Lauren Battista scores season-high 25 as No. 1 Bentley defeats Franklin Pierce
WALTHAM, Mass. -- Senior All-America forward Lauren Battista poured in a season-high 25 points and classmate Jacqui Brugliera followed with 17, also a season-best, as Bentley, the No. 1 team in the USA TODAY Sports/WBCA Division II poll, made it 10-0 with an 86-66 win against Franklin Pierce in Northeast-10 Conference play on Tuesday night.
This marks the seventh time in program history, and the second consecutive season, that the Falcons have sported a perfect record ten games into the season. Bentley, guilty of only four turnovers all night, improved to 7-0 in the NE-10 and now leads the conference's Northeast Division by two games in the loss column.
Brugliera and Courtney Finn both eclipsed the 1,200-point milestone during the game. Brugliera made 7 of 11 from the field with a pair of 3-pointers, and Finn overcame early foul trouble to finish with 12 points. Bentley also received a dozen points, matching her career-best, and eight rebounds off the bench from Jen Gemma.
No. 7 Clayton State 80, Fort Valley State 66
FORT VALLEY, Ga. -- Clayton State picked up a hard-fought road victory on Tuesday, defeating nonconference opponent Fort Valley State 80-66.
The Lakers outscored the Wildcats 26-8 during the final nine minutes of the game for the win. Trailing 58-54 with 8:44 remaining in the contest, the Lakers went on a 15-0 run during the next four minutes to take control of the game.
Senior forward Kiana Morton ignited the Lakers with a basket and scored four points during the game-deciding stretch, while sophomore center Andrea Benford capped the run and scored six points during the run. Benford's basket, two of her game-high 20 points, gave the Lakers an 11-point lead, at 69-58 with 4:25 remaining.
Fort Valley cut the deficit to eight points, 72-64, with 1:44 remaining but the Lakers scored eight unanswered points to seal the victory. Benford scored five of the final eight points for the Lakers, who led by as many as 16.