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Cash McClure
Cash McClure

Bentley Comeback Bid Falls Short at Saint Anselm, 65-62

MANCHESTER, N.H. – It was a tale of two halves Tuesday night at Saint Anselm College. Despite outscoring the Hawks 45-28 in the second half and closing to within one late, the Bentley University Falcons came up just short, 65-62, in Northeast-10 Conference men's basketball at Stoutenburgh Gymnasium.

Leading the comeback was sophomore guard Cash McClure (Readfield, Maine/Maranacook HS), who scored 16 of his team-high 18 points in the second half. After intermission, McClure and graduate guard Kellan Bochenek (Kettering, Ohio/Fairmont HS) combined to make 11 of 13 shots.

Bentley, which fought back from a 37-17 halftime deficit before being denied in the end, dropped to 13-8 overall and 8-6 NE10. Saint Anselm squared its conference record at 7-7 and improved to 9-11 overall.

More than half of Saint Anselm's halftime lead was gone by the time the second was four minutes old. It was a run of 13 unanswered with both Bochenek and senior forward Ivan Misic (Toronto, Ont.) scoring four apiece.

After the Hawks returned the difference to 16, Bentley drew within two with a 14-4 surge that made it a two-possession game, 59-53, with 3:48 left. McClure scored five, senior guard Zach Laput (Beacon Falls, Conn./Notre Dame HS) had a three-point play and Bochenek, senior guard Aaron Latham (Glastonbury, Conn./Glastonbury HS) and junior guard Jaden Baker (Salisbury, Md./Wicomico HS) also scored.

A driving lay-up by Latham brought Bentley within three, 63-60, with 1:24 left. It stayed that way until a drive by Bochenek with 7.7 on the clock made it a one-point game.

Saint Anselm sophomore guard Josh Morissette (Exeter, N.H.) sank two three throws with 6.8 to play, but the Falcons comeback hopes died with a game-ending steal from Hawk senior Matt Becker (Fairfield, Conn.).

The first half was a nightmare for Falcon fans as Bentley misfired on 18 of its first 21 shots and trailed 30-9 with 7:25 to play. Fifth-year guard Tyler Arbuckle (Bristol, Conn.) had 19 in the first half for Saint Anselm but was scoreless and 0-for-6 in the second.

McClure (6 rebounds) and Bochenek (5 boards, 3 of 6 3's) were followed in the scoring column by Laput, who was limited to eight. Laput was a factor on the boards, collecting 11.

Arbuckle, with 19, led five double-figure scorers for Saint Anselm, who also received 14 rebounds and 10 points off the bench from Becker. Junior forward Sean McCarthy (Cork, Ireland) helped hold off Bentley in the second, scoring 13 of his 15 after the break.

Bentley, which shot .607 in the second half, had the higher field goal percentage overall, .404 to .375. The Falcons also had one more rebound but committed 13 turnovers while forcing only three.

Bentley's next game is Saturday, a 3:30 home game against Adelphi University.