WALTHAM, Mass. – Riding a four-game winning streak in which they've outscored the opponents by 93 points, the Bentley University men's basketball team will complete the non-conference portion of the schedule Saturday afternoon when they are on Long Island to take on Molloy College. The 1:00 game from the Quealy Gymnasium in Rockville Centre will be webcast at www.eccsportsnetwork.com.
Although the Bentley Falcons are off to a 12-1 start with a scoring margin of 15.6 and a number 15 ranking in the latest NABC Division II national coaches' poll, it won't be an easy test for coach Jay Lawson's squad.
Following an 86-81 loss to Jefferson Dec. 29 that halted a seven-game winning streak, Molloy owns an 8-4 record that includes a 97-61 loss at Division I Stony Brook. The Lions are unbeaten at home with victories over Concordia, NYIT, Mercy and Adelphi.
Impressive shooting has played a key role in Bentley's fast start. All five starters are shooting at least .500 from the field with the team ranking third in Division II in three-point accuracy (.437), fifth in free throw percentage (.813) and tenth in field goal percentage (.514).
The team's .519 shooting percentage in Wednesday's 76-61 victory over Assumption marked the eighth time this season that the Falcons have been over .500 overall.
Senior guard and Northeast-10 scoring leader Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) is currently at 22.2 points per game after tallying 21 against Assumption, the 11th time this season he's finished with 20 or more. He surpassed 1,700 career points on Wednesday and with 1,702, is sixth on the program's all-time list.
Bentley's other double-figure scorers are sophomore guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ ELCO HS), junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Williston Northampton) and senior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy).
Lawrence provides 15.4 points and 7.6 rebounds a game and Hudson, a 55 percent shooter from the floor, owns averages of 14.4 points and 8.7 rebounds. Gilpin, coming off a 15-point effort against Assumption, follows at 10.4 per game. The starting unit also includes sophomore guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy), who owns a true shooting percentage of .667 and a 9.6 scoring average.
Molloy is the only team in the East Region that has two of the region's top 20 scorers. The backcourt tandem of senior Curtis Jenkins and junior Nick Corbett combine for close to half of the Lions' season norm of 86.6.
Corbett averages 19.9 points, 3.3 rebounds and 3.3 assists while Jenkins follows at 18.8 points, 6.9 rebounds, 3.8 assists and 2.3 steals.
Senior forward Mike Torre, who is scoring over 13 a game for the second straight year, is also an offensive threat.
As a team, Molloy averages 86.6 points while giving up 83.7 a game.
The Falcons and Lions have met twice previously with Bentley having prevailed in both, 99-92 in 2014-15 and 91-58 two years ago.
The Falcons will be back at home on Wednesday for a Northeast-10 contest against Le Moyne College.