COLCHESTER, Vt. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team fell to No. 3 Bentley University, 81-47, on Saturday in the Ross Sports Center during Northeast-10 Conference play. The Purple Knights are 4-4 overall and 1-4 in the NE10 while sitting on 499 victories in program history, while the Falcons improved to 8-0 and 4-0. Bentley, which is ranked third in both national polls and sits first in the D2SIDA East Region Media Poll, won five of the last seven NE10 Championships and qualified for 33 of the past 36 NCAA Tournaments.
Junior Samantha Delaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) scored 11 points with five rebounds, including four offensive, in 18 minutes for the Purple and Gold, while sophomore Alyssa Breunig (Trumbull, Conn./Trumbull) had nine points on 4-of-6 shooting with six rebounds, an assist, a block and a steal in 15 minutes off the bench. Classmate Brianna Purcell (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) dished off five assists while snagging six rebounds, and sophomore Taylor Miller (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) pulled six boards. Saint Michael's assisted 16 of its 21 baskets while outscoring Bentley, 33-32, in the second half.
Junior Victoria Lux posted 21 points and 12 rebounds in 19 minutes for the Falcons, sophomore Monica Viapiano had 13 points and 13 rebounds, and graduate student Becca Musgrove totaled 10 points. Four others scored at least six points.
Bentley shot 55.0 percent while holding Saint Michael's to an 18.8 percent performance in the opening stanza. The visitors led only 9-4 after Delaney and senior Leah Spencer (Brockton, Mass./Archbishop Williams) accounted for Purple Knight buckets in the opening 2:51 of the contest before Lux scored eight points in a 15-0 run that put the Falcons up 24-4 with 2:23 to go. Junior Emily Ferreri (Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) put home a lay-in to end the run, and Purcell's free throw at 1:31 had Saint Michael's down 26-7 at the end of the stanza. A 13-2 stretch to begin the second period pushed Bentley in front by 30, and the visitors led 49-14 at halftime.
Saint Michael's scored 13 of the first 17 points in the second half, with Delaney leading the way with four points. Breunig, Miller, Purcell and senior Maddy Bennett (Montpelier, Vt./U-32) also contributed baskets in that time. Bentley countered with the next nine points. The Purple Knights received a three-point play from redshirt first-year Casey Evans (Londonderry, N.H./Saint Andrew's School) with 45 seconds to go after she had grabbed an offensive board. Breunig scored the final six points of the contest in a 1:09 span, with Evans, sophomore Cassandra Falone (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) and first-year Nicole Anderson (Kittery Point, Maine/Marianapolis Prep) each assisting one hoop.
The Purple Knights visit regionally-ranked Saint Anselm College on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. The Hawks are 10th in this week's D2SIDA East Region Media Poll.