Viapiano Powers No. 17 Bentley to a 67-53 Win at Adelphi

Monica Viapiano
Monica Viapiano

GARDEN CITY, N.Y. – Junior forward Monica Viapiano (Holden, Mass./Holy Name HS) scored a career-high 21 points and her teammates buried ten three-pointers as Bentley University recorded a 67-53 win over Adelphi University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Wednesday night at the Center for Recreation and Sport.

Bentley, which snapped a four-game losing streak in the building, improved to 17-2 overall and 11-1 in the Northeast-10, maintaining a two-game lead over Saint Anselm in the NE10 Northeast Division standings. The 17th-ranked Falcons ran their current winning streak to four games. Meanwhile, Adelphi lost its fourth straight to slip to 8-10 overall and 5-6 conference.

After trailing most of the first quarter, Bentley outscored the Panthers 19-6 in the second quarter with two Falcons, Viapiano and sophomore forward Marissa Fontaine (Franklin, Mass./ Bishop Feehan HS), matching Adelphi's scoring output in the second.

Viapiano was a force inside early, scoring six during a 10-2 spurt that turned a three-point Adelphi advantage into a 29-24 Falcon lead. She had 12 points and five rebounds at the halftime break.

Bentley closed the opening half with a 9-0 burst, all on corner three-balls, and a 38-26 lead. Fontaine knocked down one from each corner and junior guard Julia Ford (Charlton, Mass./Noble and Greenough) drilled one from the left corner with five seconds left.

During the second quarter, Bentley made eight of 15 shots overall while limiting the Panthers to only three baskets in 15 attempts.

Just as she had in the second, Viapiano had as many third-quarter baskets as the entire Adelphi team, four. The Falcons led by as many as 15 in the third, after a corner three from sophomore guard Katie Meriggioli (Waunakee, Wis./Edgewood HS), and took a 51-38 advantage into the fourth.

Senior guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS) opened the fourth with a three from the right wing and the lead remained 14 or higher the rest of the night.

Viapiano was 10 of 19 from the floor and also gave the Falcons nine rebounds, two blocks and a steal. She was followed on the scoring list by McConnell and Meriggioli. McConnell also provided five assists, three steals and four rebounds.

Senior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Acad.) finished with eight points and six rebounds. The Falcons also received seven rebounds, five points, four assists, two blocks and a steal from junior guard Maddy Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant HS).

Senior guard Niajah Morgan (Bronx, N.Y.) led Adelphi with a game-high 22, including ten in the opening quarter, and seven rebounds.

Bentley shot 43 percent overall and made ten of 25 threes while limiting the Panthers to just 31 percent and three of 17 from deep. Rebounds favored the home team, 43-29, and turnovers were basically even.

The Falcons will also be on the road Saturday for a 1:30 game at Southern Connecticut State.