BRIDGEPORT, Conn. – Sophomore forward Lauren Battista scored 16 of her game-high 22 points in the second half, including four free throws in the final 26 seconds, as Bentley edged Dowling 50-47 in the first round of the Bridgeport Holiday Classic on Thursday.
Top-ranked Bentley improved to 10-1 on the season, while handing the Golden Lions (9-1) their first loss of the year.
|TOP 25 SCORES|
|No. 1 Bentley 50, Dowling 47|
|No. 4 UCSD 79, San Francisco State 44|
|No. 5 Clayton State 76, West Georgia 48|
|No. 8 Edinboro 66, Hillsdale 56|
|No. 10 Alaska-Anchorage 78, Central Washington 60|
|No. 11 Cal Poly Pomona 62, Cal State San Bernardino 53|
|NYIT 84, No. 12 Assumption 81|
|No. 13 Rollins 68, Cedarville 58|
|No. 17 Wisconsin-Parkside 61, Indiana Northwest 48|
|No. 19 Franklin Pierce 82, District of Columbia 48|
|No. 20 Florida Southern 62, Grand Valley State 51|
|Abilene Christian 70, No. 24 Shaw 68|
A close game throughout with both offenses struggling most of the game, Bentley used baskets from junior forward Caleigh Crowell and Battista to go up eight at 46-38 with 3:11 to play.
A Falcon turnover led to a layup from senior guard Kelly Puwalski and ignited a 7-0 Dowling spurt. Bentley came up empty on its next three possessions, and the Lions took advantage with a driving layup by junior guard Seja Gamble and three free throws from senior post Sarah Schicher.
Battista restored the Falcon lead to three at 48-45 by sinking a pair from the line with 25.2 seconds on the clock. Dowling ran off most of the remaining time before setting for a layup from junior guard Connie Simmons with four seconds left to play, and wasted two more seconds before fouling Battista.
Battista again put her team up by three, knocking down both free throws. Dowling inbounded to half court, and a quick second pass to the corner was deflected out of bounds as the final horn sounded.
Neither team could get untracked during a first half that ended with Bentley up by seven, 21-14. Bentley made only seven of 36 shots before intermission, but that was considerably better than Dowling, which was just three of 24 in the half with only one field goal in the final 15 minutes.
Simmons brought her team to life offensively in the opening minutes of the second half with a 10-3 spurt to even the game at 24. Bentley countered with an 8-1 spurt, four points apiece from Crowell and Battista, and never trailed again.
Bentley, which shot only 24.6 percent for the game while committing 21 turnovers, dominated on the glass. The Falcons corralled the ball 55 times, including 24 at the offensive end, and gave up only 36. Battista, who had her fourth double-double, led the way with 11, and junior guard Courtney Finn followed with nine, along with eight points. Crowell also scored eight for the Falcons.
Dowling, which shot 46 percent in the second half to warm up to 30 percent for the game, was led by Simmons and Gamble, with 16 and 12 points, respectively.