WALTHAM, Mass. – The premier rivalry in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball will be renewed Wednesday evening when the nationally-ranked Bentley University Falcons launch their home and conference schedule against Stonehill College at the Dana Center. Tip off for the 106th edition of Bentley-Stonehill is slated for 5:30 pm with a free webcast at www.bentleyfalcons.com.
A consensus preseason top ten, including number six in the WBCA Division II national coaches' poll, Bentley returns home with a 2-0 record after winning twice in Philadelphia over the weekend. The Falcons took care of Holy Family, 71-58, and cruised to an 83-40 win over Wilmington (Del.).
Senior guard and co-captain Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) had a hot shooting weekend for the Falcons, putting up back-to-back 17-point games while moving to within six of 200 career three-pointers. She made eight of her 12 triples while connecting at a .600 clip overall.
Another senior guard, Cassie Smith (Edison, N.J./Metuchen HS), is coming off her best game as a collegian. She established new career bests for points (15) and rebounds (11) against Wilmington with the double-double the first of her career. She averaged 11.5 points and 10 rebounds during the tournament.
Against Wilmington, Women's Basketball Hall of Famer Barbara Stevens also started senior guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School), Brown transfer Becca Musgrove (Plainview, N.Y./St. Anthony's HS) and junior post Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy).
During the opening weekend, Musgrove averaged 8.5 points and three steals while Lux provided seven rebounds a game, second to Cassie Smith's ten.
Freshman forward Marissa Fontaine (Bishop Feehan HS) impressed off the bench in the opener, scoring a team-high 18 points.
Defensively, Bentley held their opponents to a .323 field goal percentage and posted a plus 8.5 rebound margin.
Stonehill, 12-14 a year ago, will be making its season debut on Wednesday. Picked second to Bentley in the preseason Northeast-10 Conference coaches rankings, the Skyhawks have one exhibition under their belt, a 68-49 win at Division I Maine in which they won every quarter.
Coach Trisha Brown returns all 12 letterwinners from last year's squad and has welcomed back senior point guard Kelly Martin who missed all of last season following a preseason injury. She had 24 against Maine a couple weeks ago and during the 2015-16 season, averaged 15.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 4.2 assists.
Martin's return gives Brown three All-Northeast performers she can call upon. She was a second-teamer in 2016, senior forward Samantha Hyslip collected second-team honors last year and senior guard Courtney Walsh was a third-teamer last season.
Hyslip and Walsh were Stonehill's top scorers a year ago, averaging 14.7 and 14.2 points, respectively.
Bentley owns a five-game winning streak against their rivals from the south, including a pair of seven-point wins last season (56-49, 63-56). All-time, the Falcons lead the series 68-37.
After taking on Stonehill, Bentley will be off until a Tuesday road game at Assumption.