WALTHAM, Mass. – A four-game road trip for the Bentley University women's basketball team will continue Sunday afternoon when the Falcons will be on Long Island to take on a LIU Post squad that has strung together five straight wins.
Tip-off is set for 1:30 at the Pratt Recreation Center in Brookville, N.Y. with a webcast available at https://team1sports.com/liupostpioneers/.
Coach Barbara Stevens' team will take a 10-1 overall record and a number eight ranking in the latest WBCA Division II national coaches' poll into the contest. The Falcons have won their last two, 77-52 over Saint Anselm and 80-59 at Merrimack, the latter in the first of four straight away from Waltham.
LIU Post owns the region's third longest current win streak at five games, the most recent victory coming against NYIT on Wednesday, 73-69. The Pioneers, 7-4, have won seven of their last eight after dropping their first three games of the season.
Sunday's game will be a homecoming for Bentley graduate guard Becca Musgrove (Plainview, N.Y./St. Anthony's HS), whose hometown is only about 15 minutes from the LIU Post campus. The Brown University graduate is the Falcons' second-leading scorer, averaging 11.5 points while sharing the team-lead in steals (23).
On the Bentley stat sheet, Musgrove sits between junior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/ Thornton Academy) and senior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS). Lux, coming off her sixth double-double (17 points, 11 rebounds at Merrimack), leads the team at 14.5 points per game and Green owns an 11.0 average with more than half of her scoring coming via the three.
Senior guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School HS) has been playing well of late, although her contributions aren't always evident in the scoring column. She had a career-best 13 rebounds and 12 points in the Merrimack game, seven boards and six assists against Saint Anselm, and had multiple steals in eight straight games before making only one against Merrimack.
Sophomore forward Monica Viapiano (Holden/Holy Name HS) has been a factor off the bench over the last five games, averaging 10.6 points with a pair of double-doubles.
Bentley leads the Northeast-10 in most offensive categories, including scoring (81.5), field goal percentage (.437), three-pointers (9.4), assists (21.2) and fewest turnovers (14.3). The Falcons have also been the stingiest in the conference, giving up only 57 points a game while holding opponents to a .335 field goal percentage (second best in the NE10)
LIU Post, whose only loss during the last eight games came at Stonehill by a count of 99-69, features the frontcourt tandem of senior Sasha Patterson and sophomore Mikaiya Moore.
Patterson has scored at least 25 in three of the last four games, including 33 against Mercy and 25 against NYIT in the Pioneers' last two contests. She's averaging a double-double, 17.2 points and 13.4 rebounds. Moore is the team's other double-figure scorer, putting up 13.4 points a game.
LIU Post is 6-1 this season when scoring at least 70 points and 1-3 when tallying less. Bentley has given up less than 60 points eight times, all wins.
Bentley's next game will also be on Long Island, but that won't be until Dec. 30 when the Falcons pay a visit to Molloy College.