CALDWELL, N.J. – Senior guard Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland HS) exceeded the 20-point threshold for the fourth straight game, finishing with 22, and the Falcons shot 57 percent overall, including a sparkling 13 of 26 from downtown, as Bentley University registered an 80-70 victory over Caldwell College in non-conference men's basketball Friday evening at the Newman Center.
Hyland, the reigning Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Week, was joined in double figures by three teammates. Junior forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS) followed with 17, senior forward Andrew Shaw (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) came off the bench to tally 15, and senior guard JP Koury (Red Bank, N.J./CBA) nailed four triples during a 14-point night in his return to his home state.
The win was the third straight, and fifth in the last six games, for the 6-5 Falcons, who had their entire roster available for the first time this season. Caldwell, which had been 10th in the most region D2SIDA East Region media poll, fell to 7-6 overall.
The eighth and final lead change came with 8:56 left in a fast-moving first half when another New Jersey resident, junior forward Shaq Phelps (Linden, N.J./Linden HS), grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back for a 17-16 lead. Less than a minute later, he hit a pair from the line to make it 19-16.
After the Cougars came back to tie the score at 24, Bentley closed out the opening half with a 13-6 run to take a 37-29 run into the break. That spurt ended with two Shaw threes in the final 100 seconds, one from left of center and the other from the left wing.
Eleven of McFarland's points came during a 13-4 second-half run that produced Bentley's first 14-point lead of the night, 55-41 with 12:41 to play. That stretch saw the All-Northeast-10 player drain threes from the left wing, the right wing and the top of the key, and also connect on a jumper just inside the line.
Eight would be as close as Caldwell got the rest of the way. That came with just under nine minutes to play and Bentley answered with a 9-3 burst, capped by Koury's third corner three of the game, that made it 66-52 with 6:26 remaining.
Shaw, who has 36 points off the bench in his last two games, put the finishing touch on the win, burying a three from the right corner with 1:43 to play for an 80-66 lead.
Hyland, who also had six assists, made 8 of 13 shots overall, including 7 of 10 on two-point attempts, and was also perfect on his five free throw attempts. McFarland's 7-of-11 shooting included 3-of-5 from deep, and he also blocked a pair of shots.
Shaw and Koury both hit five of eight overall with Shaw hitting three triples in five attempts and Koury sinking four of seven. Phelps scored seven and junior guard Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/Wells HS) had a team-best seven rebounds.
Caldwell featured guard Kevin Walker (Bayonne, N.J.) and forward Michael Balkovic (Neptune, N.J.) with the two seniors combining for 48 points. Walker drained four triples on the way to 26 points, and Balkovic put up a 22-point, 12-rebound double-double.
While Bentley was posting its second-best shooting performance of the year, the Falcons limited the Cougars to .403 overall and .364 in the first half, despite the home team taking the large majority of its first-half shots in close to the basket. That shooting offset Caldwell having three more rebounds (32-29) and only four turnovers, three less than the Falcons.
Bentley will remain on the road for a 3:30 Sunday game at the University of New Haven.