Fast Starts to 1st & 4th Quarters Carry No. 8 Bentley to 80-59 Win over Merrimack

Macchi Smith
Macchi Smith

NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – Double-doubles from senior guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School) and junior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thorton Academy), along with three three-pointers from senior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS), helped Bentley University to its tenth win in 11 games, 80-59 over Merrimack College Tuesday night on Hammel Court.

Lux finished with 17 points and 11 boards with the double-double her sixth of the season. Smith had a career-best 13 rebounds, bettering the mark she set on the same court in February by one, along with 12 points and three assists.

Bentley, ranked eighth in Division II this week, improved to 6-1 in conference play, moving into a tie for first in the NE10's Northeast Division while leading from the game's opening basket. Merrimack fell to 5-5 overall and 3-4 NE10.

With five minutes gone in the opening stanza, all 11 points were on the Bentley side of the scoreboard and Merrimack was 0-for-10 from the field.  The opening run included three-pointers from both Green and senior forward Cassie Smith (Edison, N.J./Metuchen HS).

Midway through the second quarter, Macchi Smith capped an 11-3 spurt with a rare four-point play. She knocked down a triple from the left corner, was knocked down herself and sank the free throw to make it 27-15.

Bentley's first-half lead peaked at 17 when Green delivered her third three-pointer of the half to make it a 37-20 game. The difference stood at 16 at the break, 39-23, following an opening 20 minutes that saw five Falcons combine for seven three-pointers.

After a third quarter in which Merrimack shaved the Bentley lead from 16 to 11, the Falcons reestablished control by outscoring the home team 17-5 over the first six minutes, opening a 75-52 lead. That included a run of ten unanswered, including four apiece by Macchi Smith and graduate guard Becca Musgrove (Plainview, N.Y./St. Anthony's HS).

Joining Lux and Macchi Smith in doubles were Musgrove and Green with 14 and 11, respectively. Green's three triples elevated her into third on Bentley's all-time list with 207.

Sophomore forward Monica Viapiano (Holden/Holy Name HS) helped out with nine points off the bench and Cassie Smith accounted for six of the Falcons' 20 assists.

Merrimack freshman forward Mayson Kimball (Webster, N.H.) had a career night as she more than doubled her previous collegiate best with 28 points on 10-of-15 shooting, including 5-of-7 from three.

While Kimball had a hot shooting game, the same was not true for her teammates. They were a combined 10-of-53 with freshman Alyssa Casey (Andover) and junior Lindsay Werner (Groton) held to 7 and 13, respectively. Both came in scoring over 18 a game.

Bentley shot 44 percent overall, limited the Warriors to 29 percent and controlled the rebounding, 49-38.

Next up for the Falcons is a Sunday afternoon encounter at LIU Post.