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Ella Thompson
Ella Thompson

No. 8 Bentley Falls to No. 20 Assumption in Battle for NE10 Lead

WORCESTER, Mass. – Senior guard Amanda Mieczkowski (Hadley) scored 16 points on 6-of-6 shooting and also provided nine assists and eight rebounds as Assumption University shot past Bentley University, 66-47, in matchup of nationally-ranked Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball teams Saturday afternoon at Laska Gymnasium.

Bentley, following its second straight loss, dropped into a three-way tie for the top spot in the NE10 along with the Greyhounds and Southern New Hampshire. The Falcons, number eight in this week's WBCA Division II coaches poll, fell to 19-4 overall and 14-3 NE10. Assumption, which was ranked 20th, improved to 19-3 overall after notching its 11th consecutive win.

Bentley closed out the second quarter with a 9-2 spurt over the final 4:25 to draw within five, 30-25. Senior guard Maggie Whitmore (South Portland, Maine/South Portland HS) had six of the nine and sophomore guard Cassidy Yeomans (Marion/Tabor Academy) sank her second three of the half, this one from the left corner.

Superior shooting over the first 15 minutes helped the Greyhounds build a 28-16 advantage. The home team made 11 of their first 18, including all four attempts from outside the arc, while Bentley started 7 of 27, including one of eight from three.

The Falcons, who forced 11 first-half turns and took 11 more shots, warmed up in the final minutes of the second, connecting on four of seven. In contrast, the Hounds failed to score on seven of their final eight possessions against a Bentley defense that entered the game ranked fourth nationally in fewest points allowed.

Any momentum that the Falcons had didn't carry over into the third quarter as the visitors were outscored 22-11 and went into the final stanza on the short end of a 52-36 score. Assumption's third included 8-of-14 shooting and a run of 16-2. That included three-pointers by Mieczkowski and senior guard Molloy Stokes (Worcester).

After Bentley pulled within 11 in the final minute of the third, Assumption delivered a dagger with five points in the final 38 seconds, including a buzzer-beating three by Mieczkowski.

The Falcons never threatened in the fourth with the deficit remaining at least 13 points.

 Graduate guard Ella Thompson (Greenwood, Ind./Center Grove HS) was the only Falcon to score in doubles (16) but the NE10 leader in three-pointers failed to connect from beyond the arc. Whitmore followed with eight points and junior forward Kylie DuCharme (Wilmington/Wilmington HS) was a factor on the boards (nine rebounds) and at the defensive end (five steals).

Mieczkowski's 16 points was matched by junior forward Kaijhe Hall (Maple Wood, N.J.), who made six of eight shots. She also finished with 11 rebounds and four assists.

Assumption buried eight of 12 three-pointers and connected at a 54 percent clip overall. Meanwhile, Bentley had its second poorest shooting game of the season (.302) and was an uncharacteristic two of 16 from outside the arc.

Bentley will look to bounce back Tuesday when it hosts St. Michael's College on Barbara Stevens Court.