MANCHESTER, N.H. – Saint Anselm College, ranked fourth in Division II by the NABC, opened the game with a trio of three-pointers, all by different players, and went on to record an 84-74 win over No. 14 Bentley University in a match-up of unbeaten teams in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at Stoutenburgh Gym.
Bentley, which tasted defeat for the first time since Saint Anselm ended the Falcons' 2017-18 season last March in the NE10 semis, dropped to 8-1 overall and 5-1 NE19. The Hawks stayed unbeaten eight games into their season and improved to 5-0 in conference.
Saint Anselm was led by senior guard Tim Guers (Langhorne, Pa.), who finished with 26 points, seven rebounds and four assists. He was smoking hot from three, draining six of seven. Included was one from the left side that launched Saint Anselm's game-opening 11-0 run.
That spurt, which gave the Hawks a lead they never gave up, included corner threes from sophomore forward Chris Paul (Highland Mills, N.Y.) and junior guard Danny Evans (Leeds, United Kingdom).
The closest Bentley came after falling into the early hole was five points when senior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) capped a 12-2 run that made it 36-31 with just over two minutes left in the opening half.
However, a long straightaway three by Guers with four seconds left pushed the difference back to ten at the break, 43-33.
The closest it got in the second half was seven, 68-61, on a basket by sophomore guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ELCO HS) with 7:46 to play. Sophomore forward Spencer Cline (Mason, Ohio) answered with a three for Saint Anselm, beginning an 11-4 run that restored the home team's lead to 14.
Richmond, who eclipsed 1,600 points during the game, led the Falcons with 25 points, five rebounds and two steals despite an uncharacteristic difficult shooting night (9-26 overall, 2-6 3's). Lawrence was next on the scoring list with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Bentley also received 12 points, eight rebounds, two steals and two blocks from junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Northampton Williston School) and 11 points from sophomore guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon, Mass./Thayer Academy).
For Saint Anselm, Paul and Evans followed with 17 and 15 points, respectively.
Bentley finished the game shooting .435, about four percent lower than Saint Anselm, but was not effective from deep, making only five of 18 triples. In contrast, the Hawks knocked down 10 of 24.
Rebounds (39 each) and turns (nine apiece) were even but the Falcons couldn't overcome the 10-5 three-point differential. Bentley had a big edge in second-chance points, 25-9, and a 40-34 edge in the paint.
Bentley's final home game before Christmas is Monday night, a non-conference tilt with The College of Saint Rose (7 pm).