WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior forward Julian Lipinski (Melbourne, Australia) made nine of his first 11 shots and finished with a 22-point, 11-rebound double-double as The College of Saint Rose rode hot early shooting to an 81-73 win over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Bentley, which staged a valiant second-half comeback to cut a 21-point deficit to five before coming up short, was again led by junior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate). A game after scoring his 1,000th and hitting a game-winning three in an OT win at Le Moyne, he dropped in 26 points, including 17 in the second half.
Saint Rose improved to 11-4 overall and 6-1 in conference play with the win while Bentley slipped to 8-6 and 5-4.
Following several early lead changes, the Golden Knights took charge by making 12 of their final 20 first-half shots and outscoring the Falcons 31-16 over the final 12:20 of the opening stanza. Fueled by a 17-point, eight-rebound half by the six-eight Lipinski, the visitors took a 46-32 lead into the halftime locker room.
Saint Rose stayed hot once play resumed, hitting six of its first eight second-half shots to open a commanding 60-39 lead with 14 minutes left. Senior guard Mical-Ryan Boyd (Hempstead, N.Y.) led that charge with eight points, including a pair of three-balls.
Led by Richmond, Bentley came alive with 11 unanswered, pulling within ten at 60-50 with 10:24 to play. Richmond had seven of the 11 with a foul-line jumper, a ten-foot fall-away and a top-of-the-key three-pointer.
The 11-0 run grew to 20-6 and the Golden Knight lead shrunk to seven, 66-59, with 5:36 remaining after back-to-back three-pointers from junior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) and senior forward Brandon Wheeler (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic HS).
Bentley pulled within seven two more times before breaking that barrier when a three from freshman guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy) with 1:02 left made it a five-point spread, 74-69.
However, that would do it as Saint Rose closed out the win by making nine of ten free throws in the final 50 seconds.
Richmond, a key reason why his team shot 59 percent in the second half, finished eight of 13 overall, two of four from three and eight of ten at the line. He also gave his team five rebounds, three assists and a steal.
Gilpin followed with 14 points, and Mello-Klein finished with 11 points, six rebounds and four assists. Sophomore forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Northampton Williston School) followed with nine points and six rebounds, and senior forward Matt Turkington (Cromwell, Conn./Cromwell HS) scored eight off the bench.
Lipinski, one of five Golden Knights to score in doubles, finished 9 of 13 from the floor. Saint Rose also received 15 points from Boyd and an 11-point, 11-rebound double-double from junior forward Matt Cerutti (Guilderland, N.Y.).
Bentley, with its strong second half, shot better overall, 48-46 percent, and made two more threes, 10-8. However, the Falcons were outscored by ten at the line (21-11), were outscored off turns (16-7) and were outrebounded by two (34-32).
Bentley will look to get back on track Wednesday with a 7:30 game at American International.