WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior All-America forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) scored 20 points and junior point guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School) followed with 19 as Bentley University, the number one-ranked team in the WBCA Division II coaches poll, stayed undefeated with a 76-65 win over Assumption College in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Tuesday night at the Dana Center.
Bentley, which shot a season-best .529 and knocked down 19 of 21 free throws, improved to 5-0 overall with its third conference win of the young season. Assumption fell to 1-3 overall and 0-3 NE-10.
The Falcons did most of their damage during a pair of runs, a 21-5 surrounding halftime and a 13-3 early in the fourth after the Greyhounds had shaved the home team's lead to three.
Down by one midway through the opening stanza, Bentley closed the second quarter with a 10-2 spurt to take a 33-26 lead to the locker room. Scoring for the Falcons during that surge were junior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) with a baseline jumper, sophomore forward Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) with two free throws, junior guard Trevena Bennett (Union, N.J./Gill St. Bernard School) with a pair of lay-ups and just before the buzzer, Smith on a drive.
The momentum carried into the second half with Bentley opening with an 11-3 burst to go up 44-29 with 5:47 left in the third. Gemma scored the first two baskets and Smith capped it with a three-ball from the right wing.
Bentley managed only one basket and a total of six points over the next seven-plus minutes, enabling the Greyhounds to get back into the game, 50-37 with 8:35 to play.
The Falcons rediscovered their offense, using a 13-3 run to extend the lead to 13 at 63-50 with 4:03 to play. Green and Gemma both had four during the stretch and again Smith was involved, knocking down a three from the left wing.
Assumption battled back again and by the time junior Kiera O'Donnell (Cheshire, Conn.) hit a three with about a minute left, it was a two-possession game at 69-63.
A parade to the foul line in the final minute – seven free throws in eight attempts – enabled the Falcons to push the final spread to 11.
Gemma finished 8 of 13 from the floor and was perfect on her four attempts from the foul stripe. She also provided four rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.
Smith scored her 19 by hitting six of nine overall, two of three from downtown and all five of her free throws. She matched Gemma in the rebound column and also had four assists and a couple steals.
Green and Lux also scored in double figures with 12 and 10, respectively. Lux came within one rebound of a double-double in 20 minutes of action off the bench.
Senior guard Kelly Carey (Long Beachh, N.Y.) led Assumption with 14 points on six-of-nine shooting. The Hounds were held to a .390 shooting percentage and missed seven of 20 free throws. Rebounds did favor the visitors, 33-27 overall and 14-6 on the offensive boards.
Bentley nearly doubled Assumption in points in the paint, 44-24, and had a 22-13 advantage in points off turnovers. The Falcons lost the ball 18 times, including only 11 after the opening stanza, and the Hounds turned it over 20 times.
Bentley will be on the road for two this weekend, playing at NYIT Saturday in a rematch of the 2016 NCAA Division II East Regional final and at Bridgeport Sunday.