No. 15 Bentley Shoots Past Southern Connecticut, 66-47
NEW HAVEN. Conn. – The combination of outstanding shooting from outside the arc and a strong defensive effort enabled the Bentley University Falcons to win their sixth straight, 66-47 over Southern Connecticut State, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball Tuesday night at the Moore Field House.
Junior forward Kylie DuCharme (Wilmington, Mass./Wilmington HS) led the Falcon offense with 17 points and graduate guard Ella Thompson (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove HS) added 12 points and seven assists.
Coupled with Southern New Hampshire's loss to Saint Rose, Bentley took sole possession of first place in the NE10. Ranked 15th this week in the WBCA Division II coaches poll, the Falcons pushed their records to 14-2 overall and 9-1 conference.
An early 16-2 run by the Falcons produced the game's first double-figure lead, 16-6, just past the midway point of the opening quarter. Three-balls played a role in the fast start with Thompson, junior guard Amanda Kabantu (Portland, Maine/Portland HS) and sophomore guard Cassidy Yeomans (Marion, Mass./Tabor Academy) all connecting from deep.
The lead stood at 11, 23-12, at the quarter break with the highly-touted Bentley defense limiting Southern to 31 percent shooting.
Bentley managed only ten points in the second, including just a DuCharme trey over the final six minutes, but managed to add two points to its lead. Although the Falcons went cold, Southern struggled offensively as well, making only two of nine during an eight-point quarter.
DuCharme led the first-half offense with nine points, and both Thompson and Yeomans netted six apiece.
A 12-2 start to the third extended the Falcon advantage to 23, 45-22. Eight of those were scored by DuCharme, who converted a pair of traditional three-point plays.
Southern reduced its deficit to 17 after three, but any hopes the Owls had of a comeback where smashed when Bentley hit three triples in about a minute early in the fourth. Freshman guard Niya Morgen (Swampscott, Mass./St. Mary's HS) had the first and Thompson had the other two, both from the left wing. That made it a commanding 60-34 advantage with 7:40 left.
The Bentley defense limited the Owls to .286 shooting and only three trifectas in 20 attempts, with two of those coming after the outcome was decided. The Falcons also controlled the boards, finishing with a plus-12 rebound margin.
Six different Falcons found the range from deep and combined to make 11 of 20 from three-point land. Morgen, the NE10 leader in that department, made all three of her attempts, and Thompson hit three of seven.
Morgen, the NE10 Rookie of the Week the last two weeks, joined DuCharme and Thompson in doubles as she tallied 11 off the bench. Kabantu had a strong all-around effort with seven points, five rebounds and two assists, and senior forward Maggie Whitmore (South Portland, Maine/South Portland HS) added six points and 12 rebounds.
Bentley is back on the road Saturday for a 1:30 pm game at Pace University.