WALTHAM, Mass. - The Saint Michael's College men's basketball team fell to regionally-ranked Bentley University, 77-60, on Wednesday evening during Northeast-10 Conference play at the Dana Center. The Purple Knights are now 6-18 overall and 4-15 in the league, while the Falcons, who are fifth in the NCAA East Region rankings, improved to 18-6 and an NE-10 Northeast Division-leading 15-4 in conference.
Junior Matt Bonds (Accokeek, Md./North Point) recorded his 17th double-double of the season for Saint Michael's, scoring 17 points on 8-of-16 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds, including four offensive. Sophomore Colin Richey (Upton, Mass./Choate Rosemary Hall) matched his career high with 15 points, connecting on his last seven shots to finish 7-of-12 while dishing out three assists. Senior Morrell Gaskins (Cambria Heights, N.Y./Archbishop Molloy) totaled seven points and nine rebounds, shooting 5-of-5 on free throws and snagging four offensive boards, while first-year Levi Holmes III (East Brunswick, N.J./Rutgers Prep) handed out three assists.
The Purple Knights held advantages of 43-34 in rebounding, 17-8 in second-chance points, and 26-16 on scoring in the paint. Bonds' 17th double-double matched Michel Bonebo '90, in 1989-90, for the most by a Saint Michael's player since complete rebounding records became available in 1981-82. Bonds, whose 287 rebounds this season tie for 20th in school history, moved alone into second in Division II in double-doubles this winter.
Graduate student Keegan Hyland shot 5-of-11 from three-point range to lead Bentley with 23 points and nine rebounds, while senior Alex Furness had 13 points. Classmate Tyler McFarland turned in 10 points and nine boards, and junior Ferguson Duke had 10 points and six assists.
Bentley scored the game's first 14 points, connecting on five of its first six shots, including three three-pointers. A Duke three-pointer made it 23-3 at the midway mark of the half. From that point, Saint Michael's held a 57-54 scoring advantage, including being outscored only 20-18 during the remainder of the half, during which time the visitors shot 7-of-15 (46.7%). Bonds' lay-up early in the final minute produced a 43-21 margin at intermission.
Bentley pushed its advantage to 26 early in the second half before a 10-3 Purple Knight run cut the hole to 19, as Bonds and Richey both had a pair of buckets. Richey also dished out two assists, while junior David Sullivan (Egg Harbor Township, N.J./Saint Augustine Prep) tacked on a basket and a helper. After Furness hit a three, Bonds and first-year Derek Cheatom (Buffalo, N.Y./The Park School of Buffalo) knocked down jumpers, and Bonds' tip-in made it 53-37 with 12:09 remaining.
First-year Ryan Richmond wrapped a pair of threes around two Gaskins freebies to push the lead back to 20, but Cheatom dropped in another basket before senior Will Davis' (Valley Stream, N.Y./Holy Cross) two free throws produced a 59-43 margin at 9:16. Bentley used an 11-2 run to go up 25, with first-year Winston Jones II (Valley Stream, N.Y./Valley Stream) scoring off junior Zaire Williams' (Paterson, N.J./Newark Academy) assist in that stretch for the only Saint Michael's points. The Purple Knights closed the game on a 15-7 run, with Richey scoring 11 points.
Saint Michael's visits Assumption College on Saturday to close out its road schedule at 3 p.m.