PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – The University of the Sciences, ranked 17th in Division II and perennially one of the nation's stingiest Division II programs, limited the Bentley University Falcons to 14 first-half points and went on to post a season-opening 54-40 win in the Northeast-10/CACC Women's Basketball Challenge at the USciences' Athletic Recreation Center Friday evening.
While the two teams played even in the final two periods, the Devils limited Bentley to six points on 2-of-12 shooting in the opening quarter and eight points on 1-of-6 in the second. That produced a 28-14 advantage and the Falcons never got closer than 11 the rest of the way.
Junior guard Irisa Ye (North Wales, Pa.) powered USciences with 20 points, although she struggled with her shot (6-of-18) and turned the ball over six times. Half of her scoring, on four-of-eight from the floor, came in an opening quarter that ended with the home team on top 18-6.
Bentley was led by the tandem of senior center Monica Viapiano (Holden, Mass./Wachusett Reg. HS) and junior guard Katie Meriggioli (Waunakee, Wisc./Edgewood HS), who combined for 28 of the 40 points and 18 of the 27 rebounds.
Viapiano, six of ten from the field, put up a 15-point, 10-rebound double-double with a pair of steals. Meriggioli followed with 13 points and eight boards.
Those two were a combined 10 of 18 from the field while the rest of the team struggled through a 3-for-25 night, including 1-for-12 from three.
The starting five accounted for 49 of USciences' 54 points with Ye followed on the scoring list by junior guard Jess Huber (Hatfield, Pa.) with 11, senior guard Brigit Coleman (Lansdale, Pa.) with nine and senior guard Jordan Vitelli (Warrington, Pa.) with nine.
USciences outshot the Falcons, 38-30 percent, and also had a 33-27 rebounding advantage.
Bentley will be back on the same court on Saturday for a noon game against Goldey-Beacom.