Lawrence & Richmond Combine for 42 as Bentley Secures 3rd Seed in NE10 Playoffs with 83-68 Win

Colton Lawrence
Colton Lawrence

WALTHAM, Mass. – Sophomore guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ELCO HS) buried five three-pointers during a 23-point night and senior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) put up a 19-point, 11-rebound double-double as the Bentley University Falcons earned an 83-68 win over Franklin Pierce University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Tuesday night at the Dana Center.

The victory in the regular season finale gave Bentley the Northeast Division's third seed for the upcoming conference championships and a first round bye. The Falcons, 19-9 overall and 12-9 NE10, will play at New Haven in the quarterfinals on Sunday.

Ahead by two with 11:30 left, Bentley put the game away with a sophomore-fueled 20-2 run that made it a 20-point spread, 74-54, with just over six minutes to play. Lawrence buried four three-balls with two from the left side, one from the right and another from top of the key.

The other eight were scored by classmate Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy) with three lay-ups and a 17-footer.

Richmond, the fourth-leading scorer in program history with 2,065 points, helped to close out the victory by making seven of eight free throws in the final 4:39. Lawrence put an exclamation point on his evening when he threw down a dunk with 25 seconds remaining.

The 20-4 burst was one of several runs that the Falcons put together against the Ravens. Nine unanswered, including a Richmond trey, made it 37-25 with about three minutes left in the opening half.

Earlier in the first half, three-pointers by Mello-Klein and junior guard Seth Stankiewicz (Reading, Pa.) bookended an 11-2 spurt that turned a four-point deficit into a 23-18 lead.

Lawrence, who also had five rebounds, made 9 of 17 shots overall and half of his ten three-point attempts. Richmond complemented his double-double with five assists, Mello-Klein joined his two teammates in double figures with 16 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

Junior guard Doyin Fadojutimi (Temple Hills, Md.) led Franklin Pierce (15-13, 11-10) with 21 points, four triples and six rebounds. The Ravens received significant contributions from its bench with 31 points and 18 rebounds.

Five times as many free throws made, 15-3, and a 12-9 advantage in three-pointers were keys to the victory for the Falcons, who also had four fewer turnovers. The Falcons lost the ball only eight times and scored 14 points off FPU's 12 turns.

Sunday's game is slated for a 3 pm start.