WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior guard Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/Wells HS) buried nine of 11 shots, including five from three-point land, for a season-best 23 points and senior guard Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland HS) followed with 20 as Bentley University went wire-to-wire for a 75-53 win over Pace University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Bentley improved to 13-7 overall and 8-6 in the Northeast-10 with its third straight win, 10th in its last 12 games and 12th in its last 15. The Falcons also moved into the top five in the conference's Northeast Division after outscoring the Setters 25-11 off turns and 16-7 in second-chance points.
The Falcons wasted little time jumping on top, building a 10-0 lead before three minutes had ticked off the clock. The first two of the Setters' 15 turns led to the first two baskets, driving lay-ups by junior forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS) and senior guard J.P. Koury (Red Bank, N.J./CBA).
Keegan followed with a triple from the right corner and Furness did the same from the left wing.
After Pace got back within four at 13-9, Furness fueled a 16-4 blast that resulted in a 29-13 lead with 6:26 on the first-half clock. The six-foot-five point guard drained a three from the right wing, scored on a put back, hit another trey from the right side, knocked down an 18-footer and made another lay-up for the Falcons' first 12 points of the run. He had 15 points, on 6-of-6 shooting, in the first 13 minutes and about a minute-and-a-half before Pace reached 15 on the scoreboard.
The run continued with two free throws and a dunk by sophomore guard Ferguson Duke (Dartmouth, N.S./Hun School (N.J.)).
Six straight points by McFarland put Bentley up by 21 before Pace scored the final five of a first half that ended with the Falcons on top 39-23.
The Falcons' second-half lead stayed between 11 and 20 until three straight Falcon trifectas, the first two by Furness and the finale by senior forward Jate Cheshul (Galloway, N.J./Holy Spirit HS) made it 75-51 with about a minute left.
Furness, in addition to the 23 points, had four rebounds, three assists, a steal and a block in 31 turnover-free minutes. Hyland complemented his 20 points with eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.
McFarland, despite a rare tough shooting night, followed with 12 points, eight rebounds and two steals. Koury led Bentley on the boards with nine and also finished with six points, three assists and two steals.
For Pace (5-17, 1-13 NE-10), junior forward Kyle Pearson (Woodbridge, N.J.) led the way with 18 points and eight rebounds.
Bentley outshot the Setters 45-37 percent, made twice as many threes (10-5), controlled the boards (43-30 with a 13-6 edge at the offensive end) and committed only nine turns, six less than the visitors.
Bentley will also be at home on Wednesday, hosting Assumption at 7:30 pm.