WALTHAM, Mass. – Crossover play in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball will get underway Wednesday evening with the Bentley University Falcons looking to stay unbeaten at home.
The 13-1 Falcons, number 10 in the NABC Division II coaches' poll for the first time in nine years, will welcome Le Moyne College to the Dana Center with tip-off slated for 7:30 pm. As usual, a free webcast will be available at NE10 NOW.
Bentley, coming off an 84-71 victory at Molloy College in the non-conference finale, is riding a five-game winning streak, with each game decided by at least 13 points, and is 8-0 on its home court thus far this season. The Falcons are second in the NE10's Northeast Division, a game back of Saint Anselm.
Le Moyne, 7-4 overall and the co-leader in the NE10 Southwest Division, will be playing its first game in three weeks on Wednesday. The lengthy holiday break followed a split of two games in Las Vegas Dec. 18-19.
The two clubs have faced only one common opponent thus far with both owning a 17-point victory over The College of Saint Rose.
In Saturday's victory at Molloy, Bentley maintained the lead from the game's opening bucket and had advantages of 11-7 in threes, 19-6 in free throws, 46-41 percent in field goal percentage and 39-36 in rebounds. Senior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate), junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Williston Northampton) and sophomore guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ELCO HS) combined for 61 points with 23, 20 and 18, respectively.
Richmond, whose has scored 20 or more in 12 of 14 games, continues to lead the NE10 in scoring (22.2) and is rapidly closing in on fourth on the program's all-time scoring list. With 1,725, he needs seven to pass Tim Forbes '06 for fifth and 43 to overtake former Milwaukee Bucks' draft pick Brian Hammel '75 for fourth.
Richmond, who also averages 4.3 assists and nearly five rebounds, shoots 47 percent on threes and 88 percent at the line.
Lawrence and Hudson have both had quality seasons with Lawrence averaging 15.5 points and Hudson 14.8. Lawrence has made nine of his last 14 attempts from deep and Hudson has posted five double-doubles in his last nine games.
Senior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) is the team's fourth double-figure scorer with a 10.0 average. Sophomore guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy), the conference leader in three-point accuracy at .528, provides nearly ten points and four helpers a game.
Bentley leads the conference in a number of categories, including three-point accuracy (.440), three-point percentage defense (.297), field goal percentage (.510), scoring margin (+15.4), rebound margin (+7.5) and fewest fouls committed (13.1).
Le Moyne, which will be looking to string together consecutive wins for the first time since Nov. 17-23, has a significantly different look from last year's Elite Eight team with junior forward Tom Brown the only player who was among the team's top eight scorers. He leads the Dolphins in rebounding (8.9) and is second in scoring (10.8).
East Stroudsburg transfer Kobi Nwandu, a six-foot-six forward who scored about 13 a game for the Warriors last year, is the Dolphins' top scorer with a 16.4 average. Earlier this season, he had a string of five straight games with 20 or more.
The other double-figure scorers for the Dolphins are Saginaw Valley transfer Malik Garner and senior guard C.J. Asumcion-Byrd, with both just over ten a game. Asuncion-Byrd has been hot from three, knocking down 17 of 33.
In the only meeting of the two clubs last year, Bentley prevailed in OT out in Syracuse, 73-70, on the strength of a Richmond three with six-tenths of a second left.
After facing Le Moyne, Bentley will prepare for a Saturday matinee at Saint Rose.