Battista Lifts No. 7 Bentley to 54-53 Women's Basketball Win
MANCHESTER, N.H. – Lauren Battista totaled 18 points and 10 rebounds and hit the go-ahead layup with 5.5 seconds left as No. 7 Bentley University held off Southern New Hampshire University 54-53 in Northeast-10 women's basketball Saturday afternoon at the SNHU Fieldhouse. The Falcons improved to 21-3 overall and 17-2 in the NE-10, while the Penmen are now 17-8 and 12-7 in the league.
Battista finished 7-10 from the floor and 4-6 at the free throw line. Courtney Finn was the other Falcon in double figures, as she totaled 16 points, five rebounds and four assists. Caleigh Crowell knocked down a pair of three-pointers and finished with eight points.
Sloane Sorrell (Berwick, Maine) led all scorers with 23 points on 9-20 shooting for Southern New Hampshire while also grabbing five rebounds. Megan Smith (Smithfield, Maine) totaled eight points and eight rebounds, while Christine Duffy (South Boston, Mass.) totaled 10 assists, six points and five rebounds.
Bentley, which was down 51-46 with 6:26 remaining, took its first lead since the 13:10 mark of the second half when a pair of free throw by Finn put it up 52-51. Southern New Hampshire went back on top 53-52 with 34.7 seconds left when Sorrell came up with a steal at midcourt and was fouled going to the basket. She made both free throws to put the Penmen up 53-52.
Battista's jumper from the elbow with 11 seconds left was off the mark, but the loose rebound went off a Penmen player to give the Falcons another shot. Battista would convert a layup off the inbounds with 5.5 seconds left. Following a timeout, Duffy would advance the ball and get it to Sorrell, whose open look at a three-pointer as the buzzer sounded was off the mark.
Neither team led by more than eight in a game that saw six lead changes and five ties. The Falcons went up 36-28 to open the second half after leading 31-28 at the break, but the Penmen used a 7-0 run to pull within one, 36-25, at the 14:47 mark on a pair of Smith free throws. Southern New Hampshire took its first lead of the second half, 42-41, on a three-point play by Sorrell with 12:44 to go, and led until Dunn's free throws at 2:26.
Bentley led much of the first half and held a 19-12 lead with 7:43 remaining in the first half when the Penmen used an 8-0 run capped by a reverse layup by Brooke Springfield (Jaffrey, N.H.) with 5:32 left to take their first lead of the game, 20-19. The lead was short-lived, as Crowell nailed a three on Bentley's next trip down the floor. The Falcons pushed the lead back to seven, 29-22, following a Shatasia Kearse basket 1:54 before halftime, but the Penmen closed the frame on a 6-2 spurt and trailed 31-28 at halftime.
Bentley limited Southern New Hampshire to just 30.8% shooting in the second half and 35.7% for the game while shooting 42.6% overall. The Penmen were 13-17 at the free throw line while Bentley was just 10-19, but the guests were 4-10 behind the arc while SNHU missed all five of its three-point attempts. The Penmen held a 38-32 rebounding advantage.
Southern New Hampshire plays its final home game of the regular season Tuesday night when it hosts Stonehill College in a 5:30 Northeast-10 contest for Senior Day.