NIAGARA UNIVERSITY, N.Y. – The Bryant University men's basketball team used a key first half run and withstood a battle in the second half to win its fourth-straight game with a 73-62 victory over Niagara Monday night at the Gallagher Center.
Senior Adam Grant (Franklin, Va.) scored 17 points, while freshmen Benson Lin (New Taipei City, Taiwan) and Charles Pride (Syracuse, N.Y.) added 10 each as Bryant won four straight games for the first time since 2015.
Bryant 73, Niagara 62
Records: Bryant (4-2), Niagara (0-4)
Location: Gallagher Center (Niagara University, N.Y.)
- A 22-5 Bryant run over a span of 6:39 turned a three-point deficit into a 14-point advantage with eight minutes to play in the first half.
- The Bulldogs missed their first eight three-point attempts of the second half, allowing Niagara to get back within 10 early in the half.
- Niagara cut the Bryant lead to as little as nine on multiple occasions before Bryant closed out the win with a pair of key late baskets from redshirt-junior Ikenna Ndugba (Boston, Mass.) and clutch free-throw shooting.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Grant scored Bryant's first six points on a pair of threes as the teams were even at the first media timeout of the contest.
- A 14-2 run put the Bulldogs in front 22-13 on three free throws from junior Mikail Simmons (Murphy, Texas) with 11:34 to play in the half.
- An 11-0 stretch capped off by a Grant three – his fourth of the opening half – brought Bryant to a first-half total of 43 points and an 18-point lead at the break. The Bulldogs shot 48.3% in the opening 20 minutes.
- Niagara opened the second half on a 10-2 run to cut the Bryant lead to 45-35 at the first media timeout after the intermission.
- The Bulldogs were held to six points in the first 10:57 of the second half before a Grant three put Bryant in front 52-39 at a media timeout.
- Niagara got back within 10 before a dunk from redshirt-junior Hall Elisias (Valley Stream, N.Y.) and jumper off the glass from Ndugba put Bryant up 61-47 with 4:10 to go.
- The Purple Eagles scored the next five to pull within 61-52 at the final media timeout at 2:38.
- Ndugba put the Bulldogs back up 11 on a basket to beat the shot clock buzzer with a minute remaining.
- Bryant closed out the game with a 6-of-7 showing at the free-throw line and a layup from Lin in the closing seconds.
- Grant was 6-of-17 from the field and 5-of-12 from three with three rebounds and three assists.
- Lin added 10 points and a career-high eight rebounds.
- Pride scored six of his 10 points from the free-throw line.
- Sophomore Patrick Harding (Fairfield, Conn.) grabbed 11 rebounds, good for his fifth double-digit performance on the glass.
- Elisias added seven of Bryant's 52 rebounds. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Purple Eagles 52-37.
- Grant recorded his 71st career game of 10 or more points.
- Senior SaBastian Townes (Chesapeake, Va.) collected four rebounds to move him past Frankie Dobbs for 10th in Bryant's Division I era with 303.
- Bryant's four-game winning streak is its first stretch of four consecutive victories since Jan. 8-17, 2015.
- The 52 rebounds marked Bryant's third-straight game of 50 or more after never reaching the mark in the program's first 11 Division I seasons.
- Harding is averaging 12.3 rebounds per game through six contests.
- Bryant improves to 1-0 all-time against Niagara and 10-13 vs. MAAC teams.
- Monday's game was part of the Garden State Showcase, a multi-team event organized by Rutgers. The Bulldogs will face Drexel Wednesday to close out the event.
The Bulldogs head to Philadelphia for their first meeting with Drexel Wednesday night. The 7 p.m. game can be seen on FloSports.