UMass Lowell Athletics

WALTHAM, Mass. (Feb. 16, 2011) – Freshman  Jacqui Brugliera scored 14 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead Bentley University over UMass Lowell, 64-43, Wednesday night in a Northeast-10 Conference women’s basketball clash at the Dana Center.

With its sixth consecutive victory, Bentley improved to 21-3 overall and 18-2 in the Conference and clinched at least a share of the NE-10 regular season title.

Brugliera also had four steals while freshman Lauren Battista chipped in 13 points, six rebounds, three assists and three steals. Sophomore Courtney Finn scored 11 points, shooting 3 for 5 from the field and 3-4 from the free-throw stripe.

With the loss, UMass Lowell slipped to 9-15 overall and 8-12 in the NE-10 entering Saturday’s home clash against Saint Anselm. With a win Saturday, the River Hawks will clinch a spot in the NE-10 Tournament Feb. 27-Mar. 3.

UMass Lowell remains in a three-way tie for ninth place in the NE-10 standings with Southern New Hampshire (10-14, 8-12 NE-10) and Merrimack (10-14, 8-12 NE-10). Southern New Hampshire suffered a 47-36 home loss against Saint Michael’s while Merrimack dropped a 74-61 decision at home to Franklin Pierce.

Should they remain that way at the end of the regular season, the River Hawks would earn the No. 9 seed since sweeping both the Penmen and Warriors this season.

Sophomore Bianca Simmons led UMass Lowell with nine points, four rebounds and three assists while freshman G Nyachuol Biliew (Portland, Maine) added eight points and six rebounds.

Bentley forced UMass Lowell into 23 turnovers while committing 14, resulting in a 13-4 steals advantage as well as 14-9 scoring edge off turnovers. The Falcons also outscored the River Hawks 23-12 at the free throw line and 21-6 from behind the 3-point circle.

Both teams were off the mark in the early going, but UMass Lowell misfired on 14 of its first 15 attempts and trailed 17-3 with 7:28 left to play.

Bentley led 27-14 at the break, but the River Hawks could not get within 10 points the rest of the way.

The Falcons opened the first half with a 15-4 run to post a 42-21 cushion with 12:21 remaining. Battista led the run with seven points.