WALTHAM, Mass. – Little used reserve Travis Jordan (Brooklyn, N.Y.), a senior forward who had only four points all season, erupted for a team-high 15 as Adelphi University held off Bentley University, 72-65 in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Wednesday night at the Center for Recreation and Sports.
The game started out on a positive note as Bentley scored the first five points and opened a 13-4 lead after five-and-a-half minutes on the strength of five-of-seven shooting. Koury had six of the 13, and the differential hit 10 for the first time at 19-9 on a long three by Grassa, his third triple of the game, with 12:40 left in the first.
After Jordan's first trey, Bentley senior guard Mike Topercer (Scottsdale, Ariz./New Hampton Prep) banked in a three-ball, restoring the 10-point lead (22-12) with 10:55 left. At that point, the Falcons were shooting 67 percent, including four of six from downtown.
Jordan followed with his second and third triples of the night, igniting a 14-0 spurt that put the Panthers in front to stay, 26-22. The run also included six points off the bench from six-foot-seven freshman Ryan DeNicola (Massapequa, N.Y.).
Bentley managed only six points in the final 10:50 of the half, including a scoring drought of 4:40 while AU was running off the 14 straight, but went into the break down by just one, 30-29, after holding the Panthers scoreless over the last five minutes (seven missed shots and two turnovers).
After the two clubs traded points over the first seven minutes of the second, Adelphi opened a nine-point lead, 46-37, with 11:27 left, with a 6-0 run exclusively on free throws. Jordan made the last four after senior guard John Calarco (New Rochelle, N.Y.) nailed the first two.
A 7-1 Adelphi run extended the spread to 13 points, 60-47 with 5:29 left, but Bentley countered with eight unanswered to make it a five-point game with 3:57 left. Sophomore forward Jate Cheshul (Galloway, N.J./Holy Spirit HS) connected from three, Koury made three from the line and freshman forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS) dropped in a lay-up.
After a missed Grassa three that would have brought the Falcons within two with just under two minutes still to play, Adelphi freshman guard Anthony Libroia (Bayside, N.Y.) converted a three-point play on a put-back, and on the next possession, made one of two free throws. Those four quick points pushed the Falcon deficit to nine, and the Panthers secured the outcome by making six of eight free throws in the last 55 seconds, all by senior guard Cliff Brown (Hempstead, N.Y.).
With Jordan and DeNicola (10 points on 5-6 shooting) leading the way, the Adelphi bench outscored the Falcon reserves, 28-4. The Panther non-starters made 10 of 16 from the floor while the Falcon bench struggled through a 2 for 12 night.
Grassa (four threes) and Koury (8-9 free throws) were joined in doubles by McFarland, with 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocks, numbers very close to his season norms.
Adelphi placed four in doubles with Jordan followed by Libroia (13 and eight rebounds).
The Panthers shot better (44-40 percent), made five more free throws (19-14) and dominated the boards, 40-25, with the Falcons limited to only six at the offensive end. Turnovers were even at 10 apiece.
Bentley's second straight loss dropped the Falcons to 7-9 overall and 5-7 in the NE-10. Adelphi evened its record at .500, both overall (9-9) and conference (6-6).
Bentley will play its next two at home, beginning Saturday with a 3:30 contest against the University of New Haven.