WALTHAM, Mass. – After four of five at home to open the season, the 5-0 Bentley University men's basketball will play three of its next four in the Granite State, beginning Wednesday with a 7:30 pm game at Franklin Pierce University. As is the case with all Northeast-10 Conference contests, the game can be viewed on NE10NOW.tv.
Bentley will also be in New Hampshire next week for encounters with Saint Anselm and Southern New Hampshire after hosting Saint Michael's on Saturday afternoon.
It will be the home opener for Franklin Pierce, which is off to a 3-2 start with wins over NYIT, LIU Post and most recently, Saint Michael's, by the count of 99-92. That marked the fourth straight game coach David Chadbourne's club has exceeded the 90-point mark.
Bentley, ranked 24th by the NABC and 16th in the D2SIDA media poll this week, is among the Division II leaders in all the shooting categories (.530 overall, .431 from three, .857 at the line). Three of the starting five are over 54 percent both overall and from outside the arc.
That list includes senior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./ Thomson Collegiate), who is shooting 59 percent from the floor, 55 percent from deep and a sizzling 95 percent at the charity stripe. He has scored at least 21 in every game and has moved to 12th on the program's all-time scoring list with 1,532 points. Richmond's scoring average of 23.6 is identical to the school record he set last year and he's also providing 5.8 rebounds and 4.6 assists a game.
Senior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) is shooting .585 overall, including 8 of 14 from three, and sophomore guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy) has connected on 55 percent of his shots, seven of eight from deep and all eight of his free throws.
Sophomore forward Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ECHO HS) has been productive with a team-best eight rebounds a game, as well as the second-best scoring average (14.0). He has grabbed at least eight boards four times and is coming off a 17-point effort in Sunday's 86-70 win over Jefferson.
Junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Northampton Williston School) rounds out the starting five for Jay Lawson, who'll be coaching his 800th game as Bentley's head coach on Wednesday. Hudson is averaging 10.8 points and 7.6 rebounds thus far.
Franklin Pierce is led by junior guard Doyin Fadojutimi, who raised his season norm to 19.8 points after erupting for 33 last time out, Nov. 20 at Saint Michael's. His 11-for-17 shooting effort including five-of-six from downtown.
Falu Seck, another junior guard, and sophomore guard Sean Fasoyiro, follow Fadojutimi on the Ravens' scoring list with averages of 14.3 and 11.4, respectively. Also in doubles, at 10.8, is freshman guard Isaiah Moore at 10.8
Three-pointers, both for and against, have been instrumental in the team's success. The Ravens make 12.8 a game, allow only 6.2 and have outscored their opponents 192-93 from beyond the arc, an average of nearly 20 points a game.
Franklin Pierce leads the NE10 in turnovers forced (18) and steals (9.4).
Last season, Bentley swept the season series, 105-69 and 97-82, to push its lead all-time over the Ravens to 24-13. Richmond had 39 at Pierce in the second meeting and averaged 31 in the two games.