OAKDALE, N.Y. – Senior guard Kelsey Mattice (Cicero, N.Y./Cicero North Syracuse HS) and sophomore post Jen Gemma (Milton, Mass./Fontbonne Acad.) combined to make 16 of 21 shots as Bentley University used two major runs to post a 65-54 non-conference win over Dowling College in women's college basketball at the Dowling Gymnasium Saturday afternoon.
Mattice finished with a career-best 19 points off the bench while Gemma scored 18 and came up one rebound shy of a sixth-straight double-double.
Bentley, ranked 19th in the latest USA Today Sports/WBCA Division II coaches' poll, improved to 4-2 with its second straight win, and Dowling remained winless (0-4).
Bentley seized control of the game with a 21-0 first-half explosion book-ended by three-balls, freshman guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md/Damascus HS) connecting from the left side to get it going and Mattice burying one from the left corner to make it a 39-25 game. In between, Gemma scored 11 of her 17 first-half points, all on inside baskets.
After the Golden Lion ran off five straight, including their only basket of the final nine-and-a-half minutes, Gemma drained a foul-line jumper to close out the first-half scoring. Bentley shot a sparking 63 percent during the opening 20 minutes, including five of seven from outside the arc, and took a 41-30 lead into the locker room.
In the second half, after the two teams traded baskets for the first eight minutes, Bentley put the game away with a 16-3 burst that made it a 64-43 game with 8:28 left.
Sophomore forward Brittany Gregory (Fishkill, N.Y./John Jay HS) got things going with a three-point play and junior guard Jane White (Amherst, N.H./Sougehan HS) followed with a three-pointer. The run also included three baskets by Mattice and two from senior forward Carlene Kluge (Reading, Mass./Reading HS).
Dowling closed with an 11-1 spurt the rest of the way, but the 21-point lead was too much for the Golden Lions to overcome.
Mattice, whose previous best was 15 points, was on target on eight of 11 shots, including all three of her attempts from downtown. Gemma, 8 of 10 overall, was perfect (8-8)before intermission and also delivered three assists.
Gregory was the only other Falcon to score more than five points, finishing with eight, along with five rebounds, off the bench.
Bentley shot 50.9 percent overall, limited the Golden Lions to 33 percent, and dominated the boards, 44-30. Dowling committed only eight turnovers, half of the Falcons' totals with six of the Falcons' giveaways coming in the final eight minutes. White had five of Bentley's 20 assists and one more than the Golden Lions had as a team.
Junior guard Krstina Surlan (Novi Grad, Bosnia) led Dowling with 19 points, eight rebounds and three steals.
Bentley will be back in the Dana Center Wednesday night for a 5:30 Northeast-10 game against Merrimack College.