WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior All-America forward Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS) scored 18 points, including the 1,600th of her career, in only 20 minutes as Bentley University stayed perfect with a 71-42 win over Southern New Hampshire University in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Tuesday night at the Dana Center.
Bentley used a 31-9 edge in points off turnovers, including 25-0 in the opening half, to improve to 7-0 overall and 4-0 in the NE-10. Southern New Hampshire, held nearly 20 points below its usual output, fell to 4-2 overall and 2-1 in the conference.
There were a half dozen lead changes early, the last coming on a lay-up by Bentley junior guard Kelsey Mattice (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero North Syracuse HS) with 13:29 left in the opening stanza. That made it 10-9 and launched 27-6 explosion that gave the Falcons a commanding 35-15 lead with just under four minutes until the halftime break.
Mattice scored all six of her points during the blast and grad student Courtney Finn (Winthrop/ Winthrop HS) netted seven of the 27 during the run that culminated with a three-point play by senior guard Christiana Bakolas (Manchester, N.H./Central HS).
Bentley, which was up 37-19 at the break, broke the game wide open with a 19-2 run that made it a 61-27 game with 11 minutes still to play. Freshman forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) had the hot hand during that stretch with eight points. She finished with a career-best 12 points and 10 boards off the bench for her first career double-double.
Battista, number seven on Bentley's all-time scoring list with 1,617 points, netted 13 of her game-high 18 in the opening half and finished 6-of-12 shooting overall and 5-of-5 from the free throw stripe. Finn was the Falcons' third player in doubles, finishing with 12 points.
Senior forward Caleigh Crowell (Harwich/Worcester Academy) only scored four points but had a productive 17 minutes with seven rebounds, three steals, two blocks and two assists.
Sophomore Amra Elezovic (Manchester, N.H.) led SNHU with 14 points, and no one else had more than eight for the Penmen.
Bentley struggled from three (2-for-16), but made 55 percent of its two-point attempts and limited the visitors to just 28 percent shooting, including only 23 percent in the second half. The Falcons also committed nine fewer turnovers, had eight more rebounds (43-35) and finished with a 34-16 advantage in the paint.
Bentley will have a full week off before returning to action at Merrimack next Wednesday.