#5 Bentley (Mass.) rallied from a 19-point deficit in the second half to shock #1 Wayne State 72-67 in the opening game at the NCAA Division II Elite Eight in San Antonio, Texas. The Wildcats end the best season in school history with a record of 32-3 while the Falcons advance to Wednesday’s semi-finals with a 31-3 mark.
After Bentley pulled within nine at 37-28 on a three pointer and free throw from Katherine Goodwin to open the second half, WSC scored the next seven points to take a 44-28 lead with 17:11 to play in the game. The Falcons trimmed the WSC lead to 46-35, but Wayne State scored eight straight points capped by a pair of Ellen Hansen free throws with 13:38 remaining to take their biggest lead at 54-35.
The Falcons went on a 17-3 run over the next four minutes to pull within four points at 57-53 with 8:28 to play. Bentley tied the score at 59-59 on a free throw by Goodwin with 7:15 remaining, but a basket inside by Ashley Arlen put WSC back in front 61-59 at the 6:01.
Bentley scored the next five points to pull within one at 65-64, but an Arlen basket inside gave WSC a 67-64 lead with 3:37 to play. Caleigh Crowell hit a jumper and three pointer to give the Falcons a 69-67 lead with 1:03 to play. In the final minute, WSC had a missed three pointer and two turnovers and had to foul Bentley as the Falcons made three of four free throws to seal the 72-67 comeback win over the Wildcats.
The game marks the final contest for five Wildcat seniors as Ashley Arlen, Eva Benson, Alisha Brown, Clare Duwelius and Ali Schwartzwald close out their Wayne State careers