Waltham, Mass. - The Holy Family University women's basketball team dropped its season opener at Bentley University by the score of 78-64 in a non-conference contest Sunday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Holy Family, ranked 12th in the preseason USA Today/ESPN NCAA Division II National Top-25 Coaches' Poll, starts the year at 0-1, while #2 Bentley begins its season at 1-0.
After Holy Family tied the game at 13-13 with a layup basketball by senior Erin Mann (West Chester, Pa./Villa Maria Academy) with 9:26 left in the first half, Bentley followed with a 12-2 run to pull away from the Tigers.
Mann finished with a game-high 17 points to go along with game-best 12 rebounds to record a double-double. She also blocked two shots and recorded four steals on the defensive end.
Senior Courtney Finn sparked the run for the Falcons with a three-point basket to give the home team a 16-13 lead. Bentley used three three-pointers to propel the run and capped the rally with a three-point play by junior Lauren Battista to give the Falcons a 25-15 lead with 6:17 remaining in the first half.
Battista finished with a team-best 16 points and finished one rebound shy of a double-double (9) to lead the Falcons. She was one of four Falcons players to score in double-figures.
Bentley closed out the first half on a 6-0 run to take its biggest at that point into halftime by the score of 39-23.
In the second half, Bentley increased its lead to as many as 22 points after a three-pointer by freshman Jane White to make the score 52-30 with 15:22 to play in regulation.
Over the next 11-plus minutes Holy Family would begin chipping away at the Falcons lead cutting the deficit to as low as seven points after senior Kelly Brady (Ocean City, N.J./Ocean City) nailed a jumper to make the score 65-58 with 4:07 showing on the clock.
Despite the rally, Bentley responded with a 5-0 to increase its lead to 12 points after a layup by senior Caleigh Crowell to make the score 70-58 with 1:35 left to play in the half. Crowell came off the bench to finish with a team-high in scoring with Battista with 16 points after shooting 6-of-11 from the field. She also grabbed ten boards to record a double-double.
Holy Family answered back with a three-pointer by junior Maggie Serratelli (Bethlehem, Pa./Liberty) to cut the deficit down to single digits (70-61) but that would be as close as the Tigers would get to the Falcons' lead. Bentley closed out the final 1:17 of the game on an 8-3 run to secure the victory.
Junior Mary Ellen McCollum (Abington, Pa./St. Basil Academy) finished with 13 points for the Tigers after knocking down three three-pointers (3-6), while Brady added eight points. Senior Ana Cruz (Lititz, Pa./Warwick) contributed nine points to go along with a team-best five assists.
Senior Kelsey Roberson also scored in double-figures for the Tigers as she finished with 14 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists. White capped the quartet of scorers in double-figures with 11 points as well as dishing out five assists.
Bentley shot 10-of-25 from beyond the arc and was nearly perfect from the free throw line converting 10-of-11 attempts.
Holy Family is back in action on Wednesday, Nov. 14 as the Tigers host East Stroudsburg in the team's home opener at the Campus Center Gym. Game time is slated for 7 p.m.
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