MANCHESTER, N.H. – Ten straight points by Southern New Hampshire University to open the second half produced a 23-point lead and the 25th-ranked team in Division II went on to record an 87-67 win over Bentley University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the SNHU Fieldhouse.
SNHU doubled the visiting Falcons in the paint, 40-20, and used seven corner three-pointers to improve to 6-0 overall, including 4-0 in the conference. Bentley fell to 4-4 overall and 2-3 NE-10 despite extending its NCAA Division II streak for consecutive games with a three-pointer to 800.
SNHU's fast start to the second half came in the first two-and-a-half minutes and made it a commanding 50-27 advantage. Senior forward Devin Gilligan (Amherst, N.H.) scored the first seven and junior guard Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) capped the run with a right corner triple.
Bentley, which endured a tough shooting afternoon, never threatened after that, the differential remaining between 18 and 26.
The Penmen took control of the game during a 13-1 run in the first half that made it 21-8 with a little more than 11 minutes left. Bentley missed ten straight shots during that stretch while junior forward Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) had seven of the 13 for SNHU.
From that point on, the two teams were never closer than eight points. It was 40-27 at the break following an opening 20 minutes in which Bentley was just 9 of 34 overall and 3 of 12 from three.
All five starters scored in doubles for Southern New Hampshire with Floras leading the way with 19 on 8-of-12 shooting. Gilligan didn't miss a shot, finishing 8-of-8 for 18 points, and Walters posted 17 points and seven rebounds.
Sophomore guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) led Bentley with 12 points despite struggling through a 4-for-15 performance. Senior guard Matt Barr (Stratham, N.H./ Cushing Academy) followed with 10, a total matched by sophomore forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) in 17 minutes off the bench.
Final shooting numbers had Bentley at .323 overall and .318 (7-22) from three. The Penmen connected at a .574 clip and made nine of 21 from distance. Free throws favored Bentley (20-27 as compared to 8-10), SNHU had a 37-35 rebound edge and there were only 13 combined turnovers, seven by the home team.
Bentley will look to get back on track Wednesday when it hosts St. Michael's at 7:30 pm.