WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior forward Andrew Shaw (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) sank six of eight attempts from downtown and finished with 22 points as the Bentley University men's basketball team rolled to a 90-50 win over Wilmington University (Del.) in the final game of the Bentley Tip-Off Classic Saturday evening at the Dana Center.
Fourteen different Falcons scored with senior guard Jasper Grassa (Lynn/Lynn Classical HS) and sophomore forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS) joining Shaw in double figures. Grassa made five of seven shots, including three triples, for 14 points, and McFarland put up a double-double, with 11 points and 12 boards.
Shaw, eight of ten overall from the field, opened the scoring with a three from near the top of the key, giving the 2-0 Falcons a lead they never relinquished. Following a Wildcat put-back, sophomore guard Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/ Wells HS) hit a pair of free throws and both Shaw and Grassa buried threes from the right wing for an 11-2 lead.
With the score at 17-12, Bentley ran off 13 unanswered, beginning with a pair of lay-ups from junior guard Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland HS). The surge also included five points from Shaw and another Hyland lay-up.
The lead grew to 21, 38-17, when Shaw buried his fourth triple of the opening half with 5:55 to play, and it was a commanding 26-point bulge at the break, 48-22, after the Falcons closed with a 9-0 run. That spurt featured six points from McFarland.
During the opening 20 minutes, Bentley outshot the visitors 53-27 percent, had a 16-0 advantage in bench scoring and received a combined 25 points from Shaw (16) and McFarland.
The opening minutes of the second half including a 19-0 explosion that made it a 69-26 game with 12 minutes still to play. Grassa had seven of the 19 and Shaw knocked down his fifth and six three-balls of the night.
The 40-point differential was Bentley's biggest in 11 years and it marked the first time since 1966 the Falcons have won their first two games by at least 29 points. Dating back to last season, Bentley has strung together six straight victories.
For the game, Bentley shot 52 percent overall and 46 percent from three, connecting 13 times from downtown, while nearly doubling 0-2 Wilmington on the boards, 54-28. Wilmington was limited to 25.8 percent shooting and only 16 points in the paint, half of the Falcons' total.
Bentley's 37-point effort from the bench included seven points from junior forward Jate Cheshul (Galloway, N.J./Holy Spirit HS) and six apiece from Hyland and senior guard D.J. Guillette (Lunenburg/ Lunenburg HS). Hyland also had seven rebounds in the victory.
Senior guard Herbert Dennis (Ridgely, Md.) was the only Wildcat to score in doubles, finishing with 13 on 5-of-16 shooting.
In the other game at the Dana Center Saturday night, Merrimack College overcame a 19-point second-half deficit to top Concordia College (N.Y.), 96-86. Sophomore guard Gelvis Solano (New York, N.Y.) powered the 2-0 Warriors with 32 points, including a 14-of-19 effort from the foul line, and Concordia received 34 points and seven assists from senior guard Norman Pope (Washington, D.C.).
Bentley will open its Northeast-10 schedule on Wednesday night with a 7:30 pm game at nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College.