WALTHAM, Mass. – Superior three-point shooting by Saint Anselm College, including a four-for-seven effort from freshman forward Mike McCahey (Clarkstown, N.Y.), helped the Hawks hold off Bentley University, 78-69 in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
The Hawks finished nine of 20 from downtown to improve to 9-2 overall and 5-2 in the NE-10. Bentley, on the other hand, connected on just four of 16 while dropping to 5-6 overall and 3-4 in the conference.
Bentley sophomore forward Andrew Shaw (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) led all scorers, coming off the bench for a career-best 23 points in 27 minutes. McCahey led five double-digit scorers for the Hawks with 19, including 11 in a first half that ended with his team on top 38-27.
After the Falcons led for much of the first seven minutes, a 17-2 Saint Anselm explosion proved to be the turning point and created a hole that Bentley was never able to completely escape. Sophomore forward Chris Santo (Cherry Hill, N.J.) had nine of the 17, and the run also included three-pointers from guards John Nielsen (Port Jefferson, N.Y.) and James Morse (Arundel, Maine).
After falling behind 25-12, Bentley made a nice comeback, drawing to within three twice. A free throw by freshman Joe Glynn (Abington/Cardinal Spellman HS) made it 27-24 Saint Anselm with 2:06 left, and a Shaw three-ball made it 30-27 with 1:15 left.
Bentley never got closer and in fact, was down 11 at the break after the Hawks closed out the first with eight unanswered, including three-balls from McCahey and junior guard Dino Mallios (Winthrop). Mallios opened the second-half scoring with a basket, quickly creating a 13-point hole for the Falcons.
Bentley used nine straight points, including five by Shaw, to draw within five with 8:41 left, 59-54. The Hawks countered, using a 10-2 burst that included two McCahey treys to stretch the differential back to 13, 69-56 with five minutes to play.
The Falcons got it down to five one more time, on a three from the left wing by junior guard Jasper Grassa (Lynn/Lynn Classical HS) with 1:40 left. Saint Anselm junior post Dominic Borelli (Westbrook, Maine) countered by scoring the next four, his two field goals separated by a missed free throw on an "and-one" that was rebounded by McCahey, and Saint Anselm took a nine-point lead into the final minute.
Shaw, who bettered his previous high by three points, finished 10 of 16 from the field, with two three-pointers, and also grabbed five rebounds. Over the last three games, he's given the Falcons a total of 59 points off the bench.
Freshman forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS) recorded his fourth double-double for the Falcons, finishing with 12 points and ten rebounds, and sophomore guard JP Koury (Red Bank, N.J./CBA) matched him in the scoring column. Koury also had four rebounds, three assists and two steals.
In addition, the Falcons received a career-best nine rebounds, six points and four assists from senior guard Mike Topercer (Scottsdale, Ariz./New Hampton Prep).
McCahey complemented his 19 points (7-13 shooting, 4-7 threes) with seven rebounds and two blocks. Mallios had a double-double with 11 points and 10 assists, and sophomore guard Roy Mabrey (Belmar, N.J.) gave the Hawks 14 points.
Bentley connected at a 56 percent clip during its 42-point second half, and also won the rebounding battle, 39-34. Saint Anselm shot better overall (48-45 percent), made two more free throws (9-7) and had two fewer turnovers (14-16).
Next up for the Falcons is the team's first road game since Dec. 1, a Wednesday night encounter at conference-leading Assumption College.