Franklin Pierce Puts an End to Bentley’s Season, 79-50; Gemma Leads Falcons with 23 Points

Jen Gemma
Jen Gemma

RINDGE, N.H. – Forwards Jessica Hurd (Kegworth, England) and Kara Charette (Fairhaven, Mass.) each put up double-doubles and combined to make 16 of 21 shots as Franklin Pierce University pulled away for a 79-50 victory over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Tuesday night at the FPU Field House.

The Ravens, who saw a 20-point first-half lead shrivel to two, dominated the Falcons to the tune of 37-10 over the final 16:05 to put a disappointing end on the Bentley season.

The Bentley offense featured NE-10 scoring leader Jen Gemma (Milton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy), who scored 23 points, including 15 of her team's 22 second-half points. The six-footer finished the campaign with a 19.5 average, breaking the school single season record of 18.9 set by Alison Fay in 1982. She made 9 of 17 shots while reaching the 20-point threshold for the 11th time this winter.

The first half ended with the Falcons on the short end of a 38-28 score with the Ravens doing most of their damage during an extended nine-minute run that put Franklin Pierce up 34-14 with 5:12 left. That 26-4 blast came after a three-point play from freshman guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) gave Bentley a 10-8 lead.

Bentley picked up the defense over the final five minutes of the half with a 14-4 run getting Bentley back into the game. Gemma had the first four and junior guard Jane White (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan HS) was also instrumental with a lay-up following a takeaway and her second triple of the half. During that stretch, the Falcons limited the Ravens to just two baskets in eight attempts.

The Falcons continued to play well during the early minutes of the second half, using a Gemma-powered 12-2 run to draw within two, 42-40 with 16:25 left.

However, 26 of the game's next 31 points, most being scored in the paint, went up on the Franklin Pierce side of the scoreboard and the Raven lead ballooned to 23, 68-45 with 6:26 left. The only Bentley points during that span were scored by Gemma, who accounted for 15 of the Falcons' 17 points in the first 13:45 of the second half.

Gemma, who also had a team-high seven rebounds, was followed on the Bentley scoring list by White and Green, with eight and seven, respectively.

Franklin Pierce (17-9, 13-8 NE-10) placed four in doubles with Hurd producing 18 points and 10 rebound and Charette 16 and 11. The Ravens also received 15 points from junior guard Natalie Bastian (Branford, Conn.), 12 points and four steals from junior guard Dyamond Gardner (Cambridge, Mass.) and 11 rebounds from sophomore forward Allison Palma (Stamford, Conn.).

The Ravens shot 54 percent, including 61 percent after intermission, and outscored the Falcons 58-32 in the paint, 26-8 off turns and 12-0 in fast break points. Rebounds were also heavily in their favor, 45-32, with Bentley shooting only 32 percent.

Bentley, after capturing the 2014 NCAA Division II national championship, concluded the season with records of 11-16 overall and 6-15 NE-10.