WALTHAM, Mass. – The trio of senior forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS), grad student Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland HS) and senior guard Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/Wells HS) combined for 67 points and 23 rebounds, powering Bentley University to a 92-77 win over Franklin Pierce University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Wednesday evening at the Dana Center.
McFarland finished with 28 points in 28 foul-plagued minutes, including 16 in the game's first 10 to spark the Falcons to an early lead, and moved from ninth to seventh on Bentley's all-time scoring list. The conference's leading scorer passed Derek Dixon '87 and Sean Cooke '06 with his total climbing to 1,667.
Hyland put up a 19-point, 12-rebound double-double and Furness connected four times from deep, finishing with 20 points and seven rebounds.
The victory completed a 3-0 homestand for the Falcons, who improved to 7-2 overall and an NE-10 Northeast Division-leading 5-0.Franklin Pierce dropped to 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the conference.
Bentley junior guard Ferguson Duke (Dartmouth, N.S./Hun School (N.J.)) opened the game's scoring with a three-pointer and the Falcons never gave up the lead from that point on, posting their second straight wire-to-wire victory.
An early McFarland-powered 11-3 run produced a 16-7 lead a little more than six minutes into the game. The six-five forward had the first nine during that surge, all coming at the basket.
The Falcon advantage hit 13 twice in the opening half, the first time at 35-22 on a pair of Hyland free throws with 5:01 left, and stood at eight at the break after the Ravens closed with an 8-2 spurt.
The Franklin Pierce momentum carried into the second half with another 8-2 run bringing the visitors within two, 43-41.
Bentley, which shot over 50 percent for the fifth time this season, countered by scoring 15 of the game's next 19 points to push the lead back to 13, 58-45 with 14:45 to play. McFarland had six of the 15 with a three-point play off an offensive rebound and a three-pointer from the left wing.
Later in the second half, the Falcons used a 15-5 run to open a game-high 19-point lead, 84-65 with 5:23 to play. Five different players contributed points with both Duke and Hyland scoring four.
Bentley had the advantage in field goal percentage (53-45 percent), free throws (15-3) and rebounds (45-29) while Franklin Pierce made three more from downtown, 12-9.
McFarland finished 12 of 19 from the floor, Furness was on target on 8 of 14 shots, and Hyland (5-10 from the field) made as many free throws (8-9) as the Ravens attempted (8). The Falcons also received 11 points from Duke.
Franklin Pierce also had four players in doubles, a list headed by junior guard Matt Banton (Brooklyn, N.Y.) with 14 off the bench. Junior guard Donte Gittens (Hartford, Conn.) didn't shoot well (6-20) but filled the stat sheet with 13 points, ten rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and a steal.
Bentley will play at St. Michael's Saturday before embarking on an 17-day holiday and exam break.