ALBANY, N.Y. – Bentley University freshman forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/ Camden Hills HS) and sophomore teammate JP Koury (Red Bank, N.J./CBA) combined for 38 points on 16-of-25 shooting, but the Falcons saw their two-game winning streak halted by The College of Saint Rose, 74-67, in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Daniel P. Nolan Gymnasium.
McFarland finished with 20 points and eight rebounds, and Koury provide 18 points as he hit seven of nine shots overall, including four of five from three-point range.
Bentley, which overcame an 11-point second-half deficit to twice take a slim lead, was outscored 19-11 over the final 7:45 after a three-ball from freshman forward Shakir Phelps (Linden, N.J./Linden HS) gave the Falcons their final lead, 56-55 with just under eight minutes remaining.
Six-foot-eight Saint Rose junior Dominykas Milkas (Queens, N.Y.) gave the lead back to his team on the ensuing possession, launching an 8-0 run that featured both senior Andre Pope (White Plains, N.Y.) and junior Dan Mundweiler (Kansas City, Kans.) connecting from downtown.
That made it a 63-56 Golden Knight lead with 4:5 to play and the Saint Rose advantage remained between three and seven the rest of the way.
Lay-ups by Koury and McFarland, and a couple stops at the defensive end, brought Bentley within three, 70-67, with 1:20 left. After each club missed a shot, Saint Rose freshman Tyler Sayre (Garnerville, N.Y.) was fouled after claiming his tenth rebound. He sank both from the stripe to extend the lead to five. Following a Mundweiler steal, a Pope slam with 6.5 seconds on the clock locked up the Golden Knights' first win over the Falcons since 2004.
A pair of 9-3 Saint Rose runs, separated by four straight Bentley points, put the Falcons in a ten-point hole with 4:29 left in the first half, 33-23. Both spurts included a pair of Milka baskets and a three-ball buried by Mundweiler.
A Phelps-fueled 7-2 run over the final four minutes of the half cut the deficit to four, 37-32, by intermission. During that span, he took a charge, came up with a steal and made a lay-up.
McFarland opened the second-half scoring, but the Golden Knights quickly regained control by scoring eight unanswered, with Milka netting the first four, to boost the differential to a game-high 11, 45-34.
Bentley matched the Saint Rose run with a long jumper by Koury and threes by McFarland and Phelps. That grew into a larger 18-5 burst that produced the Falcons' first lead since the game's opening minutes, 52-50 with 11 minutes left. A three-pointer by Koury on a third-chance opportunity accounted for the lead change.
Phelps was the third Falcon to score in doubles as he gave Bentley 12 points, on five-of-seven shooting, in 26 minutes off the bench. It matched the career-high point total he set in Tuesday's win over American International. Bentley's leading scorer for the year, junior guard Jasper Grassa (Lynn, Mass./Lynn Classical HS) was limited to four shot attempts and only two points, both coming at the line.
Milka came close to a triple-double for Saint Rose, finishing with 20 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and two steals as the Golden Knights snapped a five-game slide and improved to 8-7 (5-6 NE-10). Mundweiler and Pope combined for nine three-pointers and finished with 17 and 14 points, respectively.
Both teams shot about 48 percent and Bentley had one more three-pointer, 10-9. Saint Rose was plus-four at the foul line, 9-5, and also had four more rebounds, 38-34. Turnovers were costly as the Falcons gave the ball up 18 times, five more than Saint Rose.
Bentley, 7-8 overall and 5-6 NE-10, will look to get back to .500 on Wednesday when it visits Adelphi University (7:30 pm).