PHILADELPHIA, Pa. – Sophomore guard Kylan Guerra (White Plains, N.Y.) and freshman guard Alexander Gorton (Jonesboro, Ark.) combined to make six of seven three-pointers in the second half, propelling Jefferson University to a 76-71 win over Bentley University in non-conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Gallagher Center.
Gorton led the 3-4 Rams with 26 points as he made 10 of 15 overall and four of five from distance. Guerra, four of six from three, scored 14 of his 16 in the second half.
Bentley, which suffered its first loss after opening the season with three wins, was led by sophomore guard Seth Stankiewicz (Reading, Pa./The Hill School), who came off the bench to score a career-best 21 points. He drained six of nine from three-point territory while the rest of the Falcons struggled from deep, making only 2 of 14.
It was a slow start to the afternoon for the visitors with Bentley missing its first eight shots while Jefferson was scoring the first eight points, including six on a pair of Gorton triples.
The Falcons battled back and took their only lead of the contest when freshman guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ECHO HS) capped a 6-0 run with a put-back that made it 22-21 with 5:47 to play until halftime.
Jefferson answered with ten unanswered, including four by Gorton, to go up nine, 31-22. A Stankiewicz three from right side, one of two free throws from Stankiewicz and two from the line by junior Kyle Bouchard (Houlton, Maine/Houlton HS) brought the Falcons to within three at the break, 31-28.
After a three from the left corner by Bentley freshman guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon, Mass./Thayer HS) opened the second half scoring and knotted the game at 31-all, Jefferson embarked on a 10-3 burst to go back up seven, 41-34.
Bentley, after trailing by as many as 13, got right back into the game with a 9-0 run making it a four-point game, 64-60, with four minutes left. Senior forward Brandon Wheeler (Stamford, Conn./ Stamford HS) played a key role in that stretch, with a top-of-the-key three and a transition lay-up following a Ram turnover.
A Gorton basket and two Ram free throws pushed Jefferson's lead back to eight with 40.4 seconds left and it remained a two-possession game the rest of the way.
Stankiewicz was joined in double figures by junior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./ Thomson Collegiate) and Mello-Klein, with 15 and 11 points, respectively. Wheeler only scored six but led Bentley with a game-high 13 rebounds.
Gorton, in addition to scoring 26 for Jefferson, led his team in rebounds with seven. The starting five scored 75 of 76 points for the Rams with sophomore forward Josh Bradanese (Billerica, Mass.) matching Guerra's 16.
Jefferson outshot Bentley 47-42 percent with both teams shooting over 50 percent in the second half (Falcons 18-35, Rams 14-26). Rebounds favored Bentley, 44-35, including 11-4 offensive. However, despite the success on the offensive boards, the Falcons managed only six second-chance points.
Bentley will also be on the road Tuesday, a 7:30 Northeast-10 contest at Assumption College.