WALTHAM, Mass. – After trailing by 11 at intermission, the Bentley University Falcons erupted for 49 second-half points on 61 percent shooting en route to a 74-54 triumph over LIU Post in non-conference women's basketball action Sunday afternoon at the Dana Center. The win was the fifth straight for the nation's 11th-ranked Division II team.
Bentley junior point guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School), one of three Falcons in double figures, matched the Pioneers' second-half scoring output, scoring all 18 of her points during the final two quarters.
Bentley, which improved to 10-2 on the season, also received 17 points from junior All-America forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) and 15, along with eight rebounds and four assists, from sophomore post Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Acad.).
It took the Falcons only 3:20 to erase the 11-point halftime deficit and take a lead they would never relinquish. The home team had runs of 9-0 and 10-0 during the first six minutes of the third, opening a 44-38 advantage. Nearly half of the points came from distance as Smith, sophomore guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) and junior guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./Gill St. Bernard's HS) all drained a three.
It was still a game with six minutes left in the fourth when coach Barbara Stevens embarked on a game-ending 18-3 salvo that featured five points apiece from both Gemma and Smith.
Bentley, in the second half, was 19 of 31 overall and six of ten from three-point land. The Falcons limited the visitors to just 23 percent shooting and did not commit a single turnover after the break.
That was in sharp contrast to the first 20 minutes when the Falcons gave up the ball 11 times, allowed 20 points in the paint and saw the Pioneers connect at a 50 percent success rate overall, including 7 of 10 to start the game.
Overall, Bentley outshot the Pioneers 50-36 percent, buried 8 of 15 from outside the arc and committed seven fewer turnovers (11-18). The Falcons finished with a 36-30 advantage in the paint and were a plus-12 in points off, 23-11.
Smith, who was 0-for-2 with four assists at the half, made seven of nine shots, including three of four from deep, during her 18-point second half. Gemma matched her three triples and also came up with six rebounds and two blocks.
Green helped out with seven points and three assists, and Bennett provided six rebounds and two steals in addition to six points.
Sophomore guard Shannon Doyle (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.) led LIU Post (5-6) with 13 points and three steals.
Bentley will return to action New Year's Eve afternoon with a noon start against Molloy College. The Falcons will also be home New Year's Day with a 2 pm encounter with Holy Family.