WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior guard/forward Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) and sophomore guard Katie Meriggioli (Waunakee, Wis./Edgewood HS) combined for 37 points, 16 rebounds and ten assists as Bentley University posted its second straight wire-to-wire victory, 91-56 over St. Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Lewis finished with 17 points, nine rebounds and four assists, Meriggioli had 20 points, seven boards and six helpers, and each accounted for four of Bentley's school-record 16 three-pointers.
Bentley, ranked sixth in the WBCA Division II coaches poll and fourth in the D2SIDA media poll, kept its record perfect with the Falcons improving to 8-0 overall and 4-0 NE10. St. Michael's dropped to 2-5 overall and 1-4 conference.
Six of the Falcons' triples came in the first period, helping to produce a 26-18 lead after the opening ten minutes. Both Meriggioli and Lewis buried a pair, and Bentley also received one three apiece from senior guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS) and junior guard Maddy Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant HS).
Bentley gradually added to the lead in the second quarter, outscoring the Purple Knights 25-19 to take a 51-37 lead into the break. Meriggioli was the Falcons' top scorer in the quarter, making three of four shots for seven points.
It was total domination for the Falcons in the third with Bentley more than doubling its halftime lead. The home team again struck six times from three-point land, in only eight attempts, while the Purple Knights were limited to two baskets in 18 attempts. That combination resulted in a 24-5 score for the quarter and a commanding 75-42 advantage heading into the fourth.
The third quarter ended with Bentley stringing together a 14-0 explosion over the final 3:10. Meriggioli, McConnell, sophomore forward Marissa Fontaine (Franklin/Bishop Feehan HS) and Lewis all buried three-balls during that stretch.
Meriggioli, who has 63 points in her last three games, made eight of 12 shots overall as she hit four of six from both from inside the arc and outside. Lewis connected on four of her five attempts, all from three-point territory, and was also five of six at the foul stripe.
Bentley also received 11 points, five assists and no turnovers from McConnell, and ten points in 11 minutes off the bench from Fontaine.
Bentley shot 46 percent overall, finished 16 of 30 on threes and outrebounded the Purple Knights, 49-36. The Falcons had an outstanding assist-turnover ratio, assisting on 27 of 31 field goals while losing the ball only eight times.
St. Michael's (.328 overall, 7-22 from 3) lost the ball 12 times, resulting in a 16-2 Falcon advantage in points off turns.
Bentley will return to action Wednesday at Southern New Hampshire, the first of two trips to Manchester, N.H. for the Falcons next week.