Perfection requires paying the price.
The Bentley men's basketball team was willing to dig a little deeper on Saturday afternoon.
A 17-point deficit with seven minutes remaining? Against a Bryant squad unbeaten on its home floor?
The Falcons were more than up for the challenge.
Junior point guard Yusuf Abdul-Ali buried a 12-foot jumper in the lane with 1.5 seconds left, capping a game-ending 25-6 run, as Bentley kept its undefeated record intact with a stirring 78-76 Northeast-10 Conference win over Bryant in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,600 in North Smithfield, R.I.
Bentley, which trailed 70-53 with under seven minutes to play, improved to 21-0 overall, the best start by a New England Division II team in 36 years, and 17-0 in the Northeast-10.
Junior forward Nate Fritsch topped the Falcons with a season-best 23 points, including 21 in the second half when he was seven-of-10 from the floor and perfect on five free throws. Jeff Holmes followed with 17 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Danny Lawson helped out with 11 points off the bench.
Bentley is back in action Tuesday night, with a 7:30 p.m. game at St. Michael's College.
-- Craig Larson