WALTHAM, Mass. – Last season, the Southern New Hampshire University Penmen accounted half of the four losses that the Bentley University women's basketball team incurred. Included was loss number one after the Falcons won their first eight.
Coach Barbara Stevens' Falcons are also off to an 8-0 start this season and once again, SNHU will be providing the opposition in game number nine. The two teams will meet Wednesday at 5:30 at SNHU's Stan Spirou Fieldhouse with a webcast available at NE10NOW.tv.
While Bentley, currently ranked fifth by the Women's Basketball Coaches Association and third in the D2SIDA media poll, will be looking to stay unblemished, Southern New Hampshire will be attempting to end a two-game slide. The Penmen, 6-2 overall and 2-2 Northeast-10, won their first six before falling to Saint Anselm, 74-63, and Assumption, 76-66.
Bentley, 4-0 in NE-10 play, is coming off a 91-56 win over St. Michael's in what was just the second home game of the season. Stevens' 1,019th career win saw the Falcons knock down a school-record 16 three-pointers in 30 attempts (.533) and outscore the visiting Purple Knights 24-5 in the third quarter.
Sophomore guard Katie Meriggioli (Waunakee, Wis.) led the Falcons in scoring for the third straight game, a stretch in which she's averaged 21 points and 6.7 rebounds while knocking down 12 of 21 from downtown. Meriggioli is 13th in Division II in field goal percentage (.579) and 29th in three-point accuracy (.579).
Meriggioli, whose team-best scoring average is up to 15.6, is one of three Falcons producing at least 12 a game. Senior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy), currently 25 away from 1,000 career points, is at 13.5 and versatile senior Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) is at 12.0 with a lofty .577 field goal percentage.
Stevens is also receiving production from a number of other players. In fact, all ten players who are playing at least ten minutes a game are tallying at least six points a game. Senior guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS), who averages 8.3 points, is third in the NE10 in assists (36) and has made half of her threes, 12 of 24.
Bentley ranks in the top ten in Division II in a number of categories, including second in three-point accuracy (.457) and assists per game (21.4), sixth in scoring (86.1), seventh in scoring margin (+27.6) and eighth in rebound margin (+13.1).
Southern New Hampshire is led by senior forward Kylie Lorenzen, the number two scorer in the NE10 at 20.9 and also the number four rebounder (10.5). The Falcons have had difficulties in containing her in six previous meetings as she has shot 67 percent in the last three games and has three double-doubles against Bentley. During her career, she's averaged 19.3 points and 9.8 rebounds against the Falcons.
The number two scorer for SNHU is senior guard Brianna Camara, who averages 10.8 points, 7.5 rebounds, 3.9 assists and 1.6 steals.
Bentley is 41-6 all-time against Southern New Hampshire but the two programs have split their last six meetings. Last February marked the first time the Falcons have fallen to SNHU in the Fieldhouse with the previous five Penmen wins all coming in Waltham.
Bentley will also be in Manchester, N.H. Saturday for an encounter with Saint Anselm. By the time that one is completed, the Falcons will have played eight of ten games away from home.