GARDEN CITY, N.Y.-- Senior guard Tom Dowling (Rockville Centre, N.Y./South Side HS), playing only about five miles from his home, scored 10 of his team-best 18 points in the final seven minutes as conference-leading Bentley University rallied for a 64-54 win at Adelphi University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball at the Center for Recreation and Sport Wednesday night.
Bentley, ranked 24th in Division II this week, improved to 13-3 overall and 11-1 in the NE-10 while maintaining a two-game lead in the conference standings. Adelphi dropped to 10-6 overall and 6-6 NE-10 after coming up short at home for only the third time in nine games.
Key numbers that led to the Falcon comeback win included only three turnovers in the game, a 16-3 edge in points off turnovers, four charges drawn in the second half and a 20-of-22 effort from the free throw line. Those helped offset the Bentley's dismal first-half shooting (7-29, 24 percent) and Adelphi's dominance on the boards (49-28).
Down by as many as 11 early in the second half, Bentley came alive with a 7-0 spurt that brought the Falcons within four, 33-29 with 11:46 left. That surge included a one-handed eight-footer by senior forward Brian Tracey (Bow Mar, Colo./Heritage HS), a three-pointer from the right corner by sophomore guard Greg Jacques (Brockton, Mass./St. Sebastian's HS), two free throws by sophomore forward Dan O'Keefe (Lexington, Mass./Lexington HS) and charges drawn by Tracey and O'Keefe.
Adelphi was up six when Tracey was fouled while making a three from the right wing with 7:34 left. He knocked down the free throw to complete the four-point play, and after drawing a charge, Dowling made a lay-up to even the score at 42 with seven minutes straight up left.
After the Panthers went back up three, O'Keefe drove baseline with 5:44 left for a three-point later, knotting the score at 47. Tracey drew a charge at the other end and Dowling followed with a baseline drive to the basket to give Bentley its first lead since the first seven minutes of the game, 49-47.
Tracey rebounded a missed three on Adelphi's ensuing possession, and this time, Dowling drove the lane for a 51-47 Falcon advantage.
Three times in the final 4:10 Adelphi got back within one point, but in each instance, Bentley was able to counter. Dowling made two free throws with 3:47 for a 53-50 lead and two more with 2:38 on the clock for a 55-52 advantage.
With the score at 55-54, Dowling fed O'Keefe for what turned into a three-point play and a 58-54 lead with 1:42 left. That began a 9-0 game-ending run that included four free throws from graduate student Mike Quinn (Oakdale, Conn./Montville HS) in the final 50 seconds.
Adelphi, which led 25-19 at the half, scored the first four points of the second half on a jumper by sophomore forward Bradley Simpson (Goulburn, Australia) and two free throws from senior Richard Byrd (Central Islip, N.Y.), Adelphi's top scorer for the season who suffered through a 2-for-18 shooting night. The difference peaked at 11 shortly thereafter before the Falcons came alive.
Dowling was joined in doubles by O'Keefe, with 12 points and five boards off the bench, and Tracey, with 10 points and four rebounds. Quinn, Jacques and junior guard Sam LeClerc (Fayette, Maine/Winthrop HS) each added seven points for the Falcons.
Six-foot-six David Akinyooye (Elmont, N.Y.) led Adelphi with 21 points and 10 rebounds, and Simpson also had a double-double, 10 points and 13 rebounds.
Bentley, 12-1 in its last 13 games, will be back at home on Saturday for a 3:30 encounter with Le Moyne.
At Garden City, N.Y. (CRS)
BENTLEY 64, ADELPHI 54
BENTLEY (13-3, 11-1 NE-10) -- Tom Dowling 5-12 7-8 18; Dan O'Keefe 4-7 4-4 12; Brian Tracey 3-10 3-3 10; Sam Leclerc 2-6 2-2 7; Greg Jacques 3-8 0-0 7; Mike Quinn 1-3 4-4 7; Jasper Grassa 1-6 0-1 3; Joe Fremeau 0-3 0-0 0; Kevin Kettl 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-55 20-22 64.
ADELPHI (10-6, 6-6 NE-10) -- David Akinyooye 8-10 2-3 21; Bradley Simpson 5-10 0-1 10; Richard Byrd 2-18 4-4 8; John Calarco 3-6 1-2 7; Rob Johnson 2-6 0-0 4; Chris Ranglin 2-7 0-0 4; Norron McDonald 0-0 0-0 0; Richard Harkins 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 22-59 7-10 54.
Halftime: A 25-19; 3-point goals--B 6-18 (Grassa 1-5; Quinn 1-1; Dowling 1-4; Jacques 1-2; Leclerc 1-2; Tracey 1-2; O'Keefe 0-2), A 3-14 (Akinyooye 3-3; Simpson 0-1; Byrd 0-3; Calarco 0-1; Johnson 0-2; Ranglin 0-2; Harkins 0-2). Fouled out--None. Rebounds--B 28 (O'Keefe 5), A 49 (Simpson 13). Assists--B 6 (Grassa 3), A 14 (Byrd 6). Total fouls--B 14, Ai 19. Technical fouls-- None.