WALTHAM, Mass. – The Bentley University Falcons buried 17 three-pointers, including a pair during a late 13-0 run, and held on for a 77-76 win over St. Michael's College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Senior guard Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland HS) led the Falcons with 19 points and eight rebounds, and junior guard Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/Wells HS) drained five of seven triples for 18 points. The six-foot-six lefty also had seven assists, a block and a steal.
The victory bolstered Bentley to 15-9 overall, securing a 19th winning record in the last 20 years, and 10-8 NE-10, keeping the Falcons alone in fifth place in the conference's Northeast Division.
Bentley was down a game-high 10, 71-61, with 7:48 to play before holding the visitors scoreless for about five-and-a-half minutes. During that span, the Purple Knights (15-8, 11-7 NE-10) were 0-for-6 from the field with two turnovers and two missed free throws.
Hyland began the Falcon run by knocking down a triple from the left side and following with a five-foot floater. Furness drove for a conventional three-point play, sophomore guard Ferguson Duke (Dartmouth, N.S./ Hun School (N.J.)) drained a three from just right of center for the lead, and junior forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS) drove and spun for a lay-up that made it 74-71 Falcons.
Senior forward James Cambronne (De Bary, Fla.) ended St. Michael's drought with 2:16 to play, cutting the Falcon advantage to one. Hyland and St. Michael's senior guard Mike Holton, Jr. (Portland, Ore.) traded three-pointers and it was still a one-point game when McFarland went to the line for a one-and-one with 23.9 seconds. His attempt was off the mark with the rebound going to St. Michael's senior forward Mike Thompson (Rosedale, N.Y.).
Holton, Jr., missed a potential tying jumper but his team maintained possession when a jump ball was ruled on the rebound with 4.8 seconds left. The Purple Knights had one more chance and this time, a jumper from senior guard Corey Crawford II (Dover, Del.) was off the mark, with Hyland corralling the rebound as the buzzer sounded.
Bentley came out firing from deep, sinking seven triples in the first eight minutes for a 21-15 lead. Five different players connected from downtown over that run, including two apiece by Duke and Furness.
Following a straight away three from Falcon senior guard J.P. Koury (Red Bank, N.J./CBA) that made it 26-19, St. Michael's turned the game around with a 22-7 burst that included five three-balls, three by junior guard Greg Grippo (Edison, N.J.) and the other two by senior guard Dom Ditlefsen (Portland, Ore.).
Koury beat the halftime buzzer with Bentley's 12th triple of the opening half but St. Michael's was still up five at the break. 46-41. The Purple Knight lead remained in single figures until Ditleftsen's fast-break lay-up gave St. Michael's its biggest lead at 71-61.
Seven of the eight Falcons to appear in the game had at least one three with Bentley's 17 (in 36 attempts) its highest total in a decade. In addition to five by Furness, Hyland and Duke each had three, and both McFarland and Koury knocked down a pair.
McFarland (16 points, six rebounds, two blocks) and Duke (12 points off the bench) joined Furness and Hyland in doubles for Bentley. Holton, Jr. and Ditlefsen led St. Michael's in scoring with 16 and 14, respectively.
Bentley outshot the visitors 50-47 percent overall and 47-42 percent from three with SMC finishing with 11 triples. The six additional triples and 6-5 edge in free throws made by the Falcons helped offset the Purple Knights' 33-29 rebound advantage and three fewer turns.
Bentley's final home game of the regular season will be Wednesday against division-leading Southern New Hampshire.