WALTHAM, Mass. – A 16-2 run sandwiched around halftime produced a 20-point lead and the Bentley University Falcons went on to record a 91-58 win over Molloy College in non-conference men's basketball Wednesday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Senior All-Northeast-10 forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS) powered the Falcons with 22 points, including the 1,700th of his career, and nine rebounds, along with three assists.
After a fast-break lay-up by Molloy senior guard Brandon Williams (Baldwin, N.Y.) brought the visitors within seven, Bentley closed out the opening stanza with eight unanswered to head into the locker room up 44-29.
Freshman Kyle Bouchard (Houlton, Maine/Houlton HS) got it started with a pair of free throws. Sophomore forward Brandon Wheeler (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic HS) followed with a lay-up, junior guard Matt Barr (Stratham, N.H./Cushing Academy) drove to the basket for two and McFarland scored on a fast-break, off a dish from Wheeler, after beginning it with a steal.
When play resumed, Bentley used an 8-3 run, including three-balls from McFarland and grad student Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland HS), in the first 65 seconds to quickly stretch the advantage to 20, 52-32.
The Falcons, who completed a 5-0 month of December and improved to 9-2 overall, broke the contest wide open with an 18-2 explosion that made it a 72-39 game midway through the second half. Five different Bentley players put the ball through the basket during that stretch with Barr leading the way with five points.
Bentley took the lead for good when senior guard Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/Wells HS) broke a 4-4 tie with a three from the left wing with 17:11 left in the opening half. That was part of a 26-12 run that put the Falcons up 12, 28-16 with eight minutes still on the first-half clock. Furness (5-6 overall, 3-4 3's) missed only one shot while giving his team 13 points and seven rebounds.
Almost all the team stats went in Bentley's favor with the Falcons outshooting the 3-8 Lions 52-34 percent, tripling the visitors from three-point territory (9-24 as compared to 3-22 and dominating the boards, 50-31. Bentley outscored Molloy 44-30 in the paint, 17-8 in second-chance points and 35-16 from the bench.
The bench effort was led by Barr and Bouchard, each of whom scored ten points. Barr, who tied his career-high, made four of five shots, including both of his attempts from deep, and also had four assists, a steal and no turnovers. Bouchard was three of five overall, sank four of six free throws and blocked two shots.
Bentley also received eight points, ten rebounds and three assists in 19 strong minutes of action from Wheeler.
Leading Molloy was junior guard Jaylen Morris (Amherst, N.Y.) with a 17-point, 10-rebound double-double.
Bentley will launch the 2016 portion of its schedule Saturday with a 3:30 home game against Stonehill College, the first of 15 consecutive contests against NE-10 opponents.