Bentley Rides Gemma & Hot 1st-Half Shooting to 79-54 Season-Opening Win

Jen Gemma
Jen Gemma

PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – All-Northeast-10 and preseason All-America forward Jen Gemma (Milton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) launched her junior season with 19 points, 16 rebounds, five assists and three blocks as Bentley University opened with a wire-to-wire 79-54 victory over Holy Family University in non-conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the HFU Campus Center.

Bentley shot 64 percent during the first 20 minutes, making nine of 14 in both quarters, to take a commanding 44-21 lead into the halftime break. The Falcons' 23 points in the first was two more than the Tigers, a 2015 NCAA Division II tournament team, managed in the entire half.

The Falcons tallied the first eight points of the game, beginning with a lay-up from freshman post Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy). Gemma scored the next six on two lay-ups and a pair of free throws.

After the Tigers got on the board, Bentley tallied the next seven to make it a 15-2 lead midway through the opening quarter. Lay-ups by Lux and junior center Melina Kollia (Athens, Greece) were sandwiched in between a three-ball launched by sophomore Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./ Damascus HS).

On top 23-10 after one, the Falcons opened the second with a Green three-ball and Kollia tip-in to go up 18.

Following a fire alarm that caused a delay of about 20 minutes in the fourth, Bentley used an 8-2 run to extend the differential to 24, 72-48. The lead peaked at 28 with just under a minute to play.

Joining Gemma in doubles were Green and sophomore guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./ Gill St. Bernard's HS), with 12 and 11, respectively. Bennett knocked down all three of her triples and Green buried two of three from deep. Kollia provided eight points and seven rebounds off the bench and Lux had seven and seven in her collegiate debut.

Sophomore guard Kylie Giedemann (Turnersville, N.J.) led three in doubles for Holy Family with 12 points.

Bentley, which finished with a .517 field goal percentage, destroyed the Tigers on the boards, 63-23, and limited the home team to 24.7 percent shooting. The Falcons turned the ball over 26 times (to HFU's eight), but the Tigers rarely took advantage, scoring only 13 points off.

Bentley will continue its weekend in the City of Brotherly Love with a 1 pm game at Philadelphia University Sunday afternoon.