Bentley Pulls Away from #22 Women's Basketball in the Fourth, 69-53

Santoro led the Skyhawks with a game-high 16 points (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Viapiano and Brekke lead balanced Falcons scoring with five in double-digits

WALTHAM, Mass. (November 26, 2019) – Bentley University, receiving votes in this week's Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll and ranked No. 8 in the D2SIDA East Region poll, outscored Stonehill College, ranked No. 22 in this week's WBCA poll and receiving a vote in the D2SIDA Top 25 Media Poll, 19-8 in the final quarter to clinch a 69-53 triumph in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action inside the Dana Athletic Center tonight.

Senior Monica Viapiano and sophomore Kari Brekke combined for 26 points and 15 rebounds to lead Bentley to the win. Both netted 13 points as Viapiano added a team-high nine rebounds and two blocked shots, while Brekkie made 6-of-13 shots and grabbed six boards to go with two steals. Senior Julia Ford was the Falcons top scorer with 15 points off the bench on 5-of-6 shooting, draining both three-point attempts, and four rebounds. Postgrad Megan Lewis registered ten points and six rebounds for the Falcons, while freshman Ella Thompson chipped in ten points, four boards, three assists and a steal.

Sophomore Isabella Santoro led three from Stonehill in double-figures with a game-high 16 points on 7-of-18 shooting, while classmate Emily Bramanti contributed 11 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals off the bench. Senior Gabrielle Reuter finished with ten points, three rebounds, two assists, three blocks and a steal for the Skyhawks, while sophomore Sophie Glidden grabbed a career and game-high 13 rebounds, to go with eight points two assists and a steal.

Stonehill was limited to 31.3-percent shooting on the night, including 4-for-19 (21.1%) in the decisive fourth quarter. Bentley countered with 45.5-percent shooting, including 6-for-12 (50%) in the fourth, knocking down 2-of-3 three-pointers.

Bramanti added 11 points, three rebounds and three assists (PHOTO BY Peter Buehner)

Bentley led by as much as nine (42-33) after a Viapiano free throw with 3:49 remaining in the third, but Stonehill was able to draw within five (50-45) heading into the final frame behind four-straight from Reuter. Santoro pulled Stonehill within three with a layup to open the fourth, but junior Katie Meriggioli connected on a three-pointer at the other end for Bentley.

Santoro added a layup to draw Stonehill within four (53-49) two minutes into the final quarter, but Bentley responded with nine-straight, including five from Ford, to open a 13-point cushion (62-49) with four minutes left. The Skyhawks were able to pull back within nine (62-53) following a Reuter layup with two minutes still to play, but wouldn't score again and Thompson scored a basket inside to restore the double-digit lead (64-53) with 93-seconds remaining. Bentley sealed the win at the free throw from there.

Stonehill held an early four-point lead (6-2) behind four points from Glidden and a pair by Santoro. Bentley battled back and took a three-point lead (14-11) into the second quarter thanks to a three-pointer from Meriggioli with four-seconds left. The Falcons extended their lead to seven (18-11) after a Lewis basket in the paint less than two minutes into the second quarter, but the Skyhawks answered with seven-straight to pull even (18-18) after a Bramanti triple a minute later. Bentley followed that with a seven-point run of its own, including four by Lewis, to reclaim the seven point lead, before taking a five-point cushion (27-22) into halftime.

Stonehill (4-2, 1-1 NE10), ranked No. 5 in the D2SIDA East Region poll, is back in action on Sunday, when it visits Assumption College for an NE10 matchup at 1 p.m. The Skyhawks return to Merkert Gym next Wednesday, December 4, to host Franklin Pierce University at 5:30 p.m. Bentley (4-2, 1-0 NE10) visits Molloy College on Saturday at noon.

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