MANCHESTER, N.H. – Bentley University junior guard Macchi Smith (Los Angeles, Calif./Windward School) put her team in front with two free throws with 1:07 remaining and added two more with 4.0 seconds left to help the Falcons get past Southern New Hampshire University, 61-58, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the SNHU Fieldhouse.
Bentley, which trailed by nine 28 seconds into the final quarter, outscored the Penmen 19-10 in the fourth to remain undefeated in the NE10 (5-0) and improve to 7-2 overall. Southern New Hampshire slipped to 3-5 overall and 1-3 conference despite maintaining the lead for over 31 minutes, including all but 1:22 of the final three quarters.
After SNHU junior Catherine Stinson (Lynn, Mass.) knocked down a three to start the fourth-quarter scoring and make it 51-42, the Bentley defense picked it up for the remainder of the contest. The 11th-ranked team in the latest WBCA Division II coaches' poll allowed only seven more points, on 3-of-14 shooting, and dominated the boards, 16-5.
Bentley used a 12-4 run to close within one, 55-54, with 3:59 left. Senior All-America forward Jen Gemma (Milton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy), who played the entire second half after being limited to four minutes in the first by early foul trouble, had six of the 12, and junior guard Lauren Green (Damascus, Md./Damascus HS) helped out with four.
SNHU sophomore forward Kylie Lorenzen (Holliston, Mass.), who finished with a 21-point, 12-rebound double-double, hit one of two from the line with 2:50 to play, making it a two-point game.
Bentley sophomore forward Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) came up with a block and a rebound with 1:48 left, and 14 seconds later, Green drained a go-ahead three from the left corner. Lorenzen countered for SNHU, her elbow jumper with 1:19 to play putting the home team back in front, 58-57.
After Smith gave the lead back to Bentley, SNHU missed three potential go-ahead shots before Smith tied up an SNHU player with the ball going to the Falcons with 9.5 seconds. She eluded being fouled for several seconds, running the clock down to :04. A final three-point attempt by the Penmen was off the mark with Lux claiming the rebound as time expired.
SNHU took the lead with a 13-4 run late in the first half and remained in front throughout the entire second and third quarters with the differential ranging from one to seven.
Green led Bentley with 16 points and two assists, and Smith followed with 13, along with eight rebounds, two assists and a steal.
Gemma scored 11 while passing both Kim Brennan '11 and Kim Cummings '96 on the program's all-time scoring list. She finished the game with 1,706 points, good for fifth in program history.
Bentley shot slightly better, 37-35 percent, and the four late free throws by Smith gave the visitors the edge from the line, 14 of 18 as compared to 10 of 14. The Falcons wound up with five more rebounds, 44-39, and turnovers were even at nine apiece.
Bentley will return to action Wednesday with a home game against St Michael's.