WALTHAM, Mass. – Hitting 10 of 15 shots overall with a handful of three-pointers, Bentley University senior forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS) scored 33 points to power the Falcons to an 80-63 win over Caldwell University in the final game of the Bentley Men's Basketball Tip-Off Classic.
The Falcons shot 53 percent overall, knocked down 11 of 24 from deep and outrebounded the Cougars 40-28 to claim their second convincing win of the opening weekend.
After Caldwell used a 13-4 run to grab a 25-22 advantage with seven-and-a-half left in the first half, Bentley took charge by outscoring the visitors 29-5 over a span of ten minutes. The first 19-5 of that spurt came before intermission, sending the Falcons into the halftime break up 41-30.
The first-half portion of the run included eight points by McFarland, pushing his halftime total to 16, and seven from senior guard Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/Wells HS).
When play resumed 15 minutes later, the Bentley momentum continued as the Falcons netted the first ten points to open a commanding 51-30 advantage. McFarland hit a lay-up, junior guard Ferguson Duke (Dartmouth, N.S./Hun School (N.J.)) finished a fast break with a basket, McFarland knocked down his fourth of five triples, and freshman forward Matt Bouchard (Houlton, Maine/ Houlton HS) sank a three from the top of the key.
After the 0-2 Cougars got back within 14 with 3:31 to play, an 8-2 run – all the Bentley points coming at the line – restored the lead to 20 in the final minute, 80-60.
McFarland, who moved into 14th on Bentley's career scoring list with 1,493 points, finished 10 of 15 from the floor, five of eight from deep and eight of nine from the line. He also provided five rebounds and a pair of blocks.
Bentley's other double-figure scorer was Furness, with ten points, a team-high eight rebounds, two assists, a steal and no turnovers in 34 minutes. Duke scored nine and both Bouchard and junior guard Matt Barr (Stratham, N.H./Cushing Academy) followed with seven.
Caldwell, limited to 38 percent shooting, was led by senior guard Dawan Lighty (Paterson, N.J.) with 21 points.
In the other game, Merrimack ran its record to 2-0 with a 107-87 rout of Concordia (N.Y.). Senior Gelvis Solano (New York, N.Y.) led the way with 30 points, seven rebounds and six assists.
Either Bentley or Merrimack will improve to 3-0 on Wednesday as the two teams face each other up in North Andover in the Northeast-10 Conference opener for both clubs.