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Maggie Whitmore
Maggie Whitmore

No. 11 Bentley Pulls Away Late for 7th Straight Win

WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior forward Maggie Whitmore (South Portland, Maine/South Portland HS) scored 18 points, including eight during a game-closing 17-2 run, as Bentley University, the 11th-ranked team in the WBCA Division II coaches poll, won its seventh straight, 67-50, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball on Barbara Stevens Court Wednesday night.

Bentley improved to 15-2 overall and 10-1 in the NE10 while extending its lead in the conference to one-and-a-half games over Saint Rose, Assumption and Southern New Hampshire.

It was a two-point game at the half, with the Falcons in front 25-23 after holding the Yellow Jackets to six points on 2-of-12 shooting in the second quarter. Bentley, down 17-13 after the opening stanza, took its first lead of the night by scoring the first eight points of the second.

The bench, led by senior guard Brooke Obar (North Yarmouth. Maine/Greeley HS) and freshman guard Niya Morgen (Swampscott/St. Mary's HS), led the Falcons in the first half, scoring all eight during that run (five by Obar, a three-point play by Morgen) and a total of 14 in the half.

The offense picked up for both teams in the third, with Bentley scoring 25 and AIC 20,  but there was still very little separation. The Falcon advantage hit seven three times in the final 85 seconds, including 50-43 on a late jumper in the paint by Whitmore.

AIC freshman guard Ruzgar Christina Boyle (Istanbul, Turkey) scored the first five of the fourth to make it a two-point game with just over six minutes left.

Bentley's four-plus minute scoring drought ended with 5:45 on the clock, on a driving lay-up by Whitmore. Forty seconds later, junior guard Amanda Kabantu (Portland, Maine/Portland HS) grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to make it 54-48.

Following the final basket of the night by the Yellow Jackets (10-8, 5-7 NE10), Bentley closed out the game with 13 unanswered points over the final four-and-a-half minutes. Whitmore had six free throws in as many attempts and Morgen scored five, including a late three-ball from the right side.

Whitmore did most of her scoring from the line, tying her career best with 12 in 14 attempts, and also had seven rebounds and two assists.

Morgen and Obar combined to give Bentley 25 off the bench with Morgen scoring 15 on 5-of-7 shooting and Ober, in her first action since Dec. 18, scoring ten. Kabantu followed with seven and junior forward Kylie DuCharme (Wilmington/Wilmington HS) finished with nine rebounds, five points, two assists, two steals, three blocks and three offensive fouls drawn.

For AIC, graduate guard Kayla Robinson (Rosedale, N.Y.) scored 18, with 11 coming in the first quarter, and junior post Rhaymi Porter (Scotia, N.Y.) helped at the defensive end with ten rebounds and six rejections.

Neither team shot well but the Falcons had a big edge at the line, making 23 of 28. AIC attempted 14 and was successful on just nine. Bentley had the rebound advantage, 42-30, and committed only eight turns. Points off were 15-2 Falcons.

Bentley returns to the road Saturday for a 1:30 pm game at New Haven.