COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team fell to No. 1 Bentley University, one of two remaining unbeaten teams in Division II, by an 84-52 count on Saturday in the Ross Sports Center during Northeast-10 Conference action. The Purple Knights are now 3-19 overall and 2-16 in the league, while the Falcons, who have already clinched the NE-10 Northeast Division's regular-season title, are 23-0 and 18-0.
Senior Alexa Long (Waterford, Conn./Waterford) posted 16 points and six rebounds for the Purple Knights, passing Erica Kensey '04 (576) for 13th in program history in career boards by pushing her total to 580. She is one short of Lynne Liebhauser '94 (581) for 12th. Junior Maggie Sabine (Litchfield, Maine/Oak Hill/Central Maine CC) tallied nine points and four rebounds, and classmate Kelly Frappier (Colchester, Conn./Bacon Academy) had eight points off the bench. Senior Kaitlin Geary (Milton, Vt./Milton) added seven in a reserve capacity, and classmate Cara Deroy (Hamden, Conn./Hamden) dished out five assists with three steals.
Graduate student Courtney Finn (Winthrop, Mass./Winthrop) notched 16 points for Bentley, while senior Lauren Battista (North Easton, Mass./Oliver Ames) shot 6-of-6 for 14 points. Classmate Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg, Mass./Wachusett Regional) totaled 12 points in 13 minutes, and first-year Jen Gemma (Milton, Mass./Fontbonne Academy) contributed a double-double of 10 points and 11 rebounds off the bench. Senior Christiana Bakolas (Manchester, N.H./Manchester Central) added seven points, six assists and five steals for the Falcons, who are first in this week's USA TODAY national poll, qualified for 30 of the past 32 NCAA Tournaments, and claimed the past three NE-10 Championships.
The visitors nabbed a 4-0 edge prior to Long hitting a pair of free throws 1:32 into the contest, and a Long jumper kept Saint Michael's within 7-4 by the 17:27 mark before Bentley scored the next 13 points in a 2:49 stretch. Sabine's hoop made it 20-7 before Geary's driving baseline lay-in kept the Purple Knights down by 13, at 24-11 with 11:44 to go, but the Falcons rattled off the next 18 points in a matter of 5:11. Geary's three-pointer cut her team's deficit to 45-18 at 3:38, but Bentley led 49-18 at halftime. In the second stanza, Saint Michael's never trailed by fewer than 30 points, and the Falcons never extended their lead beyond 37.
The Purple Knights hit the road for two of their final three games this winter, beginning with a Wednesday contest at Assumption College at 5:30 p.m.