WALTHAM, Mass. – Juniors Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) and Zach Gilpin (Houlton, Maine/Houlton HS) combined for 52 points, including 31 in the second half, as Bentley University stayed unbeaten with an 89-86 win over Stonehill College in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Tuesday night at the Dana Center. It was the conference-opener for both teams.
Richmond finished with a season-high 29 while Gilpin followed him with a career-best 23. The two did most of their work inside the arc, with 18 of their combined 19 field goals two-pointers.
It was a Richmond lay-up that broke a 39-all tie about a minute into the second half and put the Falcons in front to stay.
A few minutes later, Bentley strung together a 21-10 run that produced the game's biggest differential, a 71-56 advantage with a little under nine minutes to play. Gilpin scored the first five and a total of seven, junior forward Kyle Bouchard (Houlton, Maine/Houlton HS) made four free throws and drew a charge, and freshman guard Jordan Mell0-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy) helped out with four points.
Stonehill (0-3, 0-1 NE10) battled back, cutting its deficit to just one, 79-78, on a long three from the right wing by sophomore guard Brandon Twitty (Randolph) with 3:36 left.
Richmond scored the next eight for the Falcons with a driving lay-up and six free throws making it an 87-81 game with 23.3 seconds left. A three from sophomore forward Daniel Largey (Oceanport, N.J.) made it a one-possession game, 87-84, with 17.4 seconds left, but two Gilpin free throws with 4.8 seconds remaining locked up the Bentley victory.
There were five ties and six lead changes in a first half that ended even at 37-37. Down five with two-and-a-half to play, the Falcons scored the final five to forge the tie. Mello-Klein made one of two at the line, sophomore forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Williston Northampton School) had a put-back and a baseline jumper from Gilpin tied the game.
Richmond made half of his 20 shots from the field, knocked down eight of nine from the charity stripe, and also had three rebounds, two assists and two steals. Gilpin's highest scoring night as a collegian saw him sink 9 of 17 overall and five of his six free throws.
Mello-Klein turned in his first career double-double, finishing with 17 points, ten rebounds, four assists and for the third straight game, no turnovers.
Six players scored in doubles for Stonehill, with Twitty leading the way with 18.
Both teams shot well with Bentley slightly better, 52-50 percent. The Falcons had a big edge at the line, 22 of 26 as compared to 10 of 14, but the Skyhawks had a 6-3 advantage in three-pointers. Rebounds also favored the Falcons, 36-30.
After three straight at home to start the season, Bentley will be in Philadelphia Saturday to face Jefferson University (formerly Philadelphia U.) in a noon game.