WALTHAM, Mass. – Owning a two-game lead in the Northeast-10 Conference Northeast Division, the Bentley University women's basketball team faces consecutive road games this week, beginning Wednesday night on Long Island against Adelphi University. The 5:30 pm contest can be viewed on the NE10 NOW Digital Network.
Bentley, which slipped from 16th to 17th in this week's WBCA Division II national coaches' poll, will carry a 16-2 record and a three-game winning streak into Adelphi's Center for Sports and Recreation, a building where the Falcons have come up short in their last four visits, including the 2017 NE10 championship game and the NCAA regionals that same year.
Coach Barbara Stevens' Falcons have enjoyed success away from home so far this season, winning nine of nine with an average winning margin of 21.9 points.
They'll be facing an Adelphi Panthers team that has lost three in a row to slip to 8-9 overall and 5-5 NE10. The Panthers have had difficulties at home, losing their last five in the CSR, as well as seven of ten this season.
Bentley is coming off a 50-42 win over New Haven Saturday in a game both teams found it hard to score. Sixty percent of the Falcons scoring came via the three-ball with five different players combining to bury ten from distance. Sophomore Marissa Fontaine (Franklin/Bishop Feehan HS) led the way with three triples, pushing her team-leading total to 31.
Senior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) and sophomore guard Katie Meriggioli (Waunakee, Wis./Edgewood HS) are both averaging 11.9 points for the Falcons with Lux having one more point for the season.
Over the last ten games, the team's top scorer has been senior guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS). During that span, she's averaged a team-best 12.5 points and 3.5 assists, and has achieved or matched career-highs in points (21 vs. LIU Post), rebounds (7 twice) and assists (7 vs. New Haven).
Bentley, despite leading the conference in scoring (74.9), has struggled offensively so far in January, averaging 60.4 points after scoring 85.4 a game in November and 74.7 in December. The field goal percentage has tailed from .481 in November to .442 to .375 in five January games.
Adelphi is the only team in the NE10 with two of the conference's top 12 scorers. Senior guard Niajah Morgan provides 15.2 points per game and junior forward Leonie Edringer follows at 14.9. Edringer is seventh in the conference in rebounding (9.2) and is one of only two players with at least 20 blocks and 15 steals.
The Panthers have two of NE10 leaders in three-pointers made with junior guard Fallyn Stephens and sophomore guard Julia Strachan having 40 and 37, respectively.
Adelphi has been vulnerable against the three this season, giving up a conference-high 134. The Panthers have allowed an average of 80.7 points during the current slide and are 15th in the NE10 in scoring defense (68.4).
Bentley leads the all-time series 11-7 and halted a four-game slide against Adelphi with a 78-66 win last year at home. Five Falcons scored in doubles with Lux leading the way with 17 points and 16 rebounds.
The Falcons, who have played seven of their last eight at home, will also be on the road Saturday when they'll face Southern Connecticut State.