MANCHESTER, N.H. – Despite a career-high 32 points from Bentley University sophomore guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate), the Falcons dropped a 91-86 decision to hot-shooting Saint Anselm College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Wednesday night at the Stoutenburgh Gym.
The Hawks, who received double-doubles from both senior forward Chris Braley (Newport, Maine) and senior forward Harrison Taggart (Wallingford, Vt.), shot a blistering 66.7 percent in the second half, mostly around the basket, and finished the game at .517.
Braley turned in 26 points, on 9-11 shooting, and 12 rebounds, and Taggart followed with 19, 10 and six assists.
The outcome left both teams even in the NE-10 Northeast Division standings, both at 2-2 in conference play. Overall, Bentley fell to 4-3 and the Hawks evened their record at 2-2.
After a three from the right corner by Bentley junior forward Brandon Wheeler (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic HS) made it 42-all in the opening minute of the second half, Saint Anselm hit three straight baskets – an elbow jumper and two lay-ups – to go in front for good, 48-42.
The Hawks rarely missed during the first 12 minutes of the half, hitting 14 of their first 16 shots to open a 74-62 lead.
Bentley staged a late comeback, powered by Richmond, and eventually got the 12-point deficit down to three when the six-foot Canadian drained a three-ball with 3.1 seconds left. However, any slim chance the Falcons had at tying the contest were dashed when Braley sank two from the line with 2.4 on the clock. That late 18-9 flurry by the Falcons included 11 of Richmond's 32.
The first half was back and forth with the two clubs never separated by more than five. Bentley, up three with under a minute, went into the break down one after a Taggart inside play and a buzzer-beating lay-up by sophomore guard Tim Guers (Langhorne, Pa.).
Richmond, who has 75 points in his last three games, made 14 of 20 overall, half of his six three-pointers and one of two at the line. He also had four rebounds and three assists while committing only one turnover in 36 minutes of action.
Sophomore forward Zach Gilpin (Hebron, Maine/Hebron Academy) gave Bentley his first double-double off the bench, finishing with 14 points and 12 rebounds in 23 minutes. Both were career bests. Also scoring in doubles for Bentley was senior guard Ferguson Duke (Dartmouth, N.S./Hun School (N.J.)), with 11.
In addition to outshooting the Falcons 52-43 percent, Saint Anselm dominated the boards, 51-33. Those two factors more than offset the Hawks' 17 turnovers, which produced a 16-4 Falcon advantage in points off. Bentley committed only five turns in the game.
Bentley will conclude three straight away from home on Saturday when it plays a 3:30 game at Southern New Hampshire, a game that will be broadcast on both NESN Plus and NESN National.