MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's basketball team suffered a 67-54 setback to #11 Bentley University on Wednesday night in a Northeast-10 Conference matchup at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium in Manchester, N.H.
The Hawks fall to 3-3 and 1-3 in NE-10 games with the loss, while Bentley improves to 6-2 and 4-0 in league games. Saint Anselm is back in action on Saturday afternoon when they host Merrimack College at 1:30 p.m.
Candace Andrews finished with a game-high 21 points to go with seven rebounds, three assists and six steals in the defeat. Kaila Duarte joined her in double figures with 13 points and seven rebounds, while Emma Daly knocked down a pair of threes en route to eight points and five rebounds off the bench. Erin Waters also chipped in six points and two rebounds as a reserve.
Bentley was led by 20 points, nine rebounds, two assists, three steals and a block from Jen Gemma. Lauren Green added 19 points and three steals, while Macchi Smith rounded out the top scorers with 12 points, four assists and five steals.
The two teams played a back-and-forth opening quarter that included four lead changes and three ties. Sara Messler tied the game at 10-10 with a jumper at the 4:15 mark before Michaela Martin scored inside nearly three minutes later to keep it a 14-14 game. A baseline jumper from Erin Waters would be the final score of the opening period as the Hawks took a 16-14 lead into the second quarter.
The Hawks opened the second period on an 8-0 run as a three-point play from Candace Andrews following a steal gave Saint Anselm its largest lead of the half at 24-14 with 6:54 remaining. The two teams traded baskets and an Andrews jumper kept the Hawks in front 28-19 midway through the stanza.
Bentley responded with a 6-0 run to end the quarter as Jen Gemma, Lauren Green and Melina Kollia each scored for the Falcons to make it a 28-25 game headed into halftime.
Out of the break, Macchi Smith and Jen Gemma knocked down triples to put the Falcons in front 31-28, and a Lauren Green three-pointer at the 7:03 mark forced a Saint Anselm timeout with Bentley ahead 36-30. Emma Daly went 2-for-3 at the charity stripe to keep it a 43-34 game with 3:28 remaining, but Green scored five-straight points to put the visitors on top 48-34. An Andrews layup on the final Saint Anselm possession of the quarter made it a 48-36 deficit headed into the final period.
Andrews opened the quarter sandwiching scores around a Julie Ford jumper, and Kaila Duarte later scored inside to make it a 52-42 game with 8:13 to play. After a Gemma layup, put the Falcons in front 57-43, Sara Messler knocked down a jumper that sparked a 7-0 run by the Hawks, capped by an Emma Daly three, to help the Hawks claw back to 57-50 with 4:09 remaining.
That would be as close as the Hawks would get, as Bentley continued to match scores with Saint Anselm. Kaila Duarte made it an eight-point game with a jumper with 42 seconds remaining, but the Falcons went 5-for-6 at the free throw line down the stretch to pull away for the 67-54 victory.
Saint Anselm ended the night shooting 22-of-53 (41.5%) from the floor, while Bentley was just as efficient, connecting on 40.7% (24-of-59) of their attempts and hitting 8-of-24 (33.3%) of their three-pointers. The Hawks won the rebounding battle 34-32, but committed 21 turnovers leading to 25 points for the Falcons, while Bentley only had 13 miscues in the game.
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