WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior point guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School) scored 15 points and four teammates added at least eight as Bentley University extended its winning streak to six with a 76-65 victory over The College of Saint Rose in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Bentley, which saw Women's Basketball Hall of Famer Barbara Stevens earn career win number 997, improved to 14-1 overall and 8-1 in the NE10, good for sole possession of first place in the conference's Northeast Division. Saint Rose lost for the fifth time in six games, dropping to 6-8 overall (4-4 NE10).
Following an opening quarter in which points were at a premium (10 points for each team), Bentley found the shooting range in the second, pouring in 28 points on 62.5 percent shooting, including 4-for-4 from three-point land, all by different players. Eight Falcons scored in the quarter with Green leading the way with five.
Bentley opened the second with a 9-0 run over the first 2:43, a flurry capped by a top-of-the-key three-pointer from Smith.
In the third, a pair of baskets from graduate guard Becca Musgrove (Plainview, N.Y./St. Anthony's HS) twice gave the Falcons a game-high 16-point lead, the first with 5:12 left.
Early in the fourth, Saint Rose ran of eight unanswered, including three-balls from sophomore guard Takora McIntyre (Boston, Mass.) and junior guard Isa Vara de Ray (Canary Islands), and all of a sudden, the visitors were within four, 59-55 with just under six minutes left.
Bentley countered with an 8-2 spurt, returning the differential to double figures at 67-57 with 3:28 to play. Sophomore forward Monica Viapiano (Holden/Holy Name HS) made an inside basket, Musgrove followed with a driving lay-up, Viapiano scored a second-chance basket and Musgrove finished a fast break.
Bentley locked up the win by sinking five of six free throws in the final 40 seconds, including two apiece from Musgrove and Smith.
Smith's second-highest scoring game of the season saw her make five of eight overall, including her only three, and all four of her free throws. She also filled the stat sheet with threes in the rebound, assist and steal columns.
Musgrove followed with 12 points and four steals, and senior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) also reached double figures, finishing with ten points and six rebounds.
Bentley also received eight points apiece from Viapiano, the game's top rebounder with nine, and senior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS). Senior forward Cassie Smith (Edison, N.J./ Metuchen HS) had a solid all-around game with six points, three rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal, and freshman forward Marissa Fontaine (Franklin/Bishop Feehan HS) drilled a pair of triples.
Sophomore forward Leah Dollard (Albany, N.Y.) led five double-figure scorers for Saint Rose with 17 points and six rebounds.
Bentley had the shooting advantage, 45-37 percent, as well as three more rebounds (40-37) and six more free throws (15-9).
The Falcons will be on the road twice this coming week, beginning Wednesday with a 5:30 game at American International.