No. 3 Bentley Makes 2nd Attempt at 20th Win Saturday vs. Assumption

Monica Viapiano
Monica Viapiano

WALTHAM, Mass. – After being denied by Stonehill College in its bid for the lead in the Northeast-10's Northeast Division and the program's 33rd 20-win season, the Bentley University women's basketball team will look to bounce back when the Falcons host Assumption College Saturday.

Game time at the Dana Center is 1:30 pm with a free webcast available at www.bentleyfalcons.tv.

The 77-66 loss ended the Falcons' 11-game winning streak and dropped coach Barbara Stevens' team to 19-2 overall (13-2 NE10). Ranked third in the most recent WBCA Division II poll, they now trail the Skyhawks, who are hosting Southern New Hampshire Saturday, by one game with six left in the regular season.

Assumption, 7-13 overall and 4-10 NE10, has come up short in four straight games after a winning streak of the same length just prior. Earlier this week, they fell at Merrimack, 57-53, the ninth time this season they've been held to 53 or less in a loss.

Turnovers and poor three-point shooting hampered the Falcons at Stonehill. Although Bentley finished with one less turn than the home team, they surrendered 30 points off those giveaways, including 27 through three quarters. And the conference's most-accurate three-point shooting team misfired on 13 of 18 from deep, including 11 of 14 over the last three quarters.

Bentley got solid performances off the bench from sophomore forward Monica Viapiano (Holden/Holy Name HS) and junior guard Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England). Viapiano had 11 points (5-7 shooting) and six rebounds and Lewis provided seven points, three steals and two blocks.

For the season, Viapiano is fourth on the team in scoring, averaging 7.9 points and 5.2 rebounds despite playing only about 13 minutes a game. Lewis has 18 assists and seven steals in her last four contests.

Junior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) leads Bentley in scoring (14.1) and rebounds (9.6) with her 79 offensive rebounds a conference-best. Graduate guard Becca Musgrove (Plainview, N.Y./St. Anthony's HS) follows with an 11.6 scoring average and her 45 steals are third most in the NE10. Over the last three games, she's made just under 60 percent of her shots.

Bentley's third double-figure scorer is senior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS), who recently moved into the program's list of all-time top 20 scorers with 1,243 points. This season, she's fourth in the NE10 in three-point accuracy (.402) and is scoring 10.6 a game.

As a team, Stevens' Falcons continue to lead the Northeast-10 in scoring (76.8), three-pointers (8.0), rebound margin (+9.4) and scoring margin (+18.8).

Assumption, experiencing a difficult season after a 19-9 record and an NCAA berth a year ago, has struggled offensively in their losses. The Hounds, in those 13 games, score only 52.5 a game while shooting 35 percent overall and 30 percent from three. In contrast, those numbers in their seven wins are 64.4, .411 and .386.

Junior forward Morgan O'Donnell is the only Hound scoring in doubles as she's been responsible for nearly a quarter of the points. She averages 13.2 points and 8.5 rebounds while also leading the team in steals (28), blocks (18), free throws (82-111) and field goal percentage (.476).

Senior guard Morgan O'Brien has knocked down 36 threes and is averaging 8.8 points, and senior forward Kiera O'Donnell puts up 8.2 points a game.

The teams met back on Nov. 21 in Worcester with Bentley using 11 three-pointers (in 23 attempts) to prevail 64-52. Four of those were launched by freshman forward Marissa Fontaine (Franklin/Bishop Feehan HS), one of three Falcons to score in doubles. Musgrove had a game-high 16 and both Lux and Fontaine finished with 12.

Bentley will play in Manchester, N.H. twice next week, at Southern New Hampshire on Wednesday in a game that will air on Fox College Sports and at Saint Anselm Saturday.

The time for the Bentley's Senior Day game against Merrimack on Saturday, Feb. 17, has been switched to 12 noon, due to hockey at the new Bentley Arena that evening.