WALTHAM, Mass. – A game after putting up a career-high 34 points at Le Moyne College, Bentley University grad student and Academic All-America® Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/ South Portland HS) stayed hot, pouring in 31 to lead the Falcons to a 71-65 win over The College of Saint Rose in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Wednesday evening at the Dana Center.
Hyland, who had 16 of his team's 25 first-half points, made 9 of 13 shots overall, including all four of his launches from deep, and nine of ten from the free throw stripe. Over his last two games, the most recent addition to Bentley's 1,000-point club has scored 65 points on 21-of-30 from the field, 11-of-14 from three and 12-of-13 from the line.
The win was Bentley's sixth straight and 11th in its last 12 contests. The Falcons improved to 15-3 overall and 12-1 in the NE-10, good for a one-game lead over Saint Anselm in the NE-10's Northeast Division.
With the game tied at 33 after Saint Rose ran off seven straight, Bentley took the lead for good when senior guard Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/Wells HS) buried a triple from the right corner with 16:03 to play. About 45 seconds left, senior forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills HS) connected from downtown, this one from the left side, to make it 39-35.
An 8-0 burst midway through the second half produced the first double-digit lead of the night, 52-40. That run included three-pointers from junior guard Matt Barr (Stratham, N.H./Cushing Academy) and McFarland. The Falcon advantage peaked at 13, 57-44,when Hyland drained a three from the left wing with 8:10 remaining.
After the Knights (8-11, 6-7 NE-10) got within seven, Hyland completed his night's scoring and returned the lead to 10 when he drilled a three from the top of the key with 3:22 to play. Four free throws by Furness and two by McFarland in the final minute locked up the victory.
Saint Rose held the lead at the half, 26-25, following five straight points by six-foot-nine sophomore Jack Jones (Sydney, Australia) in the final 90 seconds. Neither team could get much done offensively in that frame, combining for just 17 of 57 shooting.
Bentley, which entered the game ranked 13th in Division II in field goal percentage (.498), achieved the win despite its poorest shooting night of the season. The Falcons, after hitting .417 in the second half, finished at just .333, both overall and from three. Saint Rose connected only four times from outside and shot 40 percent overall.
The Falcons had a big advantage at the line, making 26 of 31 as compared to Saint Rose's 11 of 14. Rebounds also went in Bentley's favor, 41-37.
Hyland, in addition to scoring 31, also had seven rebounds, two assists and two steals in 34 turnover-free minutes. McFarland followed with 17 points and five rebounds, and Furness provided ten points and eight rebounds.
Junior forward Tyler Sayre (Garnerville, N.Y.) had a big night for Saint Rose, with 21 of his 29 points coming after intermission.
Bentley will be back in the Dana Center Saturday afternoon to take on Southwest Division-leading Southern Connecticut State.