Seven Score in Doubles as Bentley Rolls to Season-Opening 100-62 Win over Felician

Dan O'Keefe

WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior forward Dan O'Keefe (Lexington/Lexington HS) led seven double-figure scorers with a career-best 17 points and also provided three blocks, two steals and five rebounds as the Bentley University men's basketball team cruised to a 100-62 season-opening win over Felician College in the Bentley Tip-Off Classic Friday night at the Dana Center.

Bentley, which led from the opening basket of the contest, shot 54 percent overall, 43 percent from three and 85 percent from the foul stripe en route to reaching the century mark for the first time since January 2009.

The Falcons started fast, scoring the first four points, 11 of the first 13 and 20 of the first 26 to establish control early. Senior guard Sam Leclerc (Fayette, Maine/Winthrop HS) accounted for the first four points, and seven different players contributed points in the first eight minutes as Bentley opened the early 14-point lead.

Bentley's first-half lead peaked at 21, 31-10 with 8:57 left before the break, and the Falcons went into intermission on top by 18, 44-26. O'Keefe and junior guard Greg Jacques (Brockton/St. Sebastian's HS) each had eight during the half with the Bentley Falcons outshooting the Golden Falcons 50-29 percent during the first 20 minutes.

Early in the second half, Bentley ran off 12 straight points, a run that included five by Jacques, to open a 58-31 lead with 17 minutes still to play. A 23-4 explosion, capped by a three-pointer from freshman forward Jate Cheshul (Galloway, N.J./Holy Spirit HS), later in the stanza enabled the Falcons to double Felician, 94-47, with 5:40 left.

O'Keefe's highest scoring night of his career saw him make six of ten shots overall and five of five from the foul stripe. Jacques followed as he made six of nine shots en route to 15 points. He also contributed five assists and three rebounds.

Leclerc (13 points, five assists) made all three of his field goal attempts, including a pair of triples, and was five-of-six at the charity stripe.  Junior guard Mike Topercer (Scottsdale, Ariz./New Hampton Prep) matched his career best with 10 points off the bench, and sophomore guard Jasper Grassa (Lynn/Lynn Classical HS) filled the stat sheet with nine points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Bentley's freshman class was also productive in the victory with guard J.P. Koury (Red Bank, N.J./CBA) scoring 12 points, forward Andrew Shaw (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) tallying 10 and Cheshul providing eight. The trio combined to make 10 of 17 shots, and each one connected twice from three-point land.

Junior forward Anthony D. Green (Jersey City, N.J.) led Felician with 17 points. The Golden Falcons were held to 39 percent shooting and were guilty of 21 turnovers, eight more than Bentley.

Bentley capitalized on almost all of the Felician giveaways, finishing with 35 points off turns and a 16-4 edge in fast break points.

The tournament continues on Saturday with Felician playing Merrimack at 6 pm and Bentley squaring off against Bloomfield at 8 pm in a rematch of last year's NCAA Division II East Regional final (won by the Deacons, 75-71).

In the earlier game Friday, Merrimack used a 33-point effort from senior guard Roland Davis (Deer Park, N.Y.) to top Bloomfield, 87-79. Twenty-three of those points came in the second half, including the 1,000th of his career.

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