WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University senior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) eclipsed the 2,000 career point milestone earlier in the game, but his day ended in disappointment when his potential game-tying three at the end was off the mark. That gave the nationally-ranked Saint Anselm College Hawks a 65-62 victory over the Falcons in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Bentley, which shot only .338 overall and .242 in the second half, dropped to 17-8 overall and 10-8 NE10 following its second straight loss. Meanwhile, 24th-ranked Saint Anselm clinched a tie for the NE10 Northeast Division title and improved to 19-4 overall (15-3 conference).
Richmond entered the game needing five points to join Bill Holden '90, Jason Westrol '10 and Tyler McFarland '16 in Bentley's 2,000 club and he achieved the feat before the game was six minutes old. His short jumper from the left of the basket lifted gave him six for the game and 2,001 for his prolific career. By the time the game ended, his total stood at 2,015.
It was a solid first half for the Falcons, who took a 38-31 lead into the locker room. They started fast and led 10-0 less than two minutes into the game following a pair of three-pointers from sophomore guard Colton Lawrence (Myerstown, Pa./ELCO HS). The first was from the top of the key and the second from the left corner.
The Hawks quickly closed most of the gap with a 9-2 spurt but could never catch the home team during the opening 20 minutes. Richmond scored 15 of his 20 before the break and Lawrence followed with ten.
Bentley maintained a lead between seven and 11 during the first eight minutes of the second half and were up 48-38 before embarking on a five-minute dry spell. While the Falcons came up empty on eight straight possession (0-for-7, 1 turnover), Saint Anselm ran off 12 straight to take its first lead of the game, 50-48, with 8:20 left. That flurry included consecutive threes by senior guard Tim Guers (Langhorne, Pa.) and freshman Miles Tention (Palo Alto, Calif.).
After a couple lead changes and two offensive rebounds, Richmond evened the score at 56-all when he drained a three from the left side with 4:39 left.
Saint Anselm answered with a lay-up from sophomore forward Chris Paul (Highland Mills, N.Y.) and two Guers free throws, taking a lead they would not relinquish.
Two free throws by Richmond and two more from sophomore guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy) with 29.1 seconds left brought the Falcons within one, 63-62.
Hawk senior guard Cody Ball (Londonderry, N.H.) matched Richmond's two from the line, restoring their lead to three. After a Bentley miss and a Saint Anselm miss on the front of a one-and-one, Richmond launched a contested three from about the same spot on the court as the one he made four minutes earlier. This one wouldn't fall and the Hawks escaped with the win.
Richmond, who also had seven rebounds, three assists and two steals, was joined in double figures by junior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Williston Northampton) and Lawrence. Hudson finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds, and Lawrence had 12 points and eight boards.
Guers powered Saint Anselm with 20 points, ten rebounds and four assists despite struggling through a 7-for-22 shooting day. Ball also shot poorly (5-16) and finished with 16.
Saint Anselm didn't shoot much better than the Falcons as the Hawks finished at .379. Both teams made nine free throws and the visitors had one more three, 6-5, and one more rebound, 45-44. There were only 13 combined turnovers, including seven by Bentley.
Next up for the Falcons is a trip to St. Michael's for a Wednesday night game.