23-0 Run Lifts Preseason No. 1 Bentley Past Concordia (N.Y.), 76-49

Lauren Green
Lauren Green

LAKELAND, N.J. – Following a first half in which the Falcons trailed by as many as seven, the Bentley University women's basketball team outscored Concordia College (N.Y.) 45-22 during the second half en route to a 76-49 season-opening win during the Georgian Court Invitational Saturday afternoon at the GCU Wellness Center.

Bentley, the consensus preseason number one in Division II, was led in the scoring column by junior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) and All-America senior forward Jen Gemma (Milton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy), with 18 and 17, respectively.

After struggling early, the Falcons closed out the second quarter with 11 unanswered to take a 31-27 advantage into the break. Green fueled that run with eight points, including a pair of three-pointers.

That run grew to 23-0 as the Falcons scored the first dozen points of the second. Gemma had seven of the 12 and Green added four. That lengthy dry spell by the Clippers saw them go 8:08 without scoring, a stretch in which they were 0-for-12 with two turns.

Bentley's lead hit 20 (50-30) on a lay-up by sophomore guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS) with 3:51 left in the third. It was 54-38 at the quarter break and the final 27-point spread was the biggest of the game.

Green's 18-point effort included three of seven from downtown and seven of eight from the foul stripe. Gemma hit half of her dozen shots and also grabbed six rebounds. She moved past Keri Flynn '02 into 11th on Bentley's all-time scoring list with 1,575 career points.

Bentley also received nine points and seven rebounds from junior guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./Gill St. Bernard's School), eight points and six assists from McConnell, and eight points and seven rebounds from junior guard Cassie Smith (Edison, N.J./Metuchen HS). In all, 11 of the 12 Falcons to play scored.

For Concordia, junior guards Julianne Wilkinson (Red Hook, N.Y.) and Lyric Blanch (Kingston, N.Y.) each scored 13.

Bentley shot 40 percent overall, hit 9 of 19 from three and dominated both at the line and on the boards. The Falcons were a plus-19 on the glass, 51-32, and were 21 of 34 free throws. Meanwhile, Concordia attempted only eight from the line, making six, and was held to a .274 field goal percentage, including just 6 of 34 in the second half.

The tournament continues Sunday with Bentley facing Georgian Court, a 69-55 winner over Merrimack, at 2 pm.