Pace Women’s Basketball defeated by Bentley

Amine Kassaoui, Contributing Writer

PLEASANTVILLE, N.Y. – The Pace University women’s basketball team (1-7, 0-4 NE10) fell to the Bentley Falcons (6-2, 4-0), 55-42, on Tuesday in a Northeast-10 Conference matchup.

Through eight games played, the Setters have yet to recapture the magic of last season’s NCAA Tournament Elite Eight birth. Pace has dropped six in a row, seven of eight, and remain winless in conference games to start the 2022-23 campaign.

Inversely, the victory keeps Bentley undefeated in NE10 play this season and vaults them into the top spot in the current conference standings at 4-0. Assumption is the lone other undefeated squad in the conference at 3-0.

A low-scoring first quarter ended with the Falcons up 9-8, with both sides shooting abysmally from the field. Bentley went 4-for-17 and the Setters shot 4-for-19.

Early in the second quarter, a turnover from Pace grad student Lauren Hackett with 8:05 left in the half led to a steal by Falcons senior Bri Gillen and a fast-break lay-up for junior Maggie Whitmore to put Bentley ahead 11-8. Hackett would make amends a little over one minute later, tying the game off a three-point shot with 6:58 remaining in the second quarter.

From that moment on, the game shifted dramatically, as Hackett’s trey would be the only field goal made by the Setters in the second quarter. Pace went ice cold and would not score another point over the final seven minutes of the opening half.

The Falcons meanwhile would explode, scoring 15 straight unanswered points to push their lead to 26-11 at the half. Sophomore Amanda Kabantu poured in six during the 15-0 run, as Bentley’s stingy defense held Pace to just 16.7% shooting from the field in the first half (5-of-30), including 1-of-11 in the second quarter.

Coming out of the break, junior Kat Mansaray quickly ended the Pace scoring drought with a driving lay-up and followed that up by registering a block on the ensuing Falcons possession, leading to a bucket from junior Shanice Sinclair to cut the deficit down to 11.

From there, however, Bentley would put together another back-breaking run, outscoring the Setters 10-0 to extend their lead to 36-15 halfway through the third period. Grad student Kari Brekke sunk five of the 10 points during the stretch.

The Falcons would go on to lead by as many as 26 (49-23) at the 6:21 mark of the fourth quarter.

With the game comfortable in hand, Bentley emptied their bench in the fourth quarter, allowing Pace to make the final result more respectable. The Falcons bench outscored Pace’s 15-0.

11 different Falcons registered points in a well-balanced effort that saw none of their players score in double digits. The Blue and Gold were paced by Sinclair and Mansaray who finished with 15 and 13 points respectively.

The Setters will next travel to Rindge, New Hampshire, to face Franklin Pierce University (4-5, 2-3 NE10) on Friday at 4 p.m. The Ravens defeated Saint Anselm, 63-60, Tuesday.