 4:30. Neither team could get untracked in the second with each scoring only nine points, and the Falcons' advantage stood at 25-16 at the half.
A 6-0 run, including a three-pointer from sophomore guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./ Gill St. Bernard's School), returned the Falcon lead to double figures, 31-20, with 5:13 left in the third quarter.
Adelphi came alive at that point, outscoring the Falcons 17-7 over the remainder of the third to draw within one, 38-37.
The Panther run continued to start the final stanza as the visitors scored the first 10 points, including eight by grad student Ashley Gomez (Brooklyn, N.Y.), to not only claim their first lead of the night but go up nine, 47-38.
Five straight by Bentley, a run capped by a lay-up from senior co-captain Jane White (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan HS), brought the Falcons to within 58-53 with 1:27. However, Adelphi guard Julia Gneiser countered with her squad's eighth triple of the second half. She also made one of two from the line with 51.9 seconds, restoring the Panther lead to nine. Sophomore guards Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) and Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School) both connected from deep in the final minute for the Falcons, but it was too little, too late.
Freshman guard Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England), the only Falcon with a solid shooting night (6-10 with two threes) led her team offensively with 14 points, five rebounds and two steals in 21 foul-plagued minutes. Junior forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) was limited to 12 points and four rebounds, well below her season norms of 20.4 and 11.1, but did provide five assists, three steals and two blocks.
Gomez and Gnieser finished at the top of the scoring list for Adelphi, with 16 and 15 points respectively.
Adelphi had the shooting advantage, 39-36 percent, and was 9 of 17 from three-point land, including 8-12 after the halftime break. Rebounds also were in the Panthers' favor, 40-30, and Bentley took slightly better care of the ball, losing it 15 times as compared to AU's 19.
Bentley will look to rebound Saturday out at American International. The nationally-ranked Yellow Jackets suffered their first loss of the season Wednesday night, falling to Franklin Pierce.