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Bentley University Falcons
146 Northeast-10 Championships
80 CoSIDA Academic All-Americas
2014 NCAA Div. II Women's Basketball National Champs
2001 NCAA Div. II Field Hockey National Champs
Women's Basketball: NCAA Record 35 NCAA tournaments

#17 Bentley Shuts Down UMass-Lowell, 64-43, to Clinch Share of Northeast-10 Title

Shatasia Kearse
Shatasia Kearse

WALTHAM, Mass. -- Bentley University, ranked 17th nationally in Division II, limited UMass-Lowell to 14 first-half points and rolled to a 64-43 win over the River Hawks Wednesday night at the Dana Center, clinching a share of the 2010-11 Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball championship.

The Falcons, who now lead the conference by two games over both Franklin Pierce and Assumption with two to play, improved to 21-3 overall and 18-2 in the NE-10. It marks the 19th time in the conference's 30-year history that Bentley will have at least a share of the title and the first since 2003.

Freshman forward Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg/Wachusett Reg. HS) led three double-figure scorers for the Falcons, finishing with 14 points, 14 rebounds and four steals. Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS), also a freshman forward, followed with 13 points and had the same numbers at the foul line as the entire River Hawk team (9-12).  Sophomore guard Courtney Finn (Winthrop/ Winthrop HS) was solid off the bench, contributing 11 points in 15 minutes.

It was a very quiet start for both teams with neither making a field goal for the first six-plus minutes. After both teams finally got one to drop, the Falcons came to life, scoring a dozen unanswered points to open a 17-3 advantage with about seven-and-a-half minutes left in the opening half. That spurt featured a pair of three-pointers, less than a minute apart, from junior guard Katherine Goodwin (Goffstown, N.H./Governors Academy).

By that point in the game, UMass-Lowell (9-15, 8-12 NE-10) was just one of 16 from the field and had turned the ball over 10 times.

Bentley, which led 27-14 at the break, broke the game open with a 15-2 second-half spurt that made it a 48-23 game with 11 minutes left. Freshman guard Christiana Bakolas (Manchester, N.H./ Central HS) had all five of her points during that run and Battista started it with a baseline jumper and a lay-up.

Bentley, the number one-ranked team in the Division II East Region, earned the victory despite shooting a season-low 28 percent. A 7-2 edge in three-pointers, 14 more free throws made (23-9) and nine fewer turnovers (14-23) helped offset that low number.

UMass-Lowell, held to 4 of 24 from the floor before the break, finished at 30 percent after warming up to 41 percent in the second half.  Sophomore guard and reigning NE-10 Player of the Week Bianca Simmons (Middletown, Conn.) led the River Hawks with nine points and four rebounds. Six-foot-three center Briana Szidat (Pelham, N.H.) was a factor at the defensive end with five blocks.

Goodwin, who buried three triples, missed being Bentley's fourth double-figures by a single point. Junior post Shatasia Kearse (Framingham/Lincoln-Sudbury HS) only scored six points, but helped spark the defense with 12 rebounds (10 at the defensive end), five steals and two blocks.

Bentley finishes the regular season with a pair of road games, at two-time defending champion Franklin Pierce Saturday and at Stonehill next Wednesday, with a win in either giving coach Barbara Stevens' team sole ownership of the NE-10 championship.


At Waltham, Mass. (Dana Center)


UMASS LOWELL (9-15, 8-12 NE-10) -- Binca Simmons 3-12 3-4 9; Nyachuol Biliew 2-9 3-4 8; Brianna Wilson 3-4 1-2 7; Dominique Pagan 1-3 2-2 4; Sarah Bennett 2-6 0-0 4; Krissy Little 2-5 0-0  4; Whitney Wilson 2-2 0-0 4; Briana Szidat 1-3 0-0 3; Sha'Nay Bushner 0-8 0-0 0; Danielle DePierro 0-0 0-0 0; Lauren Fiola 0-0 0-0 0; Brianna Calver 0-0 0-0 0; Erika Sjoberg 0-1 0-0 0; Alexandra Guidi 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-53 9-12 43.

BENTLEY (21-3, 18-2 NE-10) -- Jacqui Brugliera 3-18 7-10 14; Lauren Battista 2-6 9-12 13; Courtney Finn 3-5 3-4 11; Katherine Goodwin 3-9 0-0 9; Shatasia Kearse 2-9 2-3 6; Christiana Bakolas 2-5 1-1 5; Kelsey Roberson 1-1 0-0 3; Kim Brennan 1-5 1-1 3; Lauren Massie 0-0 0-0 0; Ashley Saia 0-0 0-0 0; Meghan Thomann 0-3 0-0 0; Caralyn Hart 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-61 23-31 64.

Halftime: B 27-14; 3-point goals--UML 2-12 (Szidat 1-1; Biliew 1-5; Pagan 0-1; Little 0-2; Simmons 0-3), B 7-22 (Goodwin 3-7; Finn 2-4; Roberson 1-1; Brugliera 1-5; Brennan 0-2; Thomann 0-3). Fouled out--UML- Bushner, Szidat. Rebounds--UML 41 (Bushner 8), B 45 (Brugliera 14). Assists--UML 10 (Pagan, Simmons 3), B 15 (Brennan 5).Total fouls--UML 20, B 17. Technical fouls--None.