NE-10 SEMIFINAL: Second Half Run Spurs #1 Bentley Past #3 Men's Basketball, 89-84

Senior Adam Bramanti canned 6-of-7 three-pointers for 19 points, five rebounds and three assists. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

McFarland and Hyland combine for 48 to lead four Falcons in double figures

WALTHAM, Mass. (March 2, 2016) – Northeast Division regular season champions Bentley University, ranked fifth in the NCAA Division II East Regional rankings released today, used a 15-2 run midway through the second half to fuel an 89-84 triumph over Northeast No. 3 seeded Stonehill College, ranked fourth in the region, on semifinal round action of the 2016 Northeast-10 Conference Men's Basketball Tournament at the Dana Athletic Center tonight.

Bentley (21-7, 16-5 NE-10) advances to Saturday's Northeast-10 Championship where it will host Northeast No. 4 Southern New Hampshire University (21-10, 14-7 NE-10) here at the Dana Center at 1 p.m. The Penmen, ranked eighth in the region, advanced with a commanding 75-59 victory over crosstown rival and Northeast No. 2 Saint Anselm College, ranked first in the region, in tonight's other semifinal in Manchester, New Hampshire. Stonehill (21-8, 15-6 NE-10) now awaits word on an at large bid to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the second straight year (14th overall) when bids are announced at on Sunday at 10:30 p.m.

Senior forward Tyler McFarland (Rockport, Maine/Camden Hills) and postgrad Keegan Hyland (South Portland, Maine/South Portland) combined for 48 points, over half of Bentley's point total, to power the Falcons to their first win over Stonehill in over two years. McFarland scored 18 of his game-high 28 points in the first half, adding a game-high 13 rebounds for a double-double effort as he made 7-of-16 shots from the field, including 4-of-9 three-pointers, while draining all ten of his free-throws, with seven assists and two blocked shots. Hyland tallied 16 of his 20 points in the second half on 7-of-17 shooting, including 3-for-7 from deep, connecting on 3-of-5 free-throws to go with three rebounds and six assists.

Junior Ferguson Duke (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia/Hun School (N.J.)) netted 11 of his 16 points in the opening frame as he buried 6-of-10 shots, including 4-for-6 from long range, with three rebounds and two assists. Senior Alex Furness (Wells, Maine/Wells) rounded out the double-figure scorers for Bentley with 11 points, aided by 3-for-6 shooting from deep, while freshman Kyle Bouchard (Houlton, Maine/Houlton) chipped in with seven boards.

Junior Ryan Logan led the Skyhawks with 22 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. (PHOTO BY Mike Tureski/SportsPix)

Junior Ryan Logan (Fredericktown, Ohio/Fredericktown) paced five Stonehill players in double figures with 22 points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals. Senior Adam Bramanti (Middleton, Massachusetts/Masconomet) netted 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting, including 6-for-7 from three-point distance, with five rebounds and three assists, while classmate Pierce Cumpstone (Bainbridge Township, Ohio/Kenston) notched his 12th double-double of the season (16th career) with 14 points, connecting on 4-of-8 three-pointers, with 11 rebounds, five blocked shots and two assists. Sophomore Isaiah Bess (LaGrange, Maine/Hampden Academy) contributed 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including 3-for-6 from deep, and 3-of-4 free-throws with seven rebounds, while senior Carter Smith (Columbus, Ohio/Upper Arlington) finished with 12 points, nine assists, four boards and two steals.

After combining with Adelphi University for a then NE-10 record 32 three-pointers in Sunday's quarterfinal round, Stonehill and Bentley teamed up for a new record 33 triples tonight as the Skyhawks matched Adelphi's three day old NE-10 record with 17 of their own tonight, while the Falcons buried 16. Bentley shot better overall at 46.8-percent from the field (29-for-62), including 50% (17-34) in the first half, while Stonehill finished shooting 42.3% (30-71) from the floor, but just 36.8% (14-38) in the second after connecting at 48.5% (16-33) in the opening half.

Stonehill buried 17-of-32 three-pointers (53.1%), including 8-of-15 (53.3%) in the second half, but was just 7-for-12 (58.3%) from the free-throw line. Bentley made 16-of-31 threes (51.6%) overall, including 10-of-17 (58.8%) in the first half, and converted 15-of-19 free-throws (78.9%). The Skyhawks held a 39-38 rebounding edge and turned the ball over just seven times, posting a 10-4 advantage in points off turnovers and a 16-8 margin for second chance points, as they limited the Falcons to just six offensive boards.

Stonehill held a four point lead (60-56) after a Bramanti three-pointer midway through the second half to trigger a Bentley timeout. The Falcons emerged from the break with 12 straight points to open an eight point lead (68-60) three minutes later after back to back three-pointers from Furness and Hyland. That was part of a 15-2 run overall that stretched the Bentley lead to nine (71-62) after another Hyland triple with 6:18 to play. The hosts lead grew to a game-high ten (77-67) with a pair of McFarland free-throws with 4:37 remaining.

Stonehill drew within six three times over the next three minutes, but Bentley answered each time. The Skyhawks were finally able to draw back within a possession (84-81) after two Bess free-throws, but Bouchard canned two big free-throws and then Hyland made one of two at the line to seal the win despite a late triple from Bramanti with four seconds to play that cut the lead to three again (87-84).

Bentley emerged from a first half in which it trailed by seven early and led by as much as eight with a three-point lead at the break (46-43). Stonehill raced out to a quick seven point lead (12-5) less than four minutes into the game thanks to a pair of threes from Bramanti and a Logan triple. The Falcons followed with a 15-3 run that turned a four point deficit into an eight point lead (25-17) on a Hyland jumper with 11-minutes left. The Skyhawks rallied to reclaim the lead (39-36) after a Cumpstone three with 3:50 to go, but the hosts closed the half with a 10-4 spurt to take the three point halftime cushion.

Logan opened the second half with a three-pointer to knot the score for Stonehill and spark a 12-4 run that gave the Skyhawks a five point lead (55-50) following a Cumpstone three five and a half minutes in. The teams traded baskets until Bramanti's three-pointer with 10:08 led to the Bentley timeout before its game-changing run.

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