WEST HAVEN, Conn. – Junior forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS) buried a career-high seven three-pointers and finished with a season-best 31 points as Bentley University made it four straight wins, and six in its last seven contests, with a 74-63 triumph over the University of New Haven in non-conference men's basketball Sunday afternoon at Charger Gymnasium.
Bentley, which shot 48 percent and knocked down 11 three-pointers, improved to 7-5 overall. New Haven, which like the Falcons had won five of its previous six, slipped to 6-4 overall.
Since his threes were such a big part of the Bentley offensive success, it seems appropriate that one of McFarland's triples put his team ahead to stay. That trey from the left wing, with 14:19 left in the first half, accounted for the fifth and final lead change while launching a 9-0 Falcon run.
Junior forward Shaq Phelps (Linden, N.J./Linden HS) followed with a baseline jumper, senior guard JP Koury (Red Bank, N.J./CBA) scored on a drive and Koury hit a jumper off an inbound play. That made it an 18-11 game with 9:30 until intermission.
Three-pointers by McFarland and Koury in the final 1:25 of the opening stanza sent the Falcons to the halftime locker room owning their biggest lead of the opening 20 minutes, 36-26.
The Chargers used a 12-2 run to close to within three, 43-40, with 13:23 left, with seven of the 12 scored by six-foot-eight New Haven senior Eric Anderson (Newark, N.J.). McFarland countered with a pair of triples from the left side of the court and Bentley's lead shot back up to nine, 49-40, about a minute later.
The Falcon advantage remained in single digits until Koury hit two free throws with 5:11 to play, in the midst of a 7-2 spurt. McFarland capped the run with 4:31 remaining, his final three of the day making it a 65-53 game.
On top by eight with just under a minute left, Bentley locked up the win by hitting nine of ten free throws in the final 56.1, including three of four by Koury.
McFarland, who had eight rebounds and two blocks in addition to the 31 markers, achieved his seven threes in ten attempts. Overall, he made 10 of his 19 shots and was also perfect on his four attempts from the line.
Anderson, his counterpart in the middle from New Haven, also had a big afternoon with 29 points, almost all from within six feet of the basket, on 13 of 20 shooting. Division II's leading rebounder added nine to his total and he matched McFarland in the blocks column.
Koury followed McFarland on Bentley's scoring list, finishing with 16 points, along with four steals. Senior guard Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland HS) filled the stat sheet with 11 points, seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal, and senior forward Andrew Shaw (Saco, Maine/Thornton Academy) helped out with seven points off the bench.
Bentley finished with an 11-5 advantage in threes and committed only nine turnovers, three less than the home team. New Haven's 44 percent shooting included just 5 of 18 beyond the three-point line.
Following a nine-day holiday break, Bentley will close out 2014 with a New Year's Eve matinee at home against Franklin Pierce.