No. 6 Bentley downs Franklin Pierce
Battista scores 17 points to lead Falcons past Ravens
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Bentley sophomore Lauren Battista singlehandedly outscored Franklin Pierce University in the first half 12-11 and led the Falcons to a 60-49 win against the Ravens on Tuesday.
Battista flirted with a triple-double for the second time in a week before finishing with 17 points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Bentley, which took a commanding 34-11 lead into the halftime break, ran its record to 22-3 overall and 18-2 in the NE-10, remaining one game up on Southern Connecticut State. Franklin Pierce, which faced a double-digit deficit for the game's final 31 minutes, dropped to 16-8 overall and 13-7 conference.
It was a defensive clinic for the Falcons in the first half, who limited the Ravens to 14-percent shooting (3-21) and forced 18 turnovers in the first 20 minutes. Franklin Pierce didn't make its first field goal until more than seven minutes had elapsed, and had amassed 16 turnovers before getting their second, with 4:03 remaining until the break.
Bentley ran off 10 consecutive points early to open a 12-2 advantage, and after Franklin Pierce scored the next four to cut the deficit to six, outscored the Ravens 22-5 in the final 12-plus minutes.
The Falcons had the commanding lead despite shooting 33 percent themselves in the half as they capitalized on the Pierce turnovers (16-0 in points off) and second chance points (10-2 advantage). Battista finished the half with 12 points and seven rebounds, and junior guard Courtney Finn nearly matched her with 10 and six.
The second-half differential remained between 16 and 22 most of the way, until the Ravens finished by scoring the game's final eight points.
Battista earned her 17 points on 8-of-16 shooting, including her first 3-pointer of the season. She also played outstanding defense on the Ravens' Marielle Giroud, who struggled through a seven-point, six-turnover night. She was just two of eight from the floor while scoring less than half her season norm.
Finn recorded her fifth double-double, finished with 12 points, including an 8-for-8 effort from the foul stripe and 11 rebounds. Bentley also received eight points apiece from sophomore forward Jacqui Brugliera and senior post Shatasia Kearse.
Senior guard Lekia Cowen was the only Franklin Pierce player to score in doubles (11 points off the bench) as the Falcons also did an outstanding job of containing last year's NE-10 Player of the Year, senior forward Jewel White.