WALTHAM, Mass. – Before the dedication of Barbara Stevens Court, Stevens' 33rd Bentley University women's basketball team used ten three-pointers, including three from sophomore forward Marissa Fontaine (Franklin/Bishop Feehan HS), to gain a 50-42 win over the University of New Haven in Northeast-10 Conference action Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Bentley, ranked 16th in Division II, improved to 16-2 overall and 10-1 NE10 after yielding a season-low points. The victory, coupled with Stonehill's loss to Southern Connecticut State, extended the Falcons' lead in the conference's Northeast Division to two games. New Haven, which came in with a seven-game winning streak, dropped to 13-5 overall and 6-4 NE10.
Points were at a premium all afternoon, with both teams shooting only 32 percent, but Bentley used a few significant runs to gain the victory.
New Haven claimed the early lead, scoring 10 of the game's first 12 points while limiting the Falcons to just one basket in their first 11 attempts from the field.
However, after a Stevens' timeout, a three-ball from sophomore guard Katie Meriggioli (Waunakee, Wis./Edgewood HS) with 4:33 left in the first launched a 10-1 run and gave the Falcons a 12-11 lead after the opening quarter. The run also included a baseline jumper from senior guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS), a lay-up by Fontaine off an inbound pass from McConnell and a three from junior guard Julia Ford (Charlton/Noble and Greenough).
In the second, McConnell ignited a 9-3 spurt that produced a 21-16 lead with 3:19 until halftime. She connected from 30 feet to beat the shot clock buzzer and the flurry also included a put-back off one of nine offensive rebounds from junior forward Monica Viapiano (Holden/Wachusett Reg. HS).
After New Haven drew within one early in the third, Bentley used a 13-5 run to open a nine-point lead, 37-28 with two minutes left in the quarter. Fontaine connected on a three from each corner and McConnell scored five of the 13.
In the fourth, after Meriggioli gave Bentley a 12-point lead, the Chargers embarked on their first run since the opening five minutes of the game. It was an 11-5 run, including six points from junior forward Micah Wormack (Cumberland, Md.), and that cut the Falcon advantage to six, 45-29.
Viapiano answered with an inside basket and junior guard Maddy Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H./ Conant HS) locked up the victory with a three from the right side with 38 seconds left.
Fontaine paced the Falcons with 11 points off the bench, and she was joined in doubles by both Meriggioli and McConnell, both with ten points. McConnell also had seven assists and Meriggioli had that number of rebounds. Viapiano led Bentley in rebounding with ten.
The game's high scorer was New Haven senior forward Alexandria Kerr (Montclair, N.J.) with a dozen.
Bentley outrebounded the Chargers, 42-35, and had a half-dozen more three-pointers, 10-4.
Next up for the Falcons is a Wednesday evening game at Adelphi University.