WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) scored a game-high 26 points and his team shot over .500 for the sixth time in seven games as Bentley University posted an 80-61 win over St. Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Ross Sports Center.
Bentley, which never trailed in a game that was only tied once (at 2-2), stayed unbeaten in the conference, improving to 4-0 NE10 and 6-1 overall. St. Michael's fell to 1-6 overall and 1-4 NE10.
Although the Falcons had held the lead since early in the first half, it was just a five-point difference after a 12-2 St. Michael's run made it 49-44 with a little more than 14 minutes to play. That surge, coming after Bentley had opened a 15-point lead, was capped by a pair of three-pointers from sophomore Stan Foster (Rochester, N.Y.).
Bentley embarked on a 14-2 run that made it a 63-46 game approximately midway through the second half and was never threatened again. Freshman guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ECHO HS), one of five to contribute points on the run, had six of the 14 with both a three-point play the traditional way and a three-ball from the right side.
Later in the second half, Bentley put the game out of reach with a run of seven unanswered stretching the lead to 23, 75-52 with 5:35 left. That surge include the third three-pointer from sophomore guard Seth Stankiewicz (Reading, Pa./The Hill School).
Sixteen of Richmond's points came in a first that saw the Falcons shoot 55 percent and take a 39-32 lead into the locker room. His baskets included a driving lay-up, a three-point play, a three-ball from the top of the key and a trio of mid-range jumpers.
Out of the half, the Falcons scored eight unanswered to go up 15 at 47-32. That included a pair of fast-break lay-ups by Richmond off defensive plays, his own steal and a Lawrence block.
Richmond, in addition to hitting 10 of his 17 shots from the field, was five-of-five from the foul stripe and also provided five rebounds and four assists.
Lawrence was the Falcons' other double-digit scorer with 12, and coach Jay Lawson also received nine points apiece from freshman guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon, Mass./Thayer Academy), Stankiewicz and junior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy). Gilpin and Lawrence each had a team-best six rebounds, and Stankiewicz sank three of four from outside the arc.
Junior guard Derek Cheatom (Buffalo, N.Y.) led St. Michael's with 16 points, all but two coming before the half. He was 7-of-7 from the floor while his teammates were a combined 17-of-52 (33 percent). Levi Holmes III, also a junior guard, followed with 15 but was held to 11 below his NE10-leading norm.
Bentley held the statistical advantage in most categories, including field goal percentage (52-41 percent), free throws (12-6), rebounds (37-26), assists (16-7) and most impressively, second chance points (15-0).
The Falcons will be at home Wednesday to host Southern New Hampshire at 7:30 pm.