MANCHESTER, N.H. – The Saint Anselm College women's basketball team was downed by the nationally-ranked squad from Bentley University on Saturday, falling by a 60-51 margin at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.
The Hawks fall to 8-2 overall on the year and to 5-2 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. Bentley, ranked third in the D2SIDA National Media Poll and fifth by the Women's Basketball Coaches' Association, remains undefeated in 10 overall games and six league contests.
Senior Michaela Martin (Haverhill, Mass.) matched a career-high with 13 points (along with seven rebounds) against the Falcons. Junior Sara Messler (Durham, N.H.) had a matching stat line while classmate Shannon Ryan (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) recorded nine rebounds, six blocks and four points. Sophomore Grace Guachione (Pittsfield, Mass.) had nine points, eight rebounds and four steals.
The Hawks countered a 12-2 run by Bentley to begin the game with nine-straight points, sparked by a layup from junior Julia Thissell (Hopkinton, Mass.). During that run, Guachione added a triple and a jumper in the paint – sophomore Peyton Steinman (Pittsfield, Mass.) also added a basket in the paint to cap the scoring stretch.
Between the second and third quarters, the Hawks made their move by scoring 12 of the game's 14 points to capture a 23-22 lead with only eight seconds elapsed in the second half. A three-point basket by Messler just over one minute later created a game-high two point lead for the Hawks, 26-24, with 8:31 to go in the third quarter.
Bentley put the game out of reach in the next 5:57, outscoring the Hawks by a 15-4 margin to capture a nine-point lead with 2:34 left in the third period. Three turnovers by Saint Anselm during that stretch could not stop a strong offense surge by Bentley.
The Falcons led by a game-high 12 points in the fourth quarter, but Saint Anselm shrank their deficit to five points on three-separate occasions but could not close the gap any further.
Amy McConnell led Bentley with 19 points. Saint Anselm held the 52-to-43 advantage in rebounding, but committed 21 miscues in the loss. The Falcons poured in 40 of their 60 points from the paint.