COLCHESTER, Vt. – Senior All-America forward Lauren Battista (North Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames HS) scored 14 points, all in the first half, without missing a shot and All-Region grad student Courtney Finn (Winthrop, Mass./Winthrop HS) netted a team-high 16 points as undefeated Bentley University improved to 23-0 with a wire-to-wire 84-52 victory over St. Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball at the Ross Sports Center Saturday afternoon.
Bentley, the season-long number one in the USA TODAY Sports/WBCA Division II coaches' poll, ran its conference record to 18-0 after maintaining a lead of at least 25 for the final 37-plus minutes.
Runs of 13-0 and 18-0 propelled Bentley to a 42-11 lead after 14 minutes and it was also a 31-point spread at intermission, 49-18. The Falcons shot 57 percent during the opening 20 minutes after being north of 60 percent for most of the way, and also dominated the boards, 24-10.
The 13-0 run, which featured four baskets by Battista and the second three of the afternoon from senior forward Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg, Mass./Oliver Ames HS), put Bentley up 20-4 with more than 14 minutes still left on the first-half clock.
Later in the half, Bentley ran off 18 unanswered in a span of 5:20 with Finn connecting twice from deep, once from each wing.
Throughout the foul-filled second half(29 combined fouls), the Falcon advantage never dipped below 30 and peaked at 37 four times in the final nine minutes.
Battista, Bentley's all-time leading scorer and now one point shy of 1900 for her career, was six-of-six from the field with a pair of three-pointers before exiting the game for good with about 12 minutes still to play. She also had four rebounds and three steals in her 21 minutes of action.
Finn moved past Shevon Gibbons '05 into 12th on Bentley's all-time scoring list with her 16-point effort on four-of-seven shooting giving her 1,403. Brugliera, who tallied 12 points in only 13 minutes, also climbed a notch on the all-time list, finished with 1,366 to move ahead of Patrice Misiano '93 into 14th all-time.
Freshman forward Jen Gemma (Milton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) had 10 points and 11 rebounds for her third double-double, junior guard Kelsey Mattice (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero North Syracuse HS) scored eight off the bench and senior point guard Christiana Bakolas (Manchester, N.H./Central HS) filled the stat sheet with six assists, five steals and seven points.
Senior forward Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn.) was the lone double-figure scorer for St. Michael's (3-19, 2-16 NE-10), with 11 of her 16 coming after intermission.
Bentley outshot the Purple Knights 46-29 percent, had an 8-3 edge in three-pointers and more than doubled the home team on the boards, 51-25. That included 18-8 at the offensive end, resulting in a 22-7 advantage in second-chance points.
Bentley will play its final road game of the regular season Wednesday at Southern New Hampshire.