MANCHESTER, N.H. – Graduate forward Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.), junior guard Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) and six-foot-eight sophomore Eamonn Joyce (Medford, Mass.) combined for 72 points and 23 rebounds as Southern New Hampshire University led from the opening basket en route to an 89-74 win over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Wednesday night at the SNHU Field House.
The outcome dropped Bentley into a tie for fourth in the NE10 Northeast Division standings with SNHU, both at 9-8, and continued the Falcons' pattern of alternating wins and losses that dates back into December.
Walters led the 13-9 Penmen with 29 points and eight rebounds. Andrews followed with 23 and 7, along with five steals, and Joyce's line included 20 points, eight rebounds and four rejections. Combined, the trio was 25 of 28 from the foul line, including a 10-for-10 effort from Walters.
Junior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) led the Falcons with 24 points, including 18 in the second half. He struggled from the field, like many of his teammates, but also pitched in with six rebounds, four assists and eight free throws in as many attempts.
While Bentley was off the mark on 13 of its first 17 shots, the Penmen used runs of 9-2 and 14-5 to open a 23-11 lead midway through the opening half. Joyce played a key role early, scoring nine of his team's 23.
Later in the first half, SNHU scored 11 of 13 points during a span of 3:06 to stretch its lead to 15, 34-19 with five minutes until the break. That run included a steal and dunk by Andrews, a top-of-the-key triple from Walters and a pair of three-balls from sophomore forward Ryogo Sumino (Kanawaga, Japan).
Southern New Hampshire's 41-26 halftime lead grew to 48-26 when the Penmen scored seven quick points to start the second.
Still down 18 as the clock dipped under six, Bentley scored ten unanswered to make it a 76-66 game with 2:31 to play. Sophomore forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Northampton Williston School) got it started with a 12-footer, Richmond made four free throws and after the Falcons missed two threes that would have dropped the difference to nine, Richmond made a baseline jumper.
The Penmen responded with six straight, including a triple from Joyce, and Bentley, 12-10, never got closer than 13 again.
Following Richmond on the scoring list were Hudson and freshman guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon, Mass./Thayer Academy). Those two were a combined 11 of 20 from the floor while the rest of the team made only 15 of 42. Junior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) was the team's fourth in doubles, with 11 points.
SNHU outshot the Falcons 50-42 percent overall, including 47-33 before intermission, and finished 9 of 17 from downtown. Bentley also made nine treys but had 21 attempts. The Penmen also committed only eight turns, five less than the visitors.
Bentley will also be in the Queen City Saturday, taking on first-place Saint Anselm at 3:30 pm.