WALTHAM, Mass. -- St. Michael's College junior forward Tyler Schilling (Excelsior, Minn.) recorded 12 points and 12 rebounds, both game-high numbers, as the Purple Knights shut down cold-shooting Bentley University, 54-42, in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Despite suffering its fourth home loss of the season, Bentley remained atop the NE-10 standings but saw its lead over second-place Stonehill College cut in half, to one game. The Falcons, who have been number one in the season's first two NCAA Division II East Regional rankings, fell to 16-5 overall and 14-3 in the conference.
Baskets from grad student Mike Quinn (Oakdale, Conn./Montville HS) and senior forward Brian Tracey (Bow Mar, Colo./Heritage HS) staked Bentley to an early 4-0 lead, but it would be ten minutes before the Falcons scored again.
During that lengthy stretch, St. Michael's put 15 points on the scoreboard, taking a lead it would never relinquish. Schilling had seven of the 15 while the Falcons were scoreless on 15 consecutive possessions (0-for-12, 3 turnovers).
A corner three from Purple Knight senior guard Chris Hurley (Watertown) enabled St. Michael's to double the Falcons, 32-16, with 1:44 left in the opening half.
Bentley closed the first half on a buzzer-beating three by Quinn, and began the second with seven straight points to get within six, 32-26. After a jumper by freshman Michael Holton, Jr. (Portland, Ore.) for the St. Michael's only field goal of the first 10 minutes of the second, the Falcon comeback bid continued.
An 8-1 spurt that included a fast-break dunk by Tracey and concluded with a drive to the basket by junior guard Sam Leclerc (Fayette, Maine/Winthrop HS) made it a one-point game with 9:08 left, 35-34. At that juncture, St. Michael's had just three second-half points.
Purple Knight wing Tom Ward (Sussex, England) knocked down a corner three to launch a 10-1 run that restored his team's lead to ten, 45-35 with 4:49 left. However, Bentley wasn't done yet, as a jumper from sophomore forward Dan O'Keefe (Lexington/Lexington HS) and a three from freshman Jasper Grassa (Lynn/Lynn Classical HS) quickly cut that difference in half.
With the score standing at 45-40, Bentley came up with several defense stops, including a drawn charge from Tracey and steals by Tracey and Quinn. However, the Falcons couldn't capitalize at the offensive end, coming up empty on five straight possessions (three turns, a missed three and a missed front end of a one-and-one).
St. Michael's (9-11, 7-9 NE-10) locked up the upset win by making nine of ten free throws in the final 64 seconds.
Senior guard Tom Dowling (Rockville Centre, N.Y./South Side HS) was the only Bentley player to score in doubles, and he finished with just 10 points. Tracey and Leclerc both tallied eight points for the Falcons, who were held to 29 points below their season norm.
Schilling was followed in the scoring column by Hurley, whose 11 points was more than quadruple his season norm, and sophomore Travis Warech (Pine Brook, N.J.), with 10 points.
Neither team shot well as Bentley connected at a .333 clip and St. Michael's fell to .360 after a 5-for-23 second half. The late parade to the foul line gave the Knights a 13-6 advantage in makes, and the visitors also had the rebounding edge, 35-31 with 13 offensive boards.
Bentley will be on the road Tuesday night, playing at third-place Saint Anselm at 7:30 pm.
At Waltham, Mass. (Dana Center)
SAINT MICHAEL'S 54, BENTLEY 42
SAINT MICHAEL'S (9-11, 7-9 NE-10) -- Tyler Schilling 5-12 2-3 12; Chris Hurley 4-8 1-2 11; Travis Warech 3-11 4-4 10; Michael Holton, Jr. 2-9 4-4 9; Nate Birr 2-4 2-2 7; Tom Ward 1-2 0-0 3; Derek Knutty 1-4 0-0 2; Sebast. Brandstetter 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 18-50 13-15 54.
BENTLEY (16-5, 14-3 NE-10) -- Tom Dowling 4-9 1-3 10; Brian Tracey 3-9 2-2 8; Sam Leclerc 3-10 1-2 8; Dan O'Keefe 2-3 2-2 6; Mike Quinn 2-6 0-0 5; Jasper Grassa 1-5 0-1 3; Kevin Kettl 1-3 0-0 2; Joe Fremeau 0-1 0-0 0; Greg Jacques 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 16-48 6-10 42.
Halftime: SM 32-19; 3-point goals--SM 5-15 (Hurley 2-4; Birr 1-2; Holton, Jr. 1-4; Ward 1-2; Warech 0-3), B 4-26 (Quinn 1-5; Leclerc 1-8; Dowling 1-2; Grassa 1-5; Jacques 0-2; Kettl 0-1; Tracey 0-3). Fouled out-- None. Rebounds--SM 35 (Schilling 12), B 31 (Tracey 7). Assists--SM 9 (Birr 4), B 7 (Dowling 3). Total fouls--SM 15, B 15. Technical fouls-- None.