SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Junior guard Kelsey Mattice (Cicero, N.Y./North Syracuse HS) scored a career-high 15 points in her return to central New York, senior guard Courtney Finn (Winthrop, Mass./ Winthrop HS) claimed a career-best 16 rebounds and senior forward Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg, Mass./ Wachusett Reg. HS) netted a game-high 17 points as Bentley University stayed unbeaten with a 79-56 win over Le Moyne College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Wednesday night at Ted Grant Court.
Bentley, the number one team in the USA TODAY Sports/WBCA Division II rankings, ran its record to 13-0 (8-0 NE-10) with coach Barbara Stevens moving to within five of the 900 career win milestone. Le Moyne dipped to 8-5 overall and 4-3 in the conference following its third loss to a nationally-ranked team in its last five games.
The Falcons, down two with about six minutes left in the first half, embarked on a 26-6 explosion to make it a 46-28 contest with 14:45 left in the second. That included a 14-2 run to close out the first half and send the visitors into the break up ten at 34-24.
Finn scored six of the 14, including a three-ball to put the Falcons in front to stay, 23-22 with 4:52 on the first-half clock, and a coast-to-coast drive for two following a steal. It also included a three from the right wing by Mattice, who was playing only about 20 miles from her hometown.
Mattice kept the momentum going when she knocked down another triple to open the second half, and a three-point play from senior All-America forward Lauren Battista (North Easton, Mass./ Oliver Ames HS) capped the 12-4 burst to start the second.
After the Dolphins closed to within 13, 59-46, with 8:24 left, Bentley put it away by scoring 12 in a row, a run that included threes from Finn and Brugliera. The differential eventually peaked at 27, 75-48 with 2:10 to play.
Mattice, who bettered her previous best by two points, made 6 of 11 shots overall and also provided four rebounds. Brugliera scored the Falcons' first six points and wound up matching her season-best while hitting 8 of 11 from the field. Finn complemented the best rebounding night of her career with 15 points, and Battista finished with 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists.
Battista became the fifth player in program history to reach 1,700 points and moved past Kim Cummings '96 into fourth on the Falcons' all-time list with 1,713.
Senior point guard Christiana Bakolas (Manchester, N.H./Central HS) filled the stat sheet with seven points, six assists and five rebounds.
The only double-figure scorer for Le Moyne was junior guard Alex Marple (Covington, Pa.), who tallied all 13 of her points in the first half.
Bentley had its best shooting night of the season, .536, and limited the Dolphins to 33 percent. The visitors were also a plus-15 on the boards, 47-32, and finished with a 46-22 domination in the paint. The Falcons also had slight edges in three-pointers (6-4) and free throws (13-10).
Bentley will be back at home for its next two, beginning with a Saturday matinee against Southern Connecticut State.