WALTHAM, Mass. – After holding a sixth opponent in the 40s and a midweek bye, the Bentley University women's basketball team will return to action Saturday afternoon in Pleasantville, N.Y. with a 3:30 pm encounter with Pace University.
Game time at the Goldstein Fitness Center is set for 3:30 pm with a webcast available at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/pace/.
Coming off a 64-48 win over Southern Connecticut State last Saturday, Division II's third-ranked team will bring a 10-game winning streak and records of 18-1 overall and 12-1 Northeast-10 into the contest. The Falcons share first place in the NE10's Northeast Division with Stonehill, who the Falcons will meet up with on the road on Wednesday. The Skyhawks will also be in the Empire State Saturday, playing at Adelphi.
Pace is one of five teams within a game of first place in the Southwest Division with the Setters owning records of 10-10 overall and 7-6 NE10. They have lost nine of 11 after an 8-1 start, but are 6-3 in Goldstein.
Bentley will head into the game as the conference's top scoring team as well as the second best in scoring defense. Coach Barbara Stevens, who'll be looking to gain win number 1,002, has seen her team limit the opposition to 56.6 points and a conference-leading .343 field goal percentage. The Falcons have limited three of their last four opponents to single-figures in the final stanza, including Southern, which was held scoreless for the final six minutes.
Junior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) has strung together three straight double-doubles, boosting her season total to 10. She's had 50 points and 39 rebounds during that stretch and is now averaging 13.8 points and 9.9 boards.
Bentley's other double-digit scorers are guards Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) and Becca Musgrove (Plainview, N.Y./St. Anthony's HS), with both producing a little more than 11 points a game. Green (226 career 3's) is one of only two NE10 players with 40-plus triples and an accuracy mark from deep exceeding 40 percent. Musgrove has scored 15 points twice in the last three games.
Rounding out the usual starting five have been seniors Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./ Windward School) and Cassie Smith (Metuchen, N.J./Edison HS). Macchi, over the last five, has filled the stat sheet with 43 points, 26 rebounds, 23 assists, 10 steals and only eight turns as the team's primary ball-handler. Cassie is coming off an eight-point, five-rebound, three-assist performance against Southern.
` The deep bench includes sophomore forward Monica Viapiano (Holden/Holy Name HS), whose .546 field goal percentage is an NE10 best. Since the team returned from the Christmas break, the 8.1 point-per-game scorer has made 26 of 36 shots (.722).
Pace gave Stonehill a battle on the road last time out before coming up short in the end, 62-55. The Setters twice took a short-lived one-point lead in the fourth, but Stonehill finished strong, closing with a 14-6 spurt.
Coach Carrie Seymour has three double-figure scorers, including senior guard Gabrielle Rubin who returned to action last Saturday after missing 13 games. She averages 11.1 points and 3.9 rebounds, and has an assist-turnover ratio of nearly 2-1.
The other two are junior guard Alexandra Monteleone and sophomore guard Jackie DelliSanti. Monteleone tops the list at 12.9 and DelliSanti follows at 11.6, with 34 steals and 36 offensive rebounds.
Pace, which scores 63.7 points a game, is 8-1 when putting at least 65 on the scoreboard and 2-9 when failing to reach that mark.