WALTHAM, Mass. – Junior guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy) led five double-figure scorers with 18 points as Bentley University stayed unbeaten at home with an 84-65 victory over Southern Connecticut State University in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball Saturday afternoon at the Dana Center.
Bentley, ranked 17th and 18th in his week's Division II national polls, turned in its best shooting performance in five years (.646) while improving to 14-2 overall and a Northeast Division-best 6-1 NE10. The Falcons, who posted their first win over Southern since 2012, won their seventh straight overall and are now 9-0 at home this season.
After trailing by one, Bentley outscored the Owls 18-9 over the final 7:20 of the first half to take a 41-33 lead into intermission. Senior guard Seth Stankiewicz (Reading, Pa./Hill School) launched the run with a three-ball from the right corner and the surge also included triples from sophomore guards Brian Wright-Kinsey (Brooklyn, N.Y./Brooks School) and Mason Webb (Oklahoma City, N.Y./Bishop McGuinness HS), as well as freshman guard Isaac Martin (Peachtree Gardens, Ga./Norcross HS).
Midway through the second half, Bentley put up a 15-4 run to make it a 16-point game, 67-51 with 7:45 remaining. Stankiewicz ignited that surge with a driving lay-up and capped it with his second three-pointer of the game. He also made two of three free throws during the run.
The lead hid 20 for the first time, 72-52, following a Mello-Klein three-pointer and a lay-up from senior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Williston Northampton School).
Mello-Klein made four of six three-pointers and also provided eight rebounds and five assists. Webb was next on the scoring list with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Wright-Kinsey finished with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting and both Stankiewicz and Hudson scored 12. Hudson didn't miss a shot (4-4 FG, 4-4 FT) and also finished with eight rebounds and five assists. Stankiewicz, in 19:24 off the bench, also recorded four assists.
Senior forward Taurus Adams II (Milwaukee, Wisc.) led Southern with 21 points, on 9-of-14 shooting, and eight rebounds.
Bentley made 31 of 48 shots overall, including a sparkling 16 of 21 (.762) in the second half. That included 12 three-pointers in 22 attempts. The superior shooting countered the Falcons' 19 turnovers, which the Owls turned into 21 points.
Rebounds also favored the Falcons, as the home team collected 60 percent of the missed shots and finished at a plus-11 on the boards, 33-22.
Bentley's next game is Tuesday night (7 pm) at the University of New Haven.