COLCHESTER, Vt. - Senior Indira Evora (Somerville, Mass./Somerville) recorded her 1,000th career point on Wednesday during the Saint Michael's College women's basketball team's loss to No. 15 Bentley University, 70-48, in the Ross Sports Center.
The Purple Knights are now 12-12 overall and 10-9 in the Northeast-10 Conference, remaining in fourth place in the Northeast Division after the two fifth-place squads also fell. Two regular-season games are left, with Saint Michael's one game ahead of the fifth-place teams and two games short of a pair of second-place programs. The top five teams qualify for the NE10 Championship. The Falcons, who extended their winning streak to 10 games, are 22-4 overall and 18-1 in the league as the Northeast leaders. Bentley's national ranking is according to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA).
Sophomore Emily Ferreri (Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) paced the hosts with 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists and two steals, while Evora had eight points, two helpers and two steals while shooting 2-of-3 from three-point range. Her triple with 2:18 left in the opening half pushed her to 1,000 points in her 101st game. Junior Maddy Bennett (Montpelier, Vt./U-32) turned in six points and five rebounds off the bench, and sophomore Samantha Delaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) posted six rebounds and a career-high six blocks, the most by a Purple Knight since Liz LeFebvre '03 had seven on Nov. 26, 2002.
First-year Brianna Purcell (Bedford, N.H./Bedford) notched three steals and two assists, while junior Tomi Akinpetide (Sydney, Australia/Rice Memorial) had two helpers and two steals. First-year Taylor Miller (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) hauled in four rebounds in six reserve minutes.
The 5-foot-7 Evora upped her career point total to 1,003, becoming the 20th Purple Knight to reach four digits, and the seventh who stands 5-foot-7 or shorter. She also passed Allison Dunn '08 (207) to tie Tara Clark '00 (208) for 24th in program history with 208 career assists. Delaney increased her season block total to 52, matching LeFebvre's figure from 2001-02 for seventh in program history.
Senior Jen Gemma had 21 points and nine rebounds for Bentley, while junior Lauren Green added 14 points and three steals, hitting four three-pointers. Sophomore Victoria Lux netted seven points and pulled down 11 boards.
Bentley scored the first eight points en route to leading 16-2 by the time 4:04 remained in the opening quarter, and 22-6 at 2:40. Green hit all four of her threes in that time, while Gemma added seven points. The Purple Knights responded with 15 of the next 21 points, as Ferreri knocked down three jumpers to lead the way with six points.
At 2:18, Saint Michael's drew as close as 34-28 when Evora nailed a three-pointer from the left wing, reaching 1,000 career points on the play thanks to a screen from Akinpetide. The Falcons quickly countered with the next seven points, as Gemma recorded back-to-back buckets before junior Macchi Smith converted a three-point play at 55 seconds. Purcell turned in the final three points of the half, with a free throw and lay-in, before coming up with a steal to thwart a final Bentley possession, and the hosts trailed 41-31 at intermission.
Ferreri's jumper 28 seconds into the third stanza trimmed the deficit to eight, but the hosts were held off the board again until Evora drained a triple at 8:58 of the fourth period, as Bentley scored 14 points between the buckets to pull away. Lux had five points during her team's 11-2 third quarter. Delaney's lay-in with 8:23 to go in regulation made it 57-38, but the next six points came from the Falcons, who never again led by fewer than 20.
The Purple Knights conclude their regular-season home slate on Saturday by hosting Assumption College at 1:30 p.m. Saint Michael's will honor its two graduating players, Akinpetide and Evora, prior to the contest. The Greyhounds are eighth in this week's D2SIDA East Region Media Poll.