WALTHAM, Mass. – Sophomore guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) scored 22 points and three teammates joined him in double figures as Bentley University led from the opening basket en route to an 80-72 win over Assumption College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Tuesday evening at the Dana Center.
Bentley hit twice as many three-pointers, 10-5, and had a 20-7 advantage in free throws made while improving to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the NE-10. Assumption, which had won its first two conference games, dropped to 2-3 on the season.
A 24-6 explosion over the game's first 9:20 gave coach Jay Lawson's team a lead it would never relinquish but one that it saw shrivel to just one midway through the second half.
Richmond, junior forward Brandon Wheeler (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic HS) and senior guard Matt Barr (Stratham, N.H./Cushing Academy) were instrumental in the fast start. Wheeler scored seven, Richmond netted six and Barr had five, including a three-pointer to open the game's scoring.
The Falcons took a 35-27 lead into the break after another Barr triple, one of four he hit in six attempts on the night, ended a 12-0 Assumption run. Senior forward Karl Ziegler (Annandale, Va.), who headed the list of five Greyhounds in double digits with 15, led that surge with five points.
Assumption made it a one-possession game several times in the second half and got as close as one, 48-47 with 10:43, after a Ziegler lay-up. Richmond answered with a three-point play and a long jumper, making it 53-47 with 10:08 remaining.
After Ziegler scored again with seven minutes to play to bring the visitors within three for the final time, 56-53, Bentley embarked on a 12-2 run for a 68-55 lead with 2:42 left. Richmond had seven of the 12, including a three that started the run and beat the shot clock.
Bentley locked up the W by hitting 12 of 13 free throws in the final 100 seconds, including four by both Richmond and senior guard Ferguson Duke (Dartmouth, N.S./Hun School (N.J.)).
Assumption shot better, 48-42 percent, and had more rebounds, 37-31, but Bentley countered that by hitting 10 of 22 from deep and 87 percent of its 23 free throw attempts. In addition, the Falcons had just eight turnovers while forcing a dozen.
Richmond, 8 of 14 overall and five of six at the line, also had four rebounds and two assists. Wheeler followed with 16 points (6-9 overall, 2-3 3's) and six rebounds, Barr provided 14 points, and sophomore forward Kyle Bounchard (Houlton, Maine/Houlton HS) finished with 11 points and six rebounds.
Bentley will be back in action Sunday afternoon with a 1 pm contest at Dominican College.