WALTHAM, Mass. – Held to exactly half of their conference-leading 80 point-per-game scoring average, the Bentley University women's basketball team was shut down by Le Moyne College and suffered only its second loss of the season, 58-40 in Northeast-10 action Wednesday night at the Dana Center.
Bentley, ranked 10th in Division II coming in, dropped to 13-2 overall and was tagged with its first NE10 loss in eight conference games. Le Moyne continued its strong season, improving to 11-2 overall and 5-2 NE10.
After jumping out to a 7-4 start, the Falcons managed only three field goals over the final 17-plus minutes of the first half and went into the locker room on the short end of a 32-17 score. Bentley, in the second quarter, misfired on 15 of 17 shots, including eight of nine from distance.
On the other hand, Le Moyne shot 52 percent, including 13 of 22 inside the arc, and outscored the home team 20-4 in the paint.
It was more of the same to start the third with a 12-3 Dolphin run in the first 6:15 extending the differential to 24 at 44-20.
Bentley staged a mini-run to open the final stanza with seven unanswered in the opening minute bringing the Falcons within 15 at 49-34. However, the Falcons scored only six more the rest of the way and never got any closer.
Sophomore guard Katie Meriggioli (Waunakee, Wis./Edgewood HS) was Bentley's top scorer with 12 points and backcourt mate Amy McConnell (South Windsor, Conn./South Windsor HS) followed with 11. The team's top rebounder was junior guard Maddy Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H./ Conant HS) with seven.
Four players scored in doubles for Le Moyne with junior guard McKayla Roberts (North Syracuse, N.Y.) leading the way with 13, along with seven assists, four rebounds and four steals. Freshman Jenna Zimmerman (Adams, N.Y.) swatted five Bentley shots and also had ten points and seven rebounds.
Bentley shot only 22 percent, both overall, while Le Moyne finished at 43 percent despite three-point woes (2 of 13). The Falcons finished with one more rebound, 41-40, but were outscored in the paint by a commanding 38-10 margin. The Dolphins also forced 19 Falcon turnovers.
After being held to its lowest point total since 2008, Bentley will look to bounce back Saturday with a 1:30 game in Albany, N.Y. against Saint Rose.