WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) scored 12 of his season-high 28 points during a game-opening 21-6 run and his undefeated Bentley University Falcons went on to post a wire-to-wire 86-70 victory over Jefferson University in non-conference men's basketball Sunday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Bentley, which crushed the Rams on the boards (38-22) and finished with a 20-4 advantage in points off turnovers, improved to 5-0 on the season. Jefferson, which was responsible for the Falcons' only November loss in 2017, dropped to 4-2.
The Falcons came out firing, sinking four three pointers in the opening 3:10 to claim a 12-2 lead. Richmond knocked down a pair, both the right side. Junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/ Williston/Northampton School) followed with one from out front and senior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) connected from the right corner.
After Jefferson scored four of the game's next five points, Bentley ran off eight straight for a 21-6 lead before the game was eight minutes old. Richmond had six of the eight with a driving lay-up after a steal and a pair of mid-range jumpers.
By that juncture, Bentley had made eight of 12 shots.
Jefferson closed to within six three times in the opening half and the differential stood at seven at the break, 40-33.
After the Rams scored the opening basket of the second half, Bentley embarked on a 19-7 run to open a 59-42 lead with 14:30 remaining. Richmond had six during that stretch, and Gilpin pitched in with four, as did sophomore guards Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy) and Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ECHO HS).
Bentley put the game away with a 10-1 run that made it 79-62 with 4:12 remaining. That spurt included three-pointers by both Lawrence and Gilpin.
Richmond, who has scored 20-plus in every game this season, finished nine of 14 from the floor, including two of five from three, and made all eight of his free throws. He also collected seven rebounds while playing all but the final 61 seconds.
Lawrence, a team-best plus-22, followed with 15 points, including 12 in the second half, and a team-leading eight rebounds. Gilpin, who finished with 12 points, six rebounds and six assists, was the Falcons' third double-figure scorer. Hudson provided eight points, seven rebounds and three steals, and the Bentley also received seven points apiece from Mello-Klein and freshmen Mason Webb (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness HS) and Brian Wright-Kinsey (Brooklyn, N.Y./Brooks School).
Jefferson was led by junior guard Kylan Guerra (White Plains, N.Y.), with 21 points and five assists.
Bentley outshot the Rams 49-46 percent, made nine of 20 three-pointers and converted 19 of 23 free throws. The Falcons also turned 15 offensive rebounds into a 16-8 advantage in second chance points.
The Falcons return to conference play Wednesday with a 7:30 pm game at Franklin Pierce.