Waltham, Mass. (March 6) -- In the Northeast-10 Conference semifinals on Thursday night, the Assumption College women's basketball team dropped a 75-59 final to No. 1 ranked Bentley University at the Dana Center. Assumption is ranked No. 5 in this week's NCAA East Region poll, up one spot from last week's poll.
After senior Jamie Insel (Clinton, N.J./Voorhees) put the Hounds on top at 2-0 just 1:28 into the game, Bentley embarked on a 12-0 run over the next 4:25 that was powered by six points from senior Caleigh Crowell. Insel ended the run with 13:15 left on another layup before Bentley answered with an 8-0 scoring spurt to seize a 20-4 lead just over the midway point of the opening period. The Hounds answered with a quick 7-0 run of their own over three minutes, led by a pair of layups from junior Caitlin Ackerman (Nashua, N.H./Nashua South), to cut the margin to 20-11 with 6:45 on the clock.
A 6-0 Bentley spurt stretched the lead back out to 15 before the Hounds began chipping away. Still trailing by 15 at 28-13 after a jumper from Bentley's Lauren Battista, Assumption cut the lead down to 28-18 with a three-pointer from freshman Kelly Carey (Long Beach, N.Y./Holy Trinity) and a pair of free throws by freshman Johanna Impellizeri (Seaford, N.Y./St. Anthony's). A left-side three-pointer from the corner by senior Shannon Ray (Yonkers, N.Y./Ursuline Academy) cut the lead to single digits at 29-21 briefly before the Falcons took a 33-22 lead into the final two minutes after a pair of Battista free throws.
The Hounds weren't done though as sophomore Ann Marie Idusuyi (Lynn, Mass./St. Mary's) scored on back-to-back layups over the final 1:22, including a putback at the buzzer to make it a 33-26 halftime margin. Assumption shot 40 percent from the field in the first half and was 3-for-8 from three-point land. Idusuyi led the Hounds in the first half with five points off the bench, while Battista had 10 in the period for Bentley. The Falcons shot 37.1 percent from the field and were just 1-for-9 from three-point land in the half. Bentley also held a 23-16 edge on the boards, including 10-2 on the offensive glass.
Bentley started the second half on a 10-0 run over the first 4:59, capped by a pair of Courtney Finn free throws for a 43-26 advantage with 16:40 left. The Hounds ended the run on an Insel layup and cut the lead to 45-31 with 14:30 remaining after a three from Ray.
The Falcons led by 21 with 11:55 remaining after a three from Crowell and a scoop layup from Kelsey Mattice and extended the lead up to 26 at 63-37 after a Bentley run that was fueled by seven points from Battista at the 8:25 mark. Bentley twice led by a 27-point margin in the second period before coming away with the 16-point final. Assumption cut the lead down to 20 on a three from freshman Allison Stoddard (East Lyme, Conn./East Lyme) with 2:55 left and to 16 with under a minute left on a free throw line jumper from freshman Shayla Hubbard (Laconia, N.H./New Hampton Prep).
Assumption shot 40.7 percent from the field for the game, 35.3 percent from three and was 9-for-11 from the free throw line for 81.8 percent. Ray led the Hounds with 12 points, along with 10 points off the bench from Stoddard. On the boards, Bentley held a convincing 46-27 advantage that included a 19-6 on the offensive end.
Battista led three Falcons in double figures with 21 points, while Crowell added 14 and Finn had 10 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Defensively, the Falcons forced 20 turnovers while Bentley turned the ball over 15 times. Bentley shot 41.3 percent from the game and outscored the Hounds 20-9 at the free throw line. The Falcons struggled from three-point land though, shooting 17.6 percent as the hosts connected on just 3-of-17 chances.
With the loss, Assumption falls to 18-10 overall, while Bentley remains unbeaten at 28-0 on the season.
Assumption now awaits the announcement of the 2014 NCAA Division II Championship field, which will be announced on Sunday night at 10 p.m. Eastern time on www.ncaa.com. The Hounds have qualified for the NCAA Tournament twice in the last three seasons, including a berth in the tournament in 2012-2013.
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