16-0 Start & Hot Shooting from 3 Propel #24 Bentley to 80-58 Win over Indianapolis

Amy McConnell
Amy McConnell

WALTHAM, Mass. – Freshman guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS) came off the bench to hit four of the Falcons' season-high dozen three-pointers and three teammates joined her in double figures as Bentley University led from the opening basket in an 80-58 victory over the University of Indianapolis in non-conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.

Bentley, number 24 in this week's WBCA/USA Today Division II coaches' poll, improved to 5-1 with its third wire-to-wire win in 15 days. Indianapolis, held scoreless for the first 7:50, dropped to 1-7.

With UIndy held scoreless on its first 12 possessions (six missed shots, six turns), Bentley put up the game's first 16 points, a run that began with a lay-up by freshman guard Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) 13 seconds into the game.

A three-pointer from the right wing by sophomore Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) made it 5-0 and senior co-captain Jane White (Amherst, N.H./Souhegan HS) pushed the advantage to 9-0 with a triple from about the same spot with 6:05 on the first-quarter clock.

Bentley closed the opening quarter with seven unanswered points, including a pair of baskets from sophomore guard Kristin Brown (Poulsbo, Wash./North Kitsap HS), and went into the break riding a 21-5 lead. Included was a 13-2 bulge in points off turnovers as the Falcons forced eight and committed only one of their own.

McConnell drained a pair of triples during the first 75 seconds of the second quarter, extending the spread to 24 at 34-10. The differential peaked at 27, 42-15, when Green connected from deep with 55 seconds left and the Falcons went into the break up 24 at 42-18.

The closest the visiting Greyhounds came in the final 35 minutes was 46-33 with 6:27 left in the third. After Bentley junior forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) opened the second half scoring, UIndy embarked on a 15-2 spurt to cut the advantage to 13.

White answered with a three at the offensive end and drew an offensive foul at the other (one of three for her on the night), and sophomore guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School) added a basket to restore the lead to 18, 51-33.

Bentley closed the third quarter with a 9-2 burst to go up 65-42 and maintained a 20-point or better lead throughout the fourth.

McConnell, a major reason the Falcon bench finished with a 41-6 scoring advantage, needed only five attempts to connect on her four three-pointers, with her 12 points a career-best. She also had four assists, a steal and a rebound in her 18 minutes of action.

Gemma matched her in points and assists, and White followed with a season-best 11, along with two steals. Brown tied her career-high with 10 on points on four-of-five shooting, Green hit three times from three for nine points and Smith followed with a season-best eight.

Junior forward Nicole Anderson (Terre Haute, Ind.) led UIndy with 17 points and five steals.

Bentley shot 52 percent overall, including an impressive 60 percent from three, and tripled the visiting Hounds off the glass, 42-14, with junior Melina Kollia (Athens, Greece) leading the way with nine. Turnovers were an issue after the first with the Falcons losing the ball eight times in the second, six in the third and ten in the fourth for a total of 25. Indy came up with 17 steals with four of the five starters having four or more.

Bentley will remain at home to host NYIT Monday at 6 pm.