WALTHAM, Mass. – Riding a seven-game winning streak and coming off an 84-65 win over Southern Connecticut State on Saturday, the Bentley University men's basketball team will be looking to become the first East Region team with 15 victories Tuesday night when it takes on the University of New Haven at Charger Gymnasium.
Tip-off is set for 7 pm and fans can see the game on the NE10 NOW digital network or online at NE10NOW.tv.
Bentley, which owns national rankings of 17 and 18, improved to 14-2 overall and 6-1 Northeast-10 with the win over the Owls. Coach Jay Lawson's team has outscored its opposition by more than 13 points a game during the current streak and leads the conference's Northeast Division by one game.
They'll be taking on a New Haven team that is 5-8 overall and 3-4 NE10 following Saturday's 82-63 win at St. Michael's that ended a three-game slide. It's been a difficult schedule for the Chargers since they returned from the holiday break as they'll be facing a team with a winning percentage over .700 for the fourth time in five games. That stretch has included a six-point loss to Jefferson and an OT loss to Adelphi.
Bentley turned in its best shooting performance of the season on Saturday, finishing at a lofty .642 overall, including 12 of 22 from three-point range. The Falcons opened the game up over the Owls in the second half when they made 16 of 21 overall and five of seven from downtown.
Junior guard Jordan Mello-Klein (Sharon/Thayer Academy) led five Falcons in doubles with 18 points. He buried four of his six three-pointers and also had eight rebounds and five assists. Coach Jay Lawson also received 16 points from sophomore guard Mason Webb (Oklahoma City, Okla./Bishop McGuinness HS) and 13 from sophomore wing Brian Wright-Kinsey (Brooklyn, N.Y./Brooks School).
Senior forward Chris Hudson (Hodgdon, Maine/Williston Northampton School), who scored 12 points without missing a shot against Southern, is one of three NE10 players who average at least 18 points and eight rebounds. He's also number one in the conference in field goal percentage at .587.
Webb and Mello-Klein follow, with scoring norms of 16.8 and 13.3 respectively. Webb is fifth in the conference in three-pointers (41) while Mello-Klein has made 51 percent from downtown, 29 of 57.
Bentley leads the Northeast-10 in scoring margin (+15.1), rebound margin (+8.5), field goal percentage (.509), three-point accuracy (.409) and assists (18.3). The Falcons are also second in scoring defense and have limited five of their last seven opponents to 65 points or less.
New Haven has a player listed among the conference's top five in scoring, rebounds and assists with a different one in each category. Senior guard Elijah Bailey is fifth in scoring at 19.0, six-foot-seven classmate Kessly Felizor is fifth in rebounds (8.7) and junior guard Derrick Rowland is third in assists with 5.15 per game.
Rowland and Bailey were instrumental in the St. Michael's win, combining for 52 points on 17 of 26 shooting. Rowland buried five of six three-pointers and finished with 29, and Bailey followed with 23.
As a team, New Haven scores 70.8 points per game and gives up 71.5.
Bentley has dropped three straight to New Haven, including 70-68 in the first round of last season's Northeast-10 championships. In that one, Bailey made three free throws with ten seconds left and came up with a steal just before the final buzzer to lead his team.
Bentley will also be on the road Saturday, for a 1:30 pm game at Pace University.