SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Freshman Benson Lin (New Taipei City, Taiwan) scored 13 points and redshirt-junior Hall Elisias (Valley Stream, N.Y.) added 12 as the Bryant University men's basketball team matched the fourth-highest win total of its Division I era with a 64-60 victory over Central Connecticut Saturday afternoon.
Sophomore Patrick Harding (Fairfield, Conn.) and senior Juan Cardenas (Apartado, Colombia) teamed up for 23 of Bryant's 50 rebounds – breaking the program's record for an NEC game set two days ago – as the Bulldogs matched their best 24-game start since 2014-15.
Senior Adam Grant (Franklin, Va.) knocked down a pair of three-pointers to give him 282 for his collegiate career, breaking Dyami Starks' Division I program record.
Bryant 64, Central Connecticut 60
Records: Bryant (12-12, 4-7 NEC), Central Connecticut (2-23, 1-11 NEC)
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)
- Bryant used a 12-4 run to overcome a slow start and pulled ahead 25-18 with 5:35 to go in the first half.
- A three pointer from Grant capped off a 15-4 run for the Bulldogs to open a 16-point lead and pull ahead 46-30 with 13:10 left in the second half.
- Central Connecticut used a 9-2 run with under five minutes to go to dwindle Bryant's lead to 58-54.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- The Blue Devils got out to a 6-0 lead before the Bulldogs answered with the next 10, including a pair of three-pointers from Lin to open up a 10-6 lead with 12:14 in the opening half.
- Back-to-back layups from Elisias expanded the Bulldog lead 31-22 going into halftime.
- Central Connecticut would quickly get back within five before a Green and-one layup and two straight baskets from Harding gave Bryant a 36-28 lead at the first media timeout in the second half.
- Cardenas hit a layup to give the Bulldogs a 10-point lead at 38-28.
- Central Connecticut used a 9-0 run to cut into the Bulldogs' advantage to pull within seven.
- Lin knocked down four free throws to give the Bulldogs a nine-point lead at 55-46 with 5:32 left to play.
- Central Connecticut pulled within four with 3:44 left to go before Ikenna Ndugba (Boston, Mass.) hit a jumper to give the Bulldogs a 60-56 lead.
- Bryant's lead was cut to two with ten seconds to go but Elisias iced the game with a pair of free throws to give the Bulldogs the 64-60 victory.
- Cardenas tallied nine points on 3-of-6 shooting to go along with 10 rebounds, three assists, two blocks and a steal.
- Lin made three threes and finished with 13 points.
- In the first half, Bryant as a team allowed zero Central Connecticut 3-pointers while outrebounding the Blue Devils 27-17.
- Harding grabbed 13 of Bryant's 50 rebounds, moving to fifth in Bryant's Division I history for rebounds in a season (223.)
- Freshman Michael Green III (Bronx, N.Y.) was 3-for-3 from the free throw line and added five rebounds and three assists.
- Elisias added 12 points, five rebounds and two blocks in just 16 minutes.
- Bryant was limited to 33.8% from the field – the Bulldogs' lowest shooting percentage in a win since the Nov. 25, 2012 victory over Boston College (32.8%).
- The Bulldogs outrebounded the Blue Devils, 50-35, for the fourth game of 50-plus rebounds this season.
- Bryant improves to 18-17 all-time against Central Connecticut and 12-10 since the Bulldogs' move to Division I.
- Elisias (61) and Cardenas (60) both pulled closer to Papa Lo (63) for second in Bryant's Division I era in career blocks.
- Harding passed Vlad Kondratyev and matched Grant for sixth on Bryant's Division I career rebounding list (381).
- Bryant's 12th win of the season matches the 2016-17 team for the fourth-highest total in the program's Division I era.
- The Bulldogs improved to 21-4 in head coach Jared Grasso's two seasons when holding their opponent under 70 points.
- Saturday's attendance of 1,662 was a season high.
- Bryant raised a banner for the 2004-05 team that appeared in the NCAA Division II National Championship Game in a halftime ceremony. The Bulldogs welcomed back former head coach Max Good and a host of players from that team and others on Alumni Day.
Bryant begins a two-game trip to the Nutmeg State when the Bulldogs face Sacred Heart Thursday at 5 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.
Tickets for the final two regular season home games – Feb. 18 vs. Merrimack and Feb. 23 vs. Sacred Heart – are available by clicking HERE.