#18 Women's Basketball Drops #3/3 Bentley, 77-66

Martin lead the Skyhawks into sole possession of first place in the NE10 Northeast with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Martin leads Skyhawks to 14th-straight NE10 win with 19 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists

EASTON, Mass. (January 31, 2018) – Stonehill College, ranked No. 18 in this week's D2SIDA Top 25 Media Poll and receiving votes in the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II poll, claimed its 14th-straight Conference win with a key 77-66 triumph over rival Bentley University, ranked No. 3 in both the WBCA and D2SIDA polls, in Northeast-10 Conference women's basketball action on Paula Sullivan Court at Merkert Gymnasium tonight.

Senior guard Kelly Martin (Scituate, Massachusetts/Scituate) led a balanced Stonehill effort with 19 points, including 13 in the first half, on 6-of-12 shooting from the field, connecting on 4-of-9 from three-point range. She also contributed seven rebounds and seven assists, with just one turnover. Classmates Samantha Hyslip (Westford, Massachusetts/Westford Academy) and Courtney Walsh (Windham, New Hampshire/Central Catholic) combined for 26 points in support as Hyslip totaled 15 points, nine rebounds (four offensive) and a career-high matching six assists. Walsh tallied 11 points on 4-of-8 shooting, including 2-for-4 from beyond the arc, five rebounds, five assists, a career-best three blocked shots and two steals.

Sophomore Gabrielle Reuter (Plymouth, Massachusetts/Lawrence Academy) added 12 points for Stonehill on 5-of-6 shooting in 19 minutes off the bench with four assists and two blocks. Classmate Grace Carter (Arlington, Massachusetts/Arlington) chipped in ten points, two boards, five assists, with just one turnover, two blocks and a steal. Stonehill finished shooting 47.6-percent from the field, including 8-for-19 (42.1%) from three-point range, while limiting the NE10's top shooting team to 39% from the floor, including 5-for-18 (27.8%) from deep.

Hyslip powered the Skyhawks inside with 15 points, nine rebounds and six assists (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Junior Victoria Lux (Arundel, Maine/Thornton Academy), who totaled 24 points and 21 rebounds in Bentley's November win over Stonehill, was held in check to 14 points and six rebounds, committing seven turnovers. Postgrad Becca Musgrove (Plainview, New York/Saint Anthony's) added 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting, including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc, five rebounds and two steals, while sophomore Monica Viapiano (Holden, Massachusetts/Holy Name) rounded out the Falcons double-figure scorers with 11 points and six boards.

Bentley held an eight-point lead (20-12) with 2:40 remaining in the first quarter after Musgrove capped a 14-point run with a jumper. Stonehill responded with the final nine points of the quarter as Martin and Walsh drained three-pointers and Hyslip converted a three-point play to take the lead (21-20) into the second frame.

Bentley regained the lead (26-25) with two Lux free-throws three-minutes into the second quarter, but Stonehill answered again, using a 12-2 run to grab a nine-point lead (37-28) after a Martin triple with four minutes left. Walsh and Carter also connected from long distance during the run. The Skyhawks extended the run to 18-2 to take an 11-point lead (43-32) into halftime.

Stonehill made three of its first four shots from the floor and added a pair of free-throws over the opening two minutes of the third quarter to open up an 18-point advantage (51-33) after two Hyslip free-throws. Bentley crept back within ten (58-48) at the end of the third and then freshman Marissa Fontaine (Franklin, Massachusetts/Bishop Feehan) drained a three to pull the Falcons with in seven on the opening possession of the fourth.

Stonehill restored its double-digit advantage with an 11-4 run to grab a 15-point lead (69-54) after a Reuter layup with 5:34 to play. Bentley made another run, trimming the lead to five (69-64) after two free-throws by senior Trevena Bennett (Union, New Jersey/Gill St. Bernard's) with two minutes left. The Skyhawks responded once again, outscoring the Falcons 8-2 the rest of the way, with key layups from Carter and Reuter during the stretch, to seal their ninth-straight win.

Stonehill (18-2, 14-1 NE10) is right back in action here at Merkert Gym on Saturday when it hosts Southern New Hampshire University, ranked ninth in this week's D2SIDA East Region poll, as part of Alumni Weekend at the College at 1:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online in advance at stonehillskyhawks.com. Bentley (19-2, 13-2 NE10) hosts Assumption College on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

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