ORANGEBURG, N.Y. – Down by as many as 13 in the second half, the Bentley University men's basketball team closed with a 25-4 run, including 15 unanswered points over the final 8:20, to post a 61-53 win over Post University in the second round of the James Clancy Memorial Tournament at Dominican College's Hennessey Center Saturday afternoon.
Junior guard JP Koury (Red Bank, N.J./CBA) powered Bentley with a season-best 21 points, including the first five of the closing 15-0 spurt. During that stretch, Post missed two free throws and 11 straight from the field.
Bentley's third straight win boosted the Falcons to 10-3 with coach Jay Lawson's club becoming the fourth Northeast-10 Conference team to reach double figures in the win column. Post dropped to 2-10 overall.
On the short end of a 49-36 count as the clock dipped under 12 minutes, Bentley got back in the contest with eight straight points. Junior forward Andrew Shaw (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) ignited the rally with a fast-break lay-up and cut the deficit to 10 by making one of two free throws with 11:15 to play.
A basket from sophomore forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS), a Shaw steal and a three-ball from sophomore guard Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/Wells HS) brought Bentley within five, 49-44, with 9:47 to play. The Falcons had not been closer than that since it was 9-6 four-and-a-half minutes into the game.
Post senior guard Stephen Perry, Jr. (Westampton, N.J.) hit a jumper in the paint with 8:37 left, restoring his team's advantage to seven, 53-46. That proved to be the final points for the Eagles, who had shot 50 percent overall up until that point.
Bentley's comeback resumed with a Koury three-ball from the right wing with 8:14 left and two free throws from the Falcon guard 30 seconds later. Following a Koury rebound at the defensive end, McFarland forged a 53-all tie with an inside basket with just under seven minutes left.
A three-point play from junior guard Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland HS) with 5:34 remaining put the Falcons in front for the first time since 4-3. It stayed 56-53 until a Shaw jumper with three minutes to play, and Bentley locked up the win with two free throws by Koury with 0:53 and one from senior Jasper Grassa (Lynn, Mass./Lynn Classical HS) with 36 seconds left.
Plagued by fouls and turnovers, Bentley faced a 32-25 deficit at the half despite Koury and Furness combining for 18 points on 8-of-11 shooting. The rest of the team managed only seven points on 2-of-15 accuracy.
Koury, who also had a team-best nine rebounds, finished five of nine overall and made 10 of 12 free throws. McFarland and Furness followed with 11 points apiece and Hyland hit four of six shots to chip in with 10 points off the bench.
Senior forward Jerry Cummings (Queens, N.Y.) led Post with 18 points off the bench.
Bentley struggled through a 38 percent shooting afternoon and misfired on all but two of its 20 three-point attempts. That was offset by superior free throw shooting (19-12 in makes, 26-19 in attempts) and a plus-nine rebound margin (38-29, including 14-7 offensive).
The Falcons, who completed their non-conference schedule with six wins in as many attempts, return to NE-10 action Wednesday night at Le Moyne College.