Mass. College Hoops: Bentley’s Battista Earns NE-10 Woman Of The Year & NE-10 Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete Awards

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Bentley University Sports Information Department, here’s last night’s release about Lauren Battista, who was named both the Northeast-10 Conference Woman of the Year and NE-10 Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete:

     WALTHAM, Mass. – Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS), who led the Bentley University women’s basketball team to a 35-0 season and the NCAA Division II national championship, has added both the Northeast-10 Conference Woman of the Year and NE-10 Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete awards to her already impressive list of honors.

The recent Bentley Summa Cum Laude graduate received both awards Monday night during the conference’s annual year-end banquet at the Essex Spa and Resort in Essex, Vt.

“Congratulations to Lauren for being named the NE-10 Woman of the Year and NE-10 Women’s Scholar Athlete of the Year,” said Bentley Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame coach Barbara Stevens. “To be recognized by the member institutions of the NE-10 Conference for outstanding achievement on the court and in the classroom is a tremendous honor.  In a year full of outstanding accomplishments for Lauren, these NE-10 awards cap off a storybook season and an exceptional career.  We are extremely proud of her.”

Battista distinguished herself both on and off the court during her four years at Bentley.  Her senior year, which culminated with a come-from-behind 73-65 win over West Texas A&M in the national championship game, saw her recognized as the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division II Player of the Year, the Capital One NCAA Division II Academic All-America of the Year and the women’s basketball nominee for the Collegiate Women’s Sports Awards DII Woman of the Year.

The three-time WBCA All-America totaled a school-record 2,112 points while leading the Falcons to a four-year record of 124-11, including a remarkable 96-6 over the last three seasons and 93-6 in conference play (regular season and tournament). She earned All-Conference recognition four times, including three straight first-team nods, and was the conference’s Player of the Year in both 2012 and 2014. Her four straight NE-10 Championship Most Outstanding Player awards is unprecedented in conference history, in any sport.

“Since my team’s national championship victory, I have been approached by aspiring athletes, fellow students, faculty, alumni, and other fans who have showered me with praise and admiration for being a positive role model and ambassador for women’s college athletics,” said Battista.

The success carried over into the classroom with Battista graduating with a 3.96 GPA while majoring in both marketing and liberal studies. She earned Capital One Academic All-America honors three times, including first team recognition the last two years, and was the NE-10 Sport Excellence Scholar-Athlete for women’s basketball three times.

In the community, Battista has volunteered with Team IMPACT, Habitat for Humanity and Bentley’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC).

“My roles as a scholar and as an athlete have defined critical components of my character, but my experience giving back to others has had the biggest influence on the person I am today,” said Battista. “Through my work with Team IMPACT, I have been able to foster a relationship with a young girl battling leukemia and her family. Her optimism and strength inspire me daily. The experience has taught me to be grateful for everything I have been blessed with in life and that no challenge is too big to overcome.”

As the NE-10 Woman of the Year, which was selected by the conference’s Senior Woman Administrator (SWA) Council, Battista will now be considered for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Mass. College Hoops: Bentley’s Battista Named Finalist For NE-10 Woman Of The Year Award

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Bentley University sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release about Lauren Battista of the Falcons’ women’s basketball team, who was named a finalist for the Northeast-10 Conference Woman of the Year Award:

       WALTHAM, Mass. – Former Bentley University women’s basketball standout Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS) has been named one of three finalists for the Northeast-10 Conference Woman of the Year Award. The recipient will be announced Monday night, June 2, when the conference holds its year-end banquet in Burlington, Vt.

The other two finalists are Adelphi University’s Devan Crimi and Stonehill College’s Devin Ingersoll, All-Americas in lacrosse and field hockey, respectively.

Battista earned WBCA Division II Player of the Year and Capital One NCAA Division II Academic All-America of the Year honors while leading the Falcons to a 35-0 season and the program’s first-ever national championship. She finished her career with 2,112 points, one of a number of school records set achieved during a four-year span that saw Bentley post a record of 124-11.

Her list of achievements included three-time WBCA first-team All-America and three-time Capital One Academic All-America. She was the Northeast-10 Player of the Year in both 2012 and this past season, and is the women’s basketball nominee for DII Woman of the Year by the Collegiate Women’s Sports Awards, presented by Honda.

Battista, a marketing and liberal arts major who graduated Saturday with a 3.96 grade point average, earned three straight Northeast-10 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence awards and was a four-time NE-10 championship tournament MVP.

Battista has also given back to others with participation in Team IMPACT, Habitat for Humanity and SAAC.

Mass. College Hoops: Bentley Wins East Regional, Advances To Elite Eight (VIDEO)

By NoontimeSports.com 

For the third time in four years, Bentley University’s women’s basketball team is headed to the NCAA Division 2 Elite Eight as the Falcons topped LIU Post, 83-62, in Waltham on Monday evening.

The win, which secured the Falcons a spot in the next round, also tied the school record for its longest winning streak. The Falcons are currently 32-0.

Jacqui Brugliera recorded a double-double of 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Courtney Finn and Lauren Battista combined for 28 points, nine boards, seven assists and one block. Bentley converted 30 of 59 shots and sank 17 of 23 attempts at the free throw line.

Bentley will return to the hardwood next Tuesday, March 25 when they travel to Erie, Pennsylvania to face Drury, tip-off is slatted for 8:30 p.m.

Below is a highlight package, which was produced by Pack Network from last night’s tilt.

Mass. College Hoops: No. 1 Bentley Captures Fourth Straight NE-10 Championship

By NoontimeSports.com 

Courtesy of the Bentley University sports information department, here’s this afternoon’s release from the Falcons’ Northeast-10 Championship contest. Bentley won its fourth straight NE-10 Championship, while Lauren Battista eclipsed the 2,000-point mark for her career. Here’s the release:

WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior All-America forward Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS) tied her career-best with 29 points, eclipsing the 2,000-mark for her career in the process, and collected an unprecedented fourth consecutive Northeast-10 Conference Championship MVP award as Bentley University put on a sparkling offensive performance en route to its fourth straight NE-10 title, 99-76 over Adelphi University Sunday afternoon at the Dana Center.

Bentley, the season-long number one in the USA TODAY Sports/WBCA Division II coaches’ poll, ran its record to 29-0 and clinched the automatic berth into next weekend’s NCAA Division II East Regional. It was the second time in conference history a team has won four straight conference championships, with his year’s group of Falcons duplicating their predecessors from 1998-2001. All-time,  Bentley has 18 NE-10 titles to its credit, including 10 in the last 17 years.

“I’m very proud of the way our team performed today,” said 14-time NE-10 Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens after her 911th career win. “I was happy to see us play a spirited game.  In the first half, we had a lot of offensive weapons and were also doing a good job defensively.”

Battista was nothing short of sensational in her school record 127th career start as she hit 11 of 17 shots overall, including three of five from downtown, and all four of her free throws. In addition, she provided six assists, four rebounds and one steal, and turned the ball over just once in 31 minutes of action.

Bentley’s all-time leading scorer joined the 2,000-point club with an inside move at 6:19 of the first half, a basket that made it 50-23 at the time. She had 21 points by the break, helping the Falcons 64 points (a school record for a half) and a 27-point lead, and finished the game with 2,011 for her career.

“Lauren gave us a player of the year performance today and showed her tremendous versatility,” said Stevens. “She’s a distributor, a scorer and she was also asked to cover Sade Jackson. I’m so glad she’s on our side.”

Not to be overshadowed was the performance of senior forward Caleigh Crowell (Harwich/ Worcester Academy), who drilled five three-pointers en route to a 22-point afternoon, 15 of which came before intermission.

After the Panthers , the top seed out of the NE-10’s Southwest Division, jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead, Bentley embarked on a 28-5 blitzing of the visitors over a span of six-and-a-half minutes. That produced a 30-11 lead with more than 12 minutes still left on the first-half clock and Adelphi (22-7) never got closer than 17 again.

“Our team was very ready to play, but I think their first three possessions got our attention,” said Stevens.

That 28-5 began with a dozen unanswered points, a run that featured eight points by Crowell. She got it going with a three from the right wing, and later added a lay-up and another trifecta during the spurt.

By the time freshman forward Jen Gemma (Milton/Fontbonne Academy) scored with 12:29 to make it a 30-11 game, Bentley was shooting a ridiculous 81 percent, having put 13 of 16 shots through the basket.

Battista’s 2,000th came in the midst of an 18-6 run that made it a 59-27 game with 2:44 left until the break. The final points during that span came on a three-ball from grad student Courtney Finn (Winthrop/Winthrop HS), Bentley’s 23rd field goal in 31 attempts.

It was more of the same throughout the first eight minutes of the second half. Adelphi netted the first basket when play resumed, but Bentley followed with a 21-6 explosion that made it a 40-point game, 85-45.

Battista and Crowell were followed in the scoring column by Finn and Gemma, with 16 and 14, respectively. Finn added eight rebounds, three assists and two steals, and Gemma helped out with six boards.

Bentley also received six points and seven rebounds apiece from seniors Jacqui Brugliera (Fitchburg/Wachusett Reg. HS) and Christiana Bakolas (Manchester, N.H./Central HS), with Bakolas also matching Battista’s six assists.

Senior guard Sade Jackson (Hackensack, N.J.) led Adelphi with 21 points and four assists, and classmate Jessica Kitrys (Parlin, N.J.) followed with 20 points. Both were plagued by turnovers (11 of the team’s 20) and fouls (four apiece).

Bentley shot 66 percent in the opening half, including 7-of-10 from three, and finished at .576 overall with 10 threes in 22 attempts. The Panthers were limited to 40 percent and were outrebounded by ten, 45-35.

The field for the NCAA Division II Championships will be announced during a selection show tonight at 10 pm athttp://www.ncaa.com/live/player?vid=2014/1345&date=2014/03/09.

Mass. College Hoops: NE-10 Quarterfinals Roundup

By NoontimeSports.com 

A few local squads competed in today’s Northeast-10 Conference Quarterfinals and below is their outcomes and summaries.

Men’s Basketball

St. A’s 79, Bentley 78: Roy Mabrey‘s jumper with 11 seconds remaining provided St. A’s with the lead for good as the Hawks edged the Falcons in Manchester. Tyler McFarland led Bentley with 20 points, as well as recorded eight rebounds, three blocks, two steals and one assist, while Alex Furness registered eight points, seven rebounds, five assists, one steal and one block.

Women’s Basketball

Assumption 61, New Haven 58: Jamie Insel recorded three straight layups during the final four minutes, while Shannon Ray and Caitlin Ackerman combined for the final three points as the Greyhounds defeated the Chargers in Connecticut. Ray recorded a team-best 21 points, while Insel finished with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Stonehill 75, AIC 60: Tori Faieta recorded a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, along with four assists and four blocks as the Skyhawks soared past the Yellow Jackets in Easton. Stonehill’s Mary Louise Dixon led all scorers with 22 points, while Alyssa Roach paced AIC with 13 points.

Bentley 77, Le Moyne 51: Lauren Battista and Jacqui Brugliera combined for 25 points, 18 rebounds, seven assists, four steals and one block as the Falcons defeated the Dolphins in Waltham.