WALTHAM, Mass. – Senior forward Brandon Wheeler (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic HS) and sophomores Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) and Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./ Thomson Collegiate HS) combined for 60, including 37 in a 48-22 second half, as Bentley University recorded its fourth win in its last five games, 84-59 over Pace University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball at the Dana Center Wednesday evening.
Gilpin finished with a game-high 21 points, Wheeler recorded his fifth double-double (20 points, 11 rebounds) and Richmond gave his team 19 points.
Bentley evened its overall record at 8-8 and improved to 5-6 in the conference. Pace dropped to 5-14 overall (2-9 NE10) after holding a one-point advantage at intermission, 37-36.
After the Setters scored the opening basket of the second half, Bentley drilled four three-pointers in a span of a little more than 100 seconds, taking a lead it would never give back. Richmond tied the game at 39 with a triple from the left wing, senior guard Matt Barr (Stratham, N.H./Exeter HS) connected on a go-ahead three from the left corner, Gilpin dropped one in from the top of the key and Barr did it again, this time from the left wing. That 12-2 barrage made it 48-41 with only a little more than two minutes elapsed in the second.
Following a pair of Pace triples, Bentley broke the game open with a 20-2 run over a span of nine minutes that made it 68-49 with 7:42 to play. Wheeler and Gilpin played key roles during that stretch, scoring 10 and 8 respectively.
That explosion eventually grew to 35-5 with Bentley's lead peaking at 83-52 with a little under four minutes to play.
In the first half, Bentley opened a 19-11 lead after a long three-pointer from the left wing by Barr. Pace, sparked by guard Christian White (Rochester, N.Y.), came alive after that, hitting four three-pointers during a 13-2 spurt that produced a 27-21 advantage. White had eight of the 13, including a pair of triples.
The Falcons finished the half with a Richmond-fueled 15-10 run to draw within one, 37-36. The team's top scorer for the season accounted for eight of the 15.
Gilpin knocked down five of nine triples en route to his 21 points, and also had four assists, three rebounds and a block. Wheeler made seven of ten overall and hit all six of his free throws, and Richmond's night included five of nine from the floor, a couple three-pointers, five rebounds, three assists and seven of eight free throws.
Barr was the fourth Falcon to score in doubles, finishing with 11, along with four helpers.
Junior forward Evan Gordinier (Monmouth Beach, N.J.) led Pace with 19 points and White followed with 18 off the bench.
Bentley shot 46 percent overall, including 50 percent in the second half when the Falcons drained seven of 15 triples. Pace knocked down 10 of 22 from deep but was limited to 36 percent overall, including just 11 of 36 inside the arc.
The Falcons finished with a 15-rebound advantage (42-27) and had a big edge at the line. Both teams missed only two free throws but Bentley took 22 and Pace nine. There were only 15 combined turnovers, including seven by the home team.
Bentley will return to action Saturday when they host streaking Le Moyne College at 3:30 pm.