MANCHESTER, N.H. – In a battle between two nationally-ranked and undefeated men's basketball programs, Saint Anselm College powered past Bentley University on Saturday by an 84-74 margin on Saturday.
Saint Anselm, ranked fourth in NCAA Division II by the National Association of Basketball Coaches and the D2SIDA National Media Poll, improves to 8-0 on the year and to 5-0 against Northeast-10 Conference opponents. Bentley, ranked 10th nationally by the D2SIDA Poll and 14th by the NABC, falls to 8-1 overall and to 5-1 against NE10 foes.
The Hawks begin their season with eight-straight wins, their longest undefeated stretch to start a campaign since the program's varsity inception in 1934.
Senior Tim Guers (Langhorne, Pa.) scored 26 points, leading the Hawks, and now has at least that many points in three of his last four games played. Sophomore Chris Paul (Highland Mills, N.Y.) scored 17 points with six rebounds and junior Danny Evans (Leeds, United Kingdom) tallied 15 points for the second-straight game alongside nine rebounds and nine caroms.
The Hawks hit three-straight triples before a jumper from Paul created an early 11-0 lead for the Hawks. The Saint Anselm advantage grew to 16 points with 8:26 to go in the first half after freshman Miles Tention (Palo Alto, Calif.) put home a fast-break layup to create a 28-12 lead.
Bentley would trim the hosts lead to five points, 36-31, with 2:07 left in the first half, but a Guers three-point basket with five ticks left on the scoreboard capped a 7-2 run to reestablish a double-digit lead at the break. Through the first 20 minutes, the Hawks made seven of their first 15 shots from beyond the arc.
A three-point play by Ball was completed after a layup only minutes into the second half, boosting his team to a 16-point lead, 55-39. Bentley would manufacture a 22-13 scoring run across the game's next eight minutes, shrinking the lead to only seven points, 68-61, with 7:46 left.
Sophomore Spencer Cline (Mason, Ohio) poured home a trey on his team's next possession, recreating a 10-point cushion that would be the game's final margin of victory.
Bentley had 25 second-chance points and 40 points in the paint, edging the Hawks in both statistics, but Saint Anselm shot nearly 48% from the floor (32-for-67). The Falcons were led by a 25-point performance by Ryan Richmond.