WALTHAM, Mass. – After a 5-1 November that included five home wins by an average of 26 points, the Bentley University men's basketball team will look to carry the success into December. The new month will get underway Sunday at 1 pm with the Falcons hosting American International College in a non-conference match-up at the Dan Center.
The game can be viewed on the NE10 NOW Digital Network.
Bentley's last two games have each been decided by at last 30, 95-65 over New York Tech and 92-61 against Stonehill in its Northeast-10 opener. In both games, coach Jay Lawson saw six of his players score in double figures.
AIC will come into the Dana at 4-3 overall following an 82-76 win at Southern Connecticut State on Tuesday. The Yellow Jackets are 3-0 on the road thus far with all three losses occurring on their home court.
In Tuesday's win over Stonehill, Bentley put on a shooting exhibition, knocking down 13 of their first 17 three-pointers and finishing 13 of 19. The Falcons, who never trailed for the second straight game, shot .552 overall, outscored the visitors 19-7 off turnovers and controlled the boards to the tune of 41-28.
Junior guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy), who had a triple-double against Wilmington to open the season, led the way with a career-high 22 points. He made all four of his three-pointer during a 9-for-14 shooting night and also had six rebounds and six assists.
Through six games, all five Bentley starters own double-digit scoring averages, quite a feat considering the Falcons are without last year's second leading scorer, junior guard Colton Lawrence, for the season due to injury.
Sophomore guard Mason Webb (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness HS) tops the scoring list at 19.2 with senior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Northampton Williston School) right behind him at 17.5. Webb has made 54 percent of his three-pointers, 19 of 43, and Hudson, the NE10 leader in field goal percentage (.651) and blocks (13), is closing in on becoming Bentley's 54th 1,000-point scorer, needing 17.
Also in doubles are Mello-Klein at 10.8, junior forward Pete Blush (Hinsdale, Ill./Hinsdale Central HS) and sophomore guard Brian Wright-Kinsey (Brooklyn, N.Y./Brooks School), with the latter two at 10.2. Mello-Klein leads the Northeast-10 in assists, averaging 8.7.
Lawson isn't far from having six averaging in doubles as senior guard Seth Stankiewicz (Reading, Pa./Reading HS) is providing 9.7 a game off the bench. He's made 14 of 25 from three, raising his career accuracy mark to .435.
As a result of the fast start, Bentley leads the Northeast-10 in a number of team categories, including scoring (89.5), scoring margin (+21.8), field goal percentage (.505), three-point percentage (.444), assists (22.3) and rebound margin (10.7).
AIC has spread the offense around with three players scoring in doubles, four others between 8.1 and 9.4, and an eighth at just under seven a game. Coach Andy Burkholder's team scores 74.6 points a game and gives up just slightly more at 75.1.
Junior guard Shyheim Hicks has shown the ability to knock down the three with 19 made and a 40 percent accuracy mark from deep. He leads the Yellow Jackets in scoring at 12.9, with a high of 19 against Pace.
Senior Zekiah Owens and red-shirt freshman Branislav Terzik follow at 12.3 and 11.5 points, respectively. Junior Xion Golding, who has primarily been used off the bench, is the top rebounder (8.0 per game) and junior Jordan Vidal, a 9.1 per game scorer, has 23 assists.
Bentley prevailed in the only meeting of the two teams last season, 87-79, and has had the upper hand in the series in recent years, winning 24 of the last 26. In last year's contest, former Falcon All-America Ryan Richmond poured in 44 points, coming within one of his own school record.
The Falcons will play every three days during the first ten days of December, with the AIC game followed by games at Assumption on the 4th and Franklin Pierce on the 7th. The next home game will be Dec. 10 against Southern New Hampshire.