RINDGE, N.H. – In a wire-to-wire win, sophomore guard Katie Meriggioli (Waunakee, Wis./ Edgewood HS) scored 17 points and senior center Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy) put up an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double in only 18 minutes as Bentley University took care of Franklin Pierce University, 80-56, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Wednesday evening at the FPU Fieldhouse.
Bentley, ranked sixth in the WBCA Division II coaches' poll and fourth in the D2SIDA rankings, stayed perfect on the season, improving to 7-0 overall and 3-0 NE10. Franklin Pierce suffered its fifth loss in six outings and dropped to 0-3 in the conference.
It was a fast start for the undefeated Falcons as they hit their first six shots and vaulted out to a 14-0 lead before the game was six minutes old. Lux hit the game's first two buckets, junior guard Maddy Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H./Conant HS) buried a three from the right wing, senior guard Megan Lewis (Sevenoaks, England) made a lay-up and Meriggioli scored the next five, including a three-ball from the right wing.
Ahead by eight after one, 23-15, Bentley pushed the lead to 14 with an 8-2 spurt to start the second quarter. Meriggioli was again involved with a four-foot runner and a three-point play off a fast break lay-up.
Bentley put the game away in the third quarter as 60 percent shooting (9/15) extended the lead to 25, 67-42, heading into the final stanza. The Falcons hit six of seven shots to open the half and Lewis was the team's top scorer in the third with seven.
The difference stayed in the 20's throughout the fourth quarter.
Meriggioli, coming off a career-best 26-point effort Saturday at Bridgeport, made six of 11 overall with a couple treys, and also recorded six rebounds and four assists. Lux matched the four helpers, came up with a pair of blocks and made five of eight shots.
`Lewis, in addition to scoring 11, had four rebounds, two assists and a steal. The Falcons also received eight points apiece from Springfield, who was playing just a short ride from her home, and senior guard Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS), who came up with five steals. In addition, freshman guard Kolleen Bouchard (Houlton, Maine/Houlton HS) provided eight points and
The only Raven to reach double figures was freshman guard Lisa Sulejmani (Burlington, Vt.), with 13 off the bench.
Bentley shot 48 percent overall, knocked down eight of 20 threes and finished 16 of 26 at the line after a slow start. The Falcons controlled the boards, 41-34, and forced 20 turns for a 23-13 advantage in points off.
Franklin Pierce (.322) made 7 of 16 threes, but couldn't get anything done inside, making only 12 of 43 two-point attempts. As a result, the Falcons outscored the home team in the paint, 40-12.
Next up for the Falcons is only the second home game of the season, Saturday at 1:30 against St. Michael's College.