WALTHAM, Mass. – After tying the game with seven-tenths of a second left in regulation by making one of two from the line, Stonehill College scored 19 points in overtime to top Bentley University, 108-101, in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball at the Dana Center Wednesday night.
All five Bentley starters reached double figures in the scoring column, including sophomore guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thompson Collegiate) who poured in a career-high 39 points. That was the most by a Falcon in nearly 28 years and only one shy of the school record.
Bentley slipped to 9-11 overall and 6-9 in the NE10 after dropping its third straight. Stonehill completed a sweep of the season series, improving to 12-9 overall and 7-8 conference.
The back-and-forth nail-biter (14 ties, 15 lead changes) saw Stonehill break an 81-all tie with five straight points, including a second-chance basket by six-foot-six freshman Will Moreton (Minneapolis, Minn.) while the Falcons were scoreless from the 4:51 mark to 2:17.
Looking at a five-point deficit with under two-and-a-half minutes left, Bentley responded with an 8-2 spurt, capped by a Richmond eight-footer that gave his team the lead, 89-88 with 7.6 seconds remaining. Stonehill junior guard KJ Lee (Huntington Station, N.Y.) drove to the basket, missed the lay-up, grabbed the offensive rebound and was fouled with 0.7 seconds left. Following two Falcon timeouts, he missed the first but made the second to force OT.
Stonehill opened the scoring in the extra session with two free throws but Bentley more than answered as junior forward Brandon Wheeler (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic HS) stuck a triple from the left wing with 4:05 left.
The Skyhawks scored the next four before Richmond pulled his team within one, 95-94, with two free throws with 2:04 to play. Stonehill freshman Brandon Twitty (Randolph) came back with a three-pointer, launching a run of six unanswered that made it a seven-point game, 101-94 with 45.8 seconds on the clock.
A three-point play by Richmond brought the Falcons within three, 104-101, with 0:14.7 to play before Stonehill junior guard Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine) closed out the game's scoring with four free throws.
Bentley led 51-49 at the half after scoring the final five points, including a Richmond three-ball, and began the second with a 12-4 run to go up 10, 63-53. That spurt featured the three-ball with Wheeler, sophomore forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) and Wheeler all connecting.
The Falcons still led by nine with 14 minutes left before Stonehill ran off nine straight to create a 70-all tie just before the ten-minute mark.
Richmond's night saw him score 15 in each half and nine in the extra period as he bettered his previous best by seven. He was 16 of 28 overall, four of eight from deep and three of four from the line. In addition, he provided three rebounds, three assists and a steal.
On Bentley's all-time single-game scoring list, the six-footer trails only Ray Andersen, who scored 40 in February 1969 and Bill Holden, who did the same in March 1989.
Bess, who scored all of his 11 OT points at the foul stripe, led Stonehill with 24 points and senior forward Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio) followed with 23.
Both teams shot very well (Bentley .528, Stonehill .537) and were even better from downtown. The Falcons finished 14 of 25 (despite only two in the final 19 minutes) and the Skyhawks were 11 of 19.
Stonehill's parade to the charity stripe in the OT resulted in 14 more free throws made and attempted for the visitors, who finished 25 of 31. The Skyhawks also controlled the boards, 43-28 overall and 27-13 after intermission.
Bentley will look to bounce back Saturday with a 3 pm game at Assumption College.