WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior All-Conference forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) scored a game-high 17 points and the Falcon defense limited Franklin Pierce University to 26.7 percent shooting as Bentley University remained unbeaten with a 60-39 victory in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
The victory in the home opener boosted the Falcons to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in conference play. Franklin Pierce dipped to 1-1, both overall and in the NE-10.
The second quarter proved to be the difference as the Falcons outscored the Ravens 22-4 with the visitors just 2 of 13 from the floor. Bentley, down 14-11 entering the period, opened with a 10-0 run with its five points in the first 52 seconds more than the visitors tallied in the entire ten minutes.
Freshman guard Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) opened the second-quarter scoring with a lay-up and sophomore guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) followed with a go-ahead three-ball from the right side. The run continued with a lay-up from sophomore Cassie Smith (Edison, N.J./Metuchen HS) and Green made it 21-14 with 6:51 on the clock with her third triple of the half.
The lead grew to 33-18 at the half with Bentley finishing the second ten-minutes with a 12-2 spurt over the final 6:10. All 12 of those points were scored by the bench, including four by Smith.
Franklin Pierce, which was mired in foul trouble much of the game, never threatened in the second half with the Falcon advantage never dipping under 15 and peaking at 23, 57-34 with 7:18 on a three-pointer from sophomore guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./Gill St. Bernard HS).
Gemma tallied her 17 in only 21 minutes as she made 6 of 11 shots overall, a three-pointer and four of five free throws. Green was Bentley's other double-figure scorer as she finished with 11 without missing a shot (4-4 overall, 3-3 3's), and Bennett was the team's top scoring non-starter with a quarter of Bentley's 28 bench points. Smith, in addition to scoring six, had a team-best and career-high eight rebounds.
Senior forward Kara Charette (Fairhaven), a first-team All-NE-10 pick a year ago, was limited to a team-best nine points in 16 foul-riddled minutes for Franklin Pierce.
Bentley shot better across the board, finishing at .357 overall and 6-14 from three (as compared to Pierce's 2-19 from deep). The Falcons made 11 more free throws, 16-5, and had a 42-37 rebounding advantage.
Bentley will be back in action Tuesday night with a 5:30 pm contest at 4-0 Assumption College.