NEW HAVEN, Conn. – Senior guard Isaiah McLeod (Cambridge, Mass.) dropped in seven three-pointers on his way to a game-high 33 points and classmate Keenan Ives (Providence, R.I.) followed with 29, including 12-of-12 from the free throw stripe, as Southern Connecticut State shot down Bentley University, 100-88, in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon.
It was the third straight loss for Bentley, which began the week ranked 24th in Division II. The Falcons slipped to 15-5 overall and 8-5 in conference while Southern, which sank 14 threes and was perfect on 24 free throw attempts, improved to 12-8 (7-5 NE10).
McLeod and Ives were two of the five 20-point scorers in the contest. Sophomore guard C.J. Seaforth (Hamden, Conn.) added 22 for Southern while senior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./ Thomson Collegiate) and junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Williston Northampton) had 28 and 23, respectively, for Bentley.
Bentley started out quick, making five of its first six to take an 11-6 lead less than four minutes after the opening tap. Richmond knocked down what would prove to be the team's only first-half three and sophomore guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon, Mass./Thayer Academy) had a pair of baskets.
Nine of the next ten Falcon shots were off the mark, a stretch in which the Owls outscored the visitors 19-8 to build a 25-19 lead.
By halftime, Bentley was down a dozen, 46-34, and has misfired on 15 of 20 shots after the 5-for-6 start. Meanwhile, the Owls had turned eight turnovers into a 17-4 advantage in points off.
Bentley closed within nine a couple times early in the second before McLeod and Southern ran of a 21-6 spurt that made it a 70-46 game with 13 minutes to play. There were five Southern triples during that span, including three put through the basket by McLeod.
A 16-3 Falcon run cut the deficit to five, 83-78, with four-and-a-half minutes left. Hudson scored eight of the 16 and both Richmond and junior guard Seth Stankiewicz (Reading, Pa./Hill School) hit from distance.
McLeod quieted Bentley with a three and six free throws by Ives returned the differential to 12, 92-80 with 1:45 remaining.
Despite the offensive struggles for most of the first half, Bentley actually outshot the Owls for the game, 52-47 percent, with the Falcons making 19 of 30 after the break. However, Southern had a 14-8 advantage in threes and ten more shot attempts. The home team outscored the Falcons 31-14 in points off turnovers and 16-6 on second-chance points.
McLeod, who also had seven rebounds and three steals, made 10 of 17 overall and seven of 11 from deep.
Richmond (5 assists, 5 rebounds) and Hudson (8-of-15 shooting) were joined in doubles by sophomore guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ELCO HS), with 12 points on 4-of-6 shooting.
Bentley has a mid-week by before hosting Pace next Saturday at the Dana Center.