WALTHAM, Mass. -- Senior forward Brian Tracey (Bow Mar, Colo./Heritage HS) poured in a career-high 27 points, including five points in the final 68 seconds of the second overtime, as Bentley University, ranked 20th nationally in Division II, outlasted American International College, 87-81, in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Tuesday night at the Dana Center.
Bentley, with its 12th consecutive win, improved to 12-2 overall and 10-0 in the NE-10, maintaining a two-game lead over Saint Anselm in the conference standings. AIC, which had entered the game tied for second, dipped to 11-4 overall and 7-3 NE-10.
With the score knotted at 81 in the second extra session, Tracey buried his only three-ball of the night from the left wing with 1:08 left to give his team the three-point advantage. AIC missed a potential tying triple and guard Mike Quinn (Oakdale, Conn./Montville HS), a grad student, claimed his 10th rebound of the night, matching his career-best for the second straight game.
Quinn was fouled and made the first of two free throws with 28.2 seconds on the clock to make it a two-possession game. AIC turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, and Tracey locked up the victory with two free throws with 17.3 seconds remaining.
In the first OT, senior forward Joe Fremeau (Manchester, N.H./Central HS) gave the Falcons a two-point lead, 77-75, with 1:22 on the clock. AIC junior guard Isiah Wallace (Springfield) hit a six-foot runner to tie the game with 1:09 remaining, and after a Falcon miss, scored on a drive to the basket with 21.5 on the clock, giving the Yellow Jackets a 79-75 lead.
Fremeau, who entered the game with a .625 free throw percentage, was fouled with 11.7 seconds and completed a perfect 6-of-6 night from the stripe by making two to even the score once again. AIC senior forward Allen Aragbaye (Corona, Calif.) beat the buzzer with a three-pointer from the corner, but it missed its mark and Quinn came down with the board to force the second extra session.
Bentley led by nine early in the second half and was still up by four, 70-66, when Fremeau knocked down two free throws with 69 seconds left in regulation. Wallace, who heated up down the stretch after being held in check much of the game, drew his team within two on an eight-foot leader with 57 ticks of the clock left. Following a missed Falcon three, sophomore guard Ricky Hudson (Sewell, N.J.) sank two free throws for AIC, knotting the score at 70-all with 22.1 seconds left. The Falcons never got a potential winning shot off, losing the ball on a turnover just before the horn sounded.
Tracey earned his 27 points on 10-of-16 shooting from the floor and six free throws in as many attempts. He also finished with six rebounds.
Senior guard Tom Dowling (Rockville Centre, N.Y./South Side HS) followed Tracey in the scoring column with 15 points, including a three-for-four effort from three. Sophomore guard Greg Jacques (Brockton/St. Sebastian's HS) provided 12 points, five assists and five rebounds off the bench, and Fremeau's success at the line was part of a 10-point, six-rebound, two-block performance. Sophomore forward Dan O'Keefe (Lexington/ Lexington HS) was also a significant contributor off the bench with eight points, four rebounds and five blocks.
Wallace, held to just six points over the game's first 37 minutes, finished with 20 for the Yellow Jackets. Aragbaye matched him in the scoring column and also had seven rebounds and four steals.
Bentley finished the game at 44 percent from the field and held AIC to 39 percent, including just 5 of 18 in the two overtimes. The Falcons also had a significant advantage at the line (23-11 in makes, 28-17 in attempts), but AIC overcame those numbers with 15 more field goal attempts.
Bentley plays its next two games on the road, beginning Saturday at Assumption College (3:30 pm).
At Waltham, Mass. (Dana Center)
BENTLEY 87, AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL 81
AMERICAN INTERNATIONAL (11-4, 7-3 NE-10) -- Allen Aragbaye 7-19 2-2 20; Isiah Wallace 8-21 2-4 20; Ricky Hudson 6-11 3-3 17; Denzel Jackson 6-8 1-2 13; Anthony Thomas 3-9 2-3 8; Jason Perrier 1-5 1-3 3; Byron Richards 0-3 0-0 0; Adrian Hynes-Guery 0-3 0-0 0. Totals 31-79 11-17 81.
BENTLEY (12-2, 10-0 NE-10) -- Brian Tracey 10-16 6-6 27; Tom Dowling 6-13 0-1 15; Greg Jacques 3-6 5-8 12; Joe Fremeau 2-5 6-6 10; Dan O'Keefe 4-8 0-0 8; Jasper Grassa 1-6 3-3 6; Mike Quinn 1-6 3-4 6; Sam Leclerc 1-4 0-0 3; Kevin Kettl 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 28-64 23-28 87.
Halftime: B 33-31; Regulation: 70-70; After 1st OT: 79-79; 3-point goals--AIC 8-23 (Aragbaye 4-8; Hudson 2-5; Wallace 2-3; Perrier 0-3; Richards 0-2; Hynes-Guery 0-1; Jackson 0-1), B 8-21 (Dowling 3-4; Grassa 1-5; Tracey 1-3; Jacques 1-3; Leclerc 1-3; Quinn 1-3). Fouled out--AIC- Hynes-Guery. Rebounds--AIC 47 (Thomas 11), B 45 (Quinn 10). Assists--AIC 13 (Hynes-Guery 4), B 16 (Jacques 5). Total fouls--AIC 23, B 17. Technical fouls-- None.