And this set up Saturday night’s final against West Texas A&M. Mattice played eight minutes and did not score, but Bentley was still in danger of seeing its perfect season end at the last hurdle, trailing 60-54 with three minutes left.
Then, using a full-court press, the Falcons scored a basket and forced two quick turnovers, both of them leading to baskets as part of a string of six points in 14 seconds to tie it, 60-60.
Lauren Battista’s 3-pointer with 2:11 left gave Bentley the lead for good, and she also managed a steal and lay-up seconds later. Free throws down the stretched sealed the Falcons’ 73-65 victory, a 35-0 season and a Division II title for Mattice and her teammates.
Yet another C-NS alum, Abbey Timpano, played at Marist University this season as a freshman, helping the Red Foxes win the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference title and advance to the NCAA Tournament, where it lost to Iowa in the first round.
Timpano played 10 games for Marist and was a teammate of Christian Brothers Academy graduate Leanne Ockenden, who as a senior averaged 11.6 points and 4.6 rebounds, and her 47 steals helped her MAAC Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second year in a row.