WALTHAM, Mass. – After having its six-game winning streak halted with a road loss at Saint Rose Saturday, the Bentley University men's basketball team will be back in the Dana Center Wednesday night to face an American International College team that has won five of its last six.
Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 pm with the webcast available on NE10 NOW or on www.bentleyfalcons.tv.
Bentley, which slid from 10th to 18th in this week's NABC Division II coaches poll, will bring records of 14-2 overall and 7-2 Northeast-10 into the game. The Falcons, who trail Saint Anselm by one game in the NE10's Northeast Division, are a perfect 9-0 in home games with an average winning margin of 16.8.
AIC, under fourth-year head coach Andy Burkholder, is an even 8-8 thus far, including 4-4 in conference play. They've bounced back strong after a 3-7 start and are coming off wins over Stonehill (75-57) and Saint Michael's (73-65).
Bentley senior All-Region guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate), the number three scorer in the NE10, will enter the game with 1,756 points and only 12 away from surpassing one of the program's all-time greats on the career scoring list. Brian Hammel, who scored 1,767 from 1971-75, led the Falcons to a four-year record of 91-14 and was a Milwaukee Bucks' draft pick after twice earning All-America honors.
Richmond, who reached 600 career field goals and surpassed 400 career free throws in Saturday's game, is averaging 21.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 4.0 assists this season. He's had a dozen 2-point games and is shooting 49 percent from the floor.
Junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Williston Northampton) has five 20-10 double-doubles in the last ten games and is the NE10's third leading rebounder, averaging 9.1 as well as 15 points.
The starting five for coach Jay Lawson also includes senior forward Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy) and sophomore guards Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy) and Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ELCO HS). Lawrence provides 14.9 points and 7.3 rebounds a game and both Gilpin and Mello-Klein shoot 47 percent from three.
AIC, which is closing in on last year's win total of 11, has six players scoring between eight and 10.3 points per game, along with two others producing at least 5.7. At the top of the list is junior guard Logan Santiago, a starter in the last five contests for the Yellow Jackets. Three times in the last seven, he's drilled four three-pointers.
Sophomore guard Xion Golding, the only Yellow Jacket to start all 16 games, follows at 9.8 points per game.
Six-foot-five junior Zekiah Owns leads the squad in rebounds (5.4) and freshman guard Isaiah Salter is the most accurate three-point shooter (38-69, .406).
In last year's meeting, Richmond erupted for 31 points, including 18 in the second half, as the Falcons overcame an 11-point halftime deficit to prevail 73-60.
Bentley will also be at home Saturday for a 1:30 matinee against New Haven.