WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Northampton Williston School) put up a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double and sophomore guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ECHO HS) followed with 17 as undefeated Bentley University led from the opening basket en route to an 87-65 win over St. Michael's College Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Bentley, ranked 24th in the NABC Division II coaches poll and 16th in the D2SIDA media poll, maintained a lead of at least 20 points throughout the second half while improving to 7-0 overall and 4-0 NE10. St. Michael's lost for the fourth time in five conference games and dropped to 3-4 overall.
Bentley stormed out of the gate with a 10-3 run in the first 2:15. Sophomore guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy) opened the game's scoring with a three-ball from the left corner and Hudson followed with an elbow jumper. After a St. Michael's triple, the Falcons received a lay-up from senior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) and a three-point play the traditional way by Hudson.
After St. Michael's drew within two at 15-13, Bentley opened the game up with a 24-6 explosion making it 39-19 with about five minutes left in the first. Mello-Klein and Hudson both connected from deep and Lawrence had three baskets during the run.
The half ended with Bentley up 51-28 after a steal and fast break dunk by Lawrence just before the buzzer.
A 16-6 burst over a four-minute span made it a commanding 32-point differential, 72-40, with 11:20 left. Junior guard Seth Stankiewicz (Reading, Pa./Reading HS) hit a pair of corner threes and scored eight of his 12 points during that run. Hudson (5) and Lawrence (4) were also involved.
Bentley placed five players in double-digits with Hudson, Lawrence and Stankiewicz joined by Mello-Klein and senior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate).
Hudson, who also had two steals and a pair of blocks, hit a pair of threes and finished 8 of 13 overall from the field. Lawrence was 8-of-11 and also had five rebounds, two steals, two assists and a block.
Mello-Klein, three of six from outside the arc, finished with 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a steal, and Richmond, the NE10's leading scoring, totaled 10 points and six assists. Stankiewicz scored his 12 points in 18:03 off the bench.
St. Michael's senior guards Levin Holmes III (East Brunswick, N.J.) and Derek Cheatom (Buffalo, N.Y.) both entered the game averaging over 20 but they were limited to just 21 combined points on 6 of 22 shooting. Fourteen of those were scored by Cheatom, including 11 in the second half
Bentley outshot the Purple Knights 56-37 percent and made nine of the game's 13 three-balls. The Falcons also dominated the boards, 47-36, and had an 18-8 advantage in second-chance points.
Next up for the Falcons is a Wednesday night encounter at Southern New Hampshire University.