Bentley Seeks Win No. 17 Saturday at Assumption

Colton Lawrence
Colton Lawrence

WALTHAM, Mass. – One of only two Northeast-10 Conference teams with at least 16 wins, the Bentley University men's basketball team will be attempting to string together consecutive wins for the first time since early January when it visits Assumption College. Tip-off at Laska Gym is set with 3:30 pm and a webcast can be seen on the NE10 NOW Digital Network.

The Falcons and Greyhounds have opposite overall records so far this season with coach Jay Lawson's squad 16-6 after Wednesday's win over Stonehill and Assumption 6-16 after dropping 10 of its last 11.

In the NE10 Northeast Division, Bentley (9-6) is in third, a game back of Merrimack and two up on Franklin Pierce. Meanwhile, Assumption is at the bottom of the eight-team division with two conference wins in 15 games.

In the 84-65 win over Stonehill, senior All-Region guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./ Thomson Collegiate) started slow before making his final two shots of the first half and nine of 12 in the second. He scored 25 points after intermission, the third time in the last six games he's had at least 24 in a half, and finished with 35 points. Over the last six, he's averaged 29, raising his season norm to a conference-best 23.5.

Richmond has moved to within 70 of becoming the fourth Falcon and the 19th NE10 player with at least 2,000 career points. He's made just a shade under half his shots this season and has hit nearly 89 percent of his 148 free throws.

Sophomore guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ELCO HS) and junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Williston Northampton), the two Falcon starters shooting over .500, both score 15 a game and are the team's top two rebounders. Lawrence has totaled 44 points on 16 of 27 shooting in his last two games.

Four of the Falcons' five starters shoot at least 40 percent from three with Richmond and Lawrence joined by senior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) and sophomore guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy).

Gilpin is the only one of the starters playing under 30 minutes a game and he's at 29.

Assumption has three players who average in doubles with sophomore point guard Matthew Kelly leading the way at 14.4 points. Last year, he had a career-best 36 points against Bentley.

Six-foot-seven junior Damian Rance, who has made 56 percent of his shots inside the arc, follows at 11 a ­­game. Freshmen forward Cal Connelly, a 10.6 per game scorer, has made 43 percent of his threes with a total of 48 made.

In the early January game, Richmond scored 21 and Lawrence added 16 as the Falcons claimed a 76-61 victory. Rance had a 20-point, 10-rebound double-double for the Hounds.

Next week, Bentley will be in the Dana Center for meetings with Southern New Hampshire Wednesday and nationally-ranked Saint Anselm Saturday.