When and Where: February 8, 2017 – Waltham, Mass. (Dana Center)
Score: Bentley University 76, Southern New Hampshire University 65
Records: Bentley 11-11 (8-9 Northeast-10), SNHU 16-6 (12-5 Northeast-10)
Redshirt-junior Chris Walters (Stamford, Conn.) scored a team-high 17 points, but the Southern New Hampshire University men's basketball team allowed a late run and dropped a 76-65 decision to Bentley University on Wednesday night at the Dana Center.
Walters was 7-for-13 from the floor, including 1-for-3 from deep and 2-for-2 from the line, while collecting seven rebounds and dishing four assists. Junior Dimitri Floras (Merrimack, N.H.) posted 15 points (5-15 FG, 1-7 3-FG, 4-5 FT) and five boards, with sophomore Daquaise Andrews (Queens, N.Y.) adding 15 points (6-12 FG, 3-4 3-FG), three assists and two rebounds.
Ryan Richmond paced the Falcons with 25 points, while Brandon Wheeler notched a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds.
After Southern New Hampshire grabbed an early 4-0 lead just 1:04 in, neither team scored for nearly two minutes until a Richmond 3-pointer sparked a 24-3 run that gave Bentley a 24-7 lead with 6:14 remaining in the opening half. Richmond powered the blitz with 10 points.
SNHU immediately responded with a 15-2 burst – with five points from Walters and four from Floras – to slash its deficit to 26-22 with 2:11 on the clock. Senior Devin Gilligan (Amherst, N.H.) and Andrews would each add three points during the stretch. Bentley would slowly increase its lead and take a 33-26 halftime lead. The 26 points were the fewest in any half this season for the Penmen, who scored 29 in the opening stanza at Stonehill College on Dec. 7.
After falling behind by 10 just over a minute into the second half, the Penmen sliced their deficit in half as an Andrews jumper and Floras 3-pointer made it 38-33 at the 17:38 mark. A three-point play from Floras later in the stanza pulled the Penmen to within four at 48-44 with 12:25 left, but back-to-back layups from Wheeler stretched the Bentley lead to eight.
SNHU responded with a balanced 12-3 run that featured five different scorers and gave the Penmen their first lead since the 15:20 mark of the first half at 56-55 with 6:38 left. After the teams traded a free throw, seven points from Wheeler and five from Richmond made up a 12-0 run that put Bentley back in front, 68-57, with 3:52 to go.
The Penmen would get as close as 70-63 with 1:28 left, but missed a layup to cut it to five nearly a half-minute later and Bentley would seal it as Richmond went 4-for-4 from the line down the stretch.
Redshirt-sophomore Scott Toresco (Westfield, N.J.) chimed in with a season-high five points (2-5 FG, 1-2 FT) and season-best seven rebounds.
-The Penmen lose back-to-back games for the first time since Jan. 16-20, 2016.
-The 65 points for SNHU mark a season-low, beating the 67 it scored in a win against Assumption College exactly one week prior.
-With a Merrimack College loss and Saint Anselm College win Tuesday, the Penmen continue to hold a one-game lead on the Warriors and now have just a two-game lead on the crosstown-rival Hawks in the NE10 Northeast Division standings.
-Bentley outshot Southern New Hampshire, 46.4 percent (26-56) to 39.1 percent (25-64), while SNHU narrowly returned the favor from deep, 31.8 percent (7-22) to 27.3 percent (6-22).
-Bentley was also plus-10 at the line, while shooting a better percentage, 75 percent (18-24) to 72.7 percent (8-11).
-The Falcons won the glass (41-32) and the paint (34-22), while the Penmen turned in the better assist-to-turnover ratio (12/10-14/16) for a 16-10 advantage in points off mistakes.
The Penmen return to action Saturday, Feb. 11 (4 p.m.) when they play host to Merrimack College on Pink Day at the SNHU Fieldhouse in a game that will air live on NESNplus and NESN National.
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