WALTHAM, Mass. – The Bentley University men's basketball team, 15-6 overall and 8-6 Northeast-10, returns to the Dana Center Wednesday night when they'll be looking to post their first season series sweep of Stonehill College since the 2012-13 season.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7:35 pm with the game being aired as part of the NCAA Division II Showcase. It can be seen on the NE10 NOW Digital Network, the NCAA Division II, Northeast-10, Bentley and Stonehill Facebook pages, the NCAA Division II Twitter page and across the country on a tape-delay basis (Thursday at 1 pm) on Cox Sports Television.
Both teams had troubles against the Northeast-10's Southwest Division teams with each having dropped four straight. Bentley was 2-5 against the Southwest after starting the season 13-1 and Stonehill won only one of seven in crossover games.
Bentley is coming off a difficult overtime loss, 76-74, to Pace. The Falcons led by 11 midway through the second half and had an early three-point advantage in the extra session before a 9-2 Pace spurt. Three players scored at least 17 for Bentley with sophomore guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ELCO HS) at the top of the list with a career-high 26 points.
Stonehill, which has been fighting injuries, is coming off an 86-76 home loss to Adelphi University. With second-leading scorer Brandon Twitty sidelined, senior forward Joel Berroa came up big off the bench with 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting.
When Bentley and Stonehill met down in Easton nearly three months ago, the Falcons earned an 84-71 victory by shooting 56 percent overall, making 10 of 20 from three-point territory and controlling the boards, 37-22. Senior All-Region guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thompson Collegiate GS) led the way with 25 points, junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Williston Northampton) followed with 19 and senior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) scored 17.
Richmond, five points away from 1,900 as a Falcon, continues to lead the Northeast-10 in scoring with a 22.9 average. He's been an ironman, playing 395 of 405 minutes since the return from the holiday break, and has 51 career 20-point games, including 15 this season.
Hudson and Lawrence are next on the scoring list for coach Jay Lawson's team. Hudson, one of only four players in the conference with at least 20 blocks and 20 steals, is fifth in the NE10 in rebounding (8.6) in addition to scoring 15 a game. Lawrence follows with averages of 14.9 points and 6.9 rebounds while shooting 51 percent overall.
Lawson's starting five has been constant all season with Richmond, Hudson and Lawrence joined by Gilpin and sophomore guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy). Those two are both shooting at least 41 percent from three with Gilpin averaging 9.8 points and Mello-Klein 8.7.
The first player off the Bentley bench is freshman guard Mason Webb (Oklahoma City, Okla./ Bishop McGuinness HS), who averages 5.1 points a game.
Stonehill. 11-10 overall and 5-9 conference, has four players with double-digit scoring averages, a list headed by six-foot-six junior Will Moreton. He leads the squad in scoring (19.0), rebounding (8.7), assists (53), steals (21) and three-pointers (48).
Twitty owns a 15.5 scoring average and has shot close to 50 percent from deep, sinking 45 of 92. Four times this year, he's drilled at least five triples. Berroa's average is up to 10.4 a game and sophomore guard Owen Chose provides 10.6 points per game.
Bentley has won two of the last three times the two squads have met after Stonehill took seven of the previous eight. All-time, the series stands at 49 wins for the Falcons and 39 for the Skyhawks.
This week's schedule also has Bentley taking on Assumption College on the road Saturday afternoon.