WORCESTER, Mass. – Bentley University senior All-Region guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) hit a short pull-up, his 30th and 31st points of the game, with 35 seconds remaining for the game's 19th lead change, Assumption College missed three triples in the final seconds and the Falcons escaped with a 66-65 win over the Greyhounds in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at Laska Gym.
Bentley, a perfect 12-of-12 at the foul line due largely to Richmond's 10-for-10, improved to 17-6 overall and 10-6 NE10. Assumption, winless at home since late November, fell to 6-17 overall with 14 losses in 16 conference games.
The Falcons, in front 53-47 after a mid-range jumper by sophomore guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy) with 8:33 left, went scoreless for more than three minutes. Assumption took advantage, scoring eight unanswered, including a three-pointer and a traditional three-point play by sophomore forward Malik Brown (Waldorf, Md.), to reclaim a two-point advantage.
Following two more lead changes, Bentley freshman guard Mason Webb (Oklahoma City, Okla./ Biahop McGuinness HS) gave his team a 58-57 lead with two free throws with 4:17 remaining. Junior forward Chris Hudaon (Hodgdon, Maine/Williston Northampton) came up with a steal at the other end and Richmond capitalized with a spinning jumper for a three-point advantage.
After a tying three by Assumption sophomore forward Bryan Boehlert (Gaithersburg, Md.), Richmond sank two from the line with exactly two minutes left for a 62-60 advantage. Hound sophomore guard Matthew Kelly (North Potomac, Md.) drove for a tying basket with 1:45 to play and Richmond answered with a drive of his own, making it 64-62 with 1:17 on the clock. The lead flipped to Assumption, 65-64, when freshman forward Cal Connelly (Rochester, N.H.) buried a three-ball from the left wing with 51.8 showing on the scoreboard.
Following Richmond's go-ahead basket, Assumption's final possession included two three-point attempts by Connelly and one from 28 by Kelly as the final horn sounded.
The Greyhounds led by as many as ten in the first half before the Falcons closed the opening stanza with a 12-2 run for a 33-31 halftime lead. Mello-Klein hit a go-ahead three with 40 seconds left and beat the buzzer with a tie-breaking lay-up.
Richmond, who pushed his career point total to 1,961, struggled from three (1-for-8) but made nine of 15 with a variety of moves inside the arc. He also had four rebounds and the same number of assists in 38 turnover-free minutes.
Mello-Klein, five of seven from the floor with a pair of triples, was the only other Falcon to score in doubles. He finished with 12 points and three rebounds. Hudson and sophomore guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ELCO HS) each helped out with eight points and Lawrence's team-high seven rebounds was matched by senior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy).
Connelly led Assumption with 13 points.
Assumption shot better overall, 50-46 percent, and had an 8-7 edge in three-pointers, but Bentley made ten more free throws as the Hounds were only two of four at the stripe. The Falcons also had three more rebounds (30-27) and one less turnover (11-12).
The Falcons are home for their next two, beginning Wednesday against Southern New Hampshire.