WALTHAM, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College women's basketball team lost a 75-63 decision at No. 14 Bentley University on Wednesday in the Dana Center, playing a nationally-ranked squad for the second time in three games. The Purple Knights are 8-16 overall and 5-14 in the Northeast-10 Conference, while the Falcons, whose ranking is according to the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA), are 22-3 and 16-3.
Senior Leah Spencer (Brockton, Mass./Archbishop Williams) led all scorers with 20 points on 9-of-17 shooting for the visitors, adding five rebounds, two assists and two steals. In the process, Spencer became the 25th player in program history with 900 career points (908) while tying for 18th with 69 three-pointers. Junior Emily Ferreri (Hyde Park, N.Y./Our Lady of Lourdes) turned in 17 points, six boards, three steals and two assists, shooting 7-of-13, while classmate Samantha Delaney (Smithtown, N.Y./Smithtown East) totaled 11 points and nine boards. She passed Becky Bouchard '85 (556) to take over 18th in program annals with 560 career rebounds.
Sophomore Cassandra Falone (Chatham, N.J./Chatham) shot 3-of-6 on threes to finish with nine points, classmate Taylor Miller (Falmouth, Mass./Falmouth) had four points and a game-high five assists, while senior Maddy Bennett (Montpelier, Vt./U-32) tacked on three helpers.
Junior Victoria Lux notched 15 points and 13 rebounds for Bentley, leading six players who had at least nine points. Graduate student Becca Musgrove added 12 points, while seniors Trevena Bennett and Lauren Green both turned in 10.
Spencer knocked down a three for the opening basket of the game before Delaney hit two free throws to counter Lux's personal 4-0 run to put the visitors back up by one, but Musgrove had five points and Lux four during a 9-2 stretch that gave Bentley a 13-7 lead by 4:51 of the opening quarter. Trevena Bennett's two freebies pushed the cushion to 17-9, but Delaney turned in a three-point play before Spencer's lay-up at 59 seconds sent Saint Michael's into the second quarter trailing only 19-14. Delaney and Spencer combined for all of their team's first-period points.
Musgrove made two more free throws to make it 23-16 before Delaney turned in consecutive hoops and Spencer knocked down a tying triple at 6:27 of the second stanza. Green's go-ahead trey was met by Falone's three 46 seconds later, but first-year Marissa Fontaine put Bentley back in front with a three only 14 ticks after that, kicking off a half-ending 10-2 stretch. Lux's three-point play at 46 seconds pushed the lead to eight. The Falcons benefited from a 13-3 advantage at the charity stripe in the half.
The Purple Knights trimmed the deficit to 38-34 on Ferreri's steal and lay-in at 7:26 of the third period, but Lux responded with a bucket of her own before Green buried a three at 6:41. Saint Michael's again rebounded, with Spencer scoring the first four points of a 6-0 run, and the visitors were still down only 48-44 on Ferreri's lay-in before three Falcons scored en route to giving the hosts a 55-44 edge. Another Ferreri steal and basket made it 57-51, but Bentley scored the next 11 points in a run the bridged the intermission. Now down 17, the Purple and Gold never came closer than 12 down the stretch.
The Purple Knights conclude their home slate by hosting Saint Anselm College for Senior Day on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.