PHILADELPHIA -- Senior All-America forward Lauren Battista scored 18 points and All-Conference guard Courtney Finn, a grad student, added 14 points and a career-best nine assists as Bentley, the top-ranked team in Division II preseason, opened with an 81-68 win against 11th-ranked Holy Family in non-conference action on Saturday afternoon at Campus Center Gymnasium.
Bentley, coming off a 30-2 season, seized control with a 20-3 blitz during a span of five second-half minutes. That produced a 75-57 advantage with five-and-a-half minutes to play and the Falcon lead eventually peaked at 20, 81-61 with just under three minutes to play, before the Tigers scored the game's final seven points.
Battista, 10th on Bentley's all-time scoring list with 1,522 points, made 9 of 15 shots in the game and also gave the Falcons five rebounds, three steals and two assists. Finn, in addition to the near double-double in points and assists, filled the stat sheet with six rebounds and three steals.
No. 3 Clayton State 63, Florida Southern 62
TAMPA, Fla. -- A layup by junior forward Yishica Sims with 35 seconds remaining in the game lifted No. 3 Clayton to a 63-62 victory Friday in its season opener at the Spartan Challenge hosted by Tampa.
Sims sparkled in her Laker debut, pouring in a game-high 27 points in the contest, hitting 10 of 16 shots from the field. She also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds in the game.
The game came down to the final minutes, and the Lakers pulled out the victory thanks to a few clutch baskets. Clayton State took a 61-56 lead with 3:20 remaining on a 3-pointer by Laker senior guard Bena Hanyard. Florida Southern came right back with a jumper to cut the lead to three points 61-58 on a jumper by Morgan Lamberg.
After Clayton State missed on two consecutive possessions, Florida Southern retook the lead with two consecutive baskets by Taylor Maldonado. Her second basket gave the Mocs a 62-61 lead with 58 seconds, setting up Sims' game-winning basket.
No. 4 Nova Southeastern 90, No. 22 Washburn 87
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. -- Nova Southeastern had four players in double digits and held off No.22 Washburn in Saturday's season opener in the Tipoff Classic at the NSU Arena 90-87.
The Sharks (1-0), who overcame an 11-point first-half deficit and trailed by five points at the half, went ahead for the final time with 10:30 to go. They overcame being outrebounded by nearly double in the first 20 minutes (25-13), flip-flopping the category after the break, 25-14.
Richelle Carach set a career high with 19 points, on 7 of 9 shooting, despite picking up her fourth foul with 19:35 to go. She also had seven rebounds.
Danielle Robinson had 16 points, Amanda Burakoski chipped in with 11 off the bench, and Jasmine Wilkins, in her first game since the 2011-12 season, scored the game's first basket and had the sixth double-double of her career with 10 points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
No. 5 Emporia State 67, Cal State East Bay 53
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Emporia State got 19 points from Merissa Quick as all nine player suited up scored at least five points each in a 67-53 win against Cal State East Bay on Saturday night.
Emporia State scored the first four points of the game nad never trailed as they improved to 2-0 on the season.
The Lady Hornets outrebounded the Pioneers 46-31 on the night as Kionna Kellogg, Kelly Moten and Desiree Wylie each had seven boards.
No. 7 Stonehill 82, Barry 64
DAVIE, Fla. -- Stonehill opened its 2013-14 season with an 82-64 victory against Barry on Day One of the 2013 NSU Sharks Tip-Off Classic, hosted by Nova Southeastern.
Junior Amy Pelletier led five Stonehill players in double-figures with a career-high 21 points on 8 of 15 shooting, including 5-for-9 from 3-point range, to lead a Skyhawks team that hit 10-of-21 (47.6 percent) of its 3-pointers on the day while dishing out three assists. Classmate Tori Faieta added 19 points on 8-of-9 shooting, including her lone 3-point attempt and connecting on both free-throw attempts to go with three rebounds.
Senior Mary Louise Dixon dished out a game-high 10 assists and snared four rebounds with her two points making her the 27th player in Stonehill history to reach 1,000 points for her career. Freshman Kelly Martin led three Skyhawks with 10 points and she made all three of her shots from the field, including a pair of 3's, and both free-throws to go with a game-high six rebounds in 22 minutes off the bench in her collegiate debut.
No. 8 Central Missouri 96, Minnesota State-Mankato 88
WARRENSBURG, Mo. -- In the first top-25 season-opening matchup for Central Missouri, the eighth-ranked Jennies defeated No. 23 Minnesota State-Mankato 96-88 at the Multipurpose Building on Saturday night.
Keuna Flax led the Jennies with 30 points (15 in first half) and added seven boards in 36 minutes of action. BreAnna Lewis added 20, while Shelby Winkelmann added 15 in her first game back since Dec. 18 of last season.
The Jennies shot 46 percent from the field (31 of 66) and went 7 of 19 from beyond the 3-point arc (36 percent). They outscored Minnesota State, 36-31 in the paint and added 13 second-chance points to the Mavericks' two.
Aubrey Davis was Minnesota State's leader scorer with 20, with five other Mavericks scoring a dozen points. Minnesota State held a 30-20 advantage in bench points.
No. 9 Concordia-St. Paul 68, Pittsburg State 62
ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Golden Bears (2-0) defeated Pittsburg State (1-1) 68-62 in the CCA Tip-Off Classic on Saturday night. Concordia-St. Paul built a large lead late in the first half and didn't trail again as CU improved to 2-0 on the young season. Ameshia Kearney and Amanda Barton led the way with 14 points and Kionda Nicks chipped in 11 for the Golden Bears.
Despite shooting only 29.6 percent from the floor in the second half, the Golden Bears were able to lock down defensively and hold the Gorillas to 31 percent shooting in the half and 30.9 percent for the game. Pittsburg State was also able to win the battle on the glass, outrebounding the Golden Bears 46-33 for the game but it wasn't enough.
Lizzy Jeronimus made a huge impact for the Gorillas with a game-high 22 points and eight boards, going 12-13 from the free throw line. Alexa Bordewick and Alex Muff joined her in double-digits in scoring with 12 and 10, respectively.
All-American Anika Whiting had a quiet night with eight points on 2-10 shooting and one rebound. Amanda Barton picked up the slack off the bench by shooting 60 percent from the field and 50 percent from three en route to her 14 points. Kearney also had an solid day shooting, hitting 5-9 shots and 4-6 from beyond the arc. Nicks also hit 5-7 from the field.
Adams State 64, No. 10 Midwestern State 56
ALAMOSA, Colo. -- Adams State started and finished strong to deal 10th-ranked Midwestern State its first loss of the season 64-56 Saturday night in the finale of the Bankers Classic Challenge at Plachy Hall.
First-half foul difficulties allowed the Grizzlies (2-0) to race out to a 30-20 lead with about four minutes left in the first half before the Mustangs reeled off a 9-0 to claw to within a point as ASU led by five at the break.
The Grizzlies limited MSU to a 34 percent shooting night after the Mustangs connected at a 45.3 percent clip with seven treys in a season-opening win against Colorado State-Pueblo on Friday.
Midwestern briefly led by a point early in the second half, but was unable to sustain the momentum as Adams State methodically expanded the lead back into double figures with five minutes to play.
Junior forward Andrea Carter paced the Mustangs with 13 points and eight rebounds while junior guard Dianna Jones pitched 12 points. Junior guard Shatoia Gober and senior guard Kirsti Degelia pitched in eight and seven points, respectively.
Junior forward Michelle Blanton splashed in 15 points to pace the Grizzlies and was joined in double figures by junior guard Desiree Anderson (13 points) and junior forward Alyssa Palma (12 points). Freshman guard Emilie Klint pitched in nine.