WALTHAM, Mass. – Stonehill College, down by as many as 14 in the second half, finished with a 36-14 run over the final 11 minutes to hand Bentley University its first conference loss, 87-75 in Northeast-10 men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Stonehill senior guard Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio) scored 27 of his game-high 31 points in the second half to power the Skyhawks, who also received 24 from junior forward Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio). Spoiled with the loss was a season-high 29 points, including 22 in the first half, by Bentley graduate student and CoSIDA Academic All-America Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland HS).
Bentley, which had been the last remaining unbeaten in the NE-10 and is still tied for first in the Northeast Division, dropped to 9-3 overall and 6-1 conference while having its win streak halted at five. Stonehill improved to 10-3 overall and 5-2 NE-10.
Things were looking good for the Falcons when they opened the second half with a jump hook from senior forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS) and a top-of-the-key three by senior guard Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/Wells HS). That made it a 47-33 lead with the Falcons owning a .571 field goal percentage at the time.
Much of that was due to Hyland whose first-half performance including 9 of 11 shooting with a pair of three-pointers. He had 11 points before the game was five minutes old and two minutes before the Skyhawks reached that number as a team.
Despite Hyland's strong start, Bentley was down four, 25-21, with 8:34 left in the first following a 10-2 Skyhawk run. The Falcons countered with 16 unanswered, the first nine by Hyland, over a stretch of 4:15 for a 37-25 advantage.
With the game tied at 65, Stonehill six-foot-eight senior Pierre Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio) gave his team its first lead of the second half on a baseline jumper with 5:27 left. That was part of a 17-4 burst that produced a 77-70 Skyhawk lead with 2:20 left.
Four would be as close as the Falcons would come the rest of the way and Stonehill opened it up in the final minute with seven unanswered points, including five of six at the line.
Bentley, at the point the game was tied at 65, was shooting 52 percent overall, just about identical to its season accuracy mark. However, the Falcons were just 3 of 14 over the last six minutes and missed their final five attempts.
Stonehill shot 46 percent overall, including 53 percent in the second half, and committed only five turnovers, nine fewer than the Falcons.
Smith, in the second half, was 9 of 13 overall with three triples and six free throws. Logan connected twice from deep after intermission with 14 of his points coming in the second.
Hyland finished 12 of 16 from the field with three triples in five attempts. He also had six rebounds, four assists, two blocks and two steals. Furness followed with 15, and McFarland was held to eight, about a third of his conference-leading norm, and eight rebounds.
Bentley will return to action next Saturday at New Haven.