SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Graduate student Courtney Finn (Winthrop/Winthrop HS) buried a school record eight three-pointers, in only nine attempts, and finished with a career-high 25 points as undefeated Bentley University, the number one-ranked team in Division II, rolled to an 84-46 win over American International College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Butova Gym.
Finn's eight three-pointers bettered the school record she shared with three others by one. The All-Region guard had knocked down seven in last year's season-opener against Holy Family. It also moved her into a tie for fifth, with current assistant coach C White, on Bentley's all-time list with 164.
Bentley, which buried a season-best 12 threes as a team while posting its largest winning margin of the year, improved to 16-0 overall and 11-0 in the Northeast-10, stretching its lead in the Northeast Division to three-and-a-half games over idle Stonehill College.
On the milestone watch, senior All-America forward Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS) scored 16 points to bring her within 27 of the Bentley career record (1800 by Kelly Barker '01) and Barbara Stevens moved to within two of becoming only the sixth NCAA women's basketball coach to amass 900 career wins.
The threes started flying early for Finn as she knocked down two from each side of the court in the first half. Included were a pair from the right side to propel Bentley to an early 10-3 lead and she also converted a four-point play later in the half after being fouled while connecting from downtown.
Bentley's first-half advantage peaked at 17, 34-17, following a three-point play by Battista with 2:34 left until the break. The Falcons were blanked the rest of the half with AIC scoring five unanswered to pull within a dozen, 34-22.
Bentley opened the second half with a 32-8 barrage that featured four more Finn trifectas and two from downtown by senior forward Caleigh Crowell (Harwich/Worcester Academy). Finn tied the record by hitting from the right wing with 13:30 to play and broke it from about the same spot nearly a minute later, making it 59-29.
Finn, who didn't take a shot inside the arc, also had three rebounds before exiting the game for good just past the midpoint of the second half. She had as many threes as AIC's leading scorers, Krista Ferrentino (East Longmeadow) and Kamika Mason (Long Beach, Calif.), had in total points.
Battista scored her 16 on 6-of-9 shooting and also provided seven rebounds and five assists. Freshman forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) also scored in doubles, coming off the bench to make 5-of-6 shots en route to 15 points.
Bentley shot .475 overall, including .548 during a 50-point second half, and limited the Yellow Jackets (10-6, 4-6 NE-10) to 31 percent. The Falcons outrebounded AIC by six, 43-37, and committed only seven turnovers, five less than AIC. Those advantages enabled the visitors to outscore the Jackets 29-8 in second-chance points and 17-9 off turnovers.
Bentley will also be on the road Wednesday for a 7:30 pm game at the University of New Haven.