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Bentley women ranked No. 1 in Division 2

Posted by Craig Larson, Globe Staff  November 29, 2011 10:22 PM

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Off to a 5-0 start with an average winning margin of 25.8 points, the Bentley University women’s basketball team has moved to No. 1 in this week’s USA Today/ESPN/ Women’s Basketball Coaches Association Division 2 coaches’ poll. It’s the first time in the program’s distinguished history that the Falcons have topped the rankings.

Bentley made the move from No. 2 after defending national champion Clayton State was upended by Tusculum over the weekend. Coach Barbara Stevens’s team received 28 of 32 first place votes and a total of 794 points. Arkansas Tech was second with two firsts and 758 points, and Metropolitan State (Colo.) was a distant third with 688 points.
Bentley, an Elite Eight team a year ago, ascended to the number one ranking for the first time after being second in the poll 23 times over the years.

The Falcons, one of five Northeast-10 Conference teams with an unblemished record thus far this season, will put the top ranking on the line for the first time Wednesday night when they host St. Michael’s College at the Dana Center.

Sophomore forward Lauren Battista (18.4 points per game) paces Bentley in scoring and rebounding (6.6 per game) while shooting 64-percent the floor. Senior forward Shatasia Kearse (10.6 ppg.) and junior guard Courtney Finn (10.0) are also connecting in double figures.

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