Bryant University Bulldogs With A Statement Win Over The Saint Francis University Red Flash In NEC Opener At The Chace Athletic Center
The Bryant University Bulldogs kicked off NEC play on Thursday afternoon as they hosted the Saint Francis University Red Flash. Thanks to 20 points from Adam Grant, the Bulldogs were able to pull off a 67 to 63 win.
The Bulldogs were down 28 to 22 going into halftime. Bryant really struggled to hit any shots, especially from three point range. It wasn’t until 1:21 left in the first half that the Bulldogs would hit their first three point shot. A three point shot from Ikenna Ndugba. In total, the Bulldogs were 1 for 14 from three point range in the first half.
While the Bulldogs were only 1 for 14 from 3 in the first half, they were taking the appropriate shots. Those shots just weren’t going down. “We got good looks. I was happy with the looks we got. So yeah, eventually you’re going to make shots. We get so many shots up every day, I’m confident in my guys, and that’s what we talked about at halftime” said head coach Jared Grasso after the game.
“I didn’t say anything about the shots we were taking. We’re fine. They’re going to start falling. Just play the way we play offensively, and keep defending and rebounding. The first half, for whatever reason, I thought we were flat and came out in mud. We were shooting a lot of balls short. But our guys stepped up and made them when we needed them too” added Grasso when talking about the lopsided difference in shooting between the first and second half.
In the second half, the Bulldogs were 15 for 26 from the field, after they were 10 for 31 in the first half. That includes being 7 for 13 from three point range in the second half. So like coach Grasso said, eventually the shots will go down.
Bryant Showed It’s Mental Toughness
Last March, the Byrant University Bulldogs were knocked out of the NEC Tournament by the Saint Francis University Red Flash. On Thursday afternoon, the Bulldogs were able to beat those same Red Flash by the same score of 67 to 63.
“I’m proud of our guys’ effort and togetherness on the defensive side of the ball. On a night where we struggled making shots in the first half, our defensive effort kept us in the game until we were able to string some together in the second half” said Grasso after the game.
As the first half went on, the Bulldogs were down by as many as 9 points. While down by 9 points, it didn’t seem like the Bulldogs were really down by 9 points. Shots were just not going down for the Bulldogs. This season, the Bulldogs have been a great shooting team. It was only a matter of time before the shot would start going down.
“We talked about it this week. We’re going in to play the team that won the regular season championship and the team that went to the NCAA tournament. So they have been where we’re trying to get. So for us, we obviously thought that it was a big weekend. I didn’t think we played great, but we found a way to win” Grasso added when talking about the first two games for the Bulldogs in NEC play.
That ability to come out with a win over a team that is thought to have a great year in the NEC, it was a big win for the Bulldogs. A win over the Red Flash could help them out down the line if they’re fighting for a higher seed in the NEC Tournament.
What’s Next For The Bulldogs
The Bulldogs will host the Fairleigh Dickinson University Knights on Saturday Afternoon at 1:00pm. The Knights have struggled this year, sitting at just 2 and 10 on the season. Fans can watch the game on NEC Front Row.