WALTHAM, Mass. – Through seven games, all five starters for the Bentley University men's basketball team are scoring in double figures while shooting at least .500 overall and .400 from three. The Falcons are outshooting the opponents 53-40 percent and are averaging 7.7 more assists.
With numbers like those, it's not surprising that the Falcons sport a 7-0 record, including 4-0 Northeast-10, and a number 14 ranking in this week's NABC Division II national coaches poll. They'll put the unblemished records on the line Wednesday night when they travel to Manchester, N.H. to take on Southern New Hampshire University at 7:30 pm.
The game from SNHU's Stan Spirou Fieldhouse will be webcast on NE10NOW.tv.
Southern New Hampshire, under the first-year leadership of former Bentley player and assistant coach Jack Perri, owns a 5-3 record, including 4-2 at home and 2-2 NE10. The Penmen are coming off a 68-53 win over Assumption, a game in which they took a commanding 43-19 lead into the halftime break.
Bentley, last time out, shot past St. Michael's, 87-65. It was the fifth time in seven games coach Jay Lawson's squad has shot at least .500 and the seventh straight game they've finished with more three-pointers, more rebounds and more assists than the opponents.
The Falcons, who'll be seeking their first 8-0 start since the 2007-08 team won its 34, are in the top five in Division II nationally in each of the shooting categories, as well as rebound margin (11.4). They own a .539 field goal percentage, have made 49 percent of their three-pointers and are shooting 83 percentage at the foul stripe.
Senior All-Conference guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) leads the team in scoring (21.1) and has an effective field goal percentage of .617. Richmond has also drained 48 of 51 from the charity stripe, a 94 percent success rate.
Sophomore guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ELCO HS) and junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Northampton Williston) have both had the hot hand of late. Hudson has recorded back-to-back double-doubles with 16 points and 10 rebounds at Franklin Pierce and 20 and 10 in the St. Michael's game. Lawrence, in his last three, has averaged 18.3 points and 8.3 rebounds.
Senior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) and sophomore guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy), a combined 22 of 37 from deep, are averaging 12.1 and 10.9 points, respectively.
Southern New Hampshire features senior guard Daquaise Andrews, the number four scorer in the conference at 21.4 as well as one of the leaders in assists (43) and steals (17). Last month, he erupted for 37 points in an overtime win over Post, a game in which he attempted an amazing 25 free throws, making 17.
In the two games last year, Andrews totaled 50 points, 16 rebounds and seven steals against Bentley.
Six-foot-six junior Shaun Montague nearly averages a double-double, at 14.4 points and 9.7 rebounds, and six-foot-eight junior Eamonn Joyce follows at 13.7 points per game. Senior guard Charlie Russo is the top three-point threat, at 18 of 40.
Last year, Bentley was swept by SNHU, falling 89-80 and 89-74.
Bentley, also ranked tenth in the D2SIDA media poll, will also be in the Queen City Saturday for a 3:30 pm game at 4th-ranked and undefeated Saint Anselm.