Bentley Visits New Haven Saturday, Looking To Extend Road Win Streak to 3

Jordan Mello-Klein
Jordan Mello-Klein

WALTHAM, Mass. – The Bentley University men's basketball team will be looking for its fourth win in six games since the break, as well as its third straight road victory, when it continues Northeast-10 crossover play with a 3:30 pm game at the University of New Haven Saturday afternoon. A live webcast from Charger Gymnasium will be available at https://portal.stretchinternet.com/newhaven/.

Following Wednesday's come-from-behind win over American International, Bentley will head into Saturday's contest with records of 9-6 overall and 6-4 Northeast-10, good for fourth place in the Northeast Division. New Haven, coming off road wins at Assumption and St. Michael's, returns home at 8-6 overall (5-4 NE10) and in third place in the Southwest Division.

Each of Bentley's last six games have followed a similar pattern with the Falcons being outscored in the first half and bouncing back in the second, with three of the comebacks resulting in victories.

There was a 26-point swing at AIC in the Falcons' most recent contest, coach Jay Lawson's club outscoring the Yellow Jackets 42-18 after intermission to win going away, 73-60. A week earlier, the Falcons closed with a 29-15 surge to edge Le Moyne in overtime 73-70.

Junior guard Ryan Richmond (Toronto, Ont./Thomson Collegiate) has been dominant in Bentley's three crossover games played so far, putting up 25 and 26 points before dropping in a season-high 31 Wednesday. That three-game stretch has included a game-winning three with 0.6 seconds left in OT at Le Moyne and earlier in the same game, his 1,000th career point.

Richmond, now averaging 21.8 for the season, has shot 52 percent overall in the three games, including 24 of 38 (.632) inside the three-point line.

Three of Bentley's starters – junior Zach Gilpin (Hampden, Maine/Hampden Academy), sophomore Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Northampton Williston School) and freshman Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy) – each sport effective field goal percentages over .560. Gilpin (13.0 ppg) shoots 43 percent from deep with a team-leading 26 trifectas, Hudson has made 57 percent of his shots this season, Mello-Klein will head into Saturday at .523, and each of the latter two have made half of their limited attempts from three (Mello-Klein 13-26, Hudson 8-16).

Coming off the bench, sophomore guard Seth Stankiewicz (Reading, Pa./Hill School) usually has a hot hand with his .556 accuracy mark from deep best in the NE10.

Rebounds have been a key to success this season with Bentley collecting 10 more a game than their opponents. Senior forward Brandon Wheeler (Stamford, Conn./Trinity Catholic HS) shows the way in that category, providing 7.7 a game. He's had at least nine in five of the last six Bentley games.

New Haven senior guard Danny Upchurch, the second leading scorer out of the conference's Southwest Division, will bring a 17.4 average and 38 three-pointers into Saturday's play. He's scored 20-plus in four straight games and had a pair of 30-point games earlier in the season.

Others that the Falcons will need to contend with are sophomore guard Elijah Bailey and senior forward Mihailo Vasic. Bailey scores 10.4 a game and Vasic is just a shade under ten.

Next week's schedule has the Falcons planning back-to-back home games, Wednesday against Adelphi University and Saturday against Southern Connecticut State.