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Bryant sets new team block record in win over Albany

Photo by: Eric Miller
Photo by: Eric Miller

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Junior Brooke Bjelko (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) exploded for a career-high 23 points to help the Bryant University women's basketball team snap an eight-game losing streak over Albany, 68-55, on Friday afternoon.

The Bulldogs showed solid play on both the offensive and defensive sides of the court as sophomore Trinity Bravo (Bridgeport, Conn.) led with four blocks to help the Black and Gold set a new single-game team block record with nine. The sophomore also tallied 12 points behind senior Masey Zegarowski (Hamilton, Mass.) who contributed 14.

GAME INFORMATION
Bryant 68, Albany 55
Records:
Bryant (2-8), Albany (4-8)
Location:
Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)

KEY MOMENT

  • Bryant came out of the locker room hot to start the second half, holding Albany to just six points in the third quarter thanks to a 13-3 Bulldog run to tie the game heading into the fourth quarter.
  • Both teams battled it out in the fourth quarter, but the Bulldogs took off on an 11-0 run to end the game and secure their lead. 

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Taty LaFrance Boyce (Norwich, Conn.) drove across the lane to draw the defense as she dumped the ball off to Bravo in the short corner for the first basket of the game.
  • Both teams went back and forth until the midway point of the first quarter when a three from Zegarowski and freshman Nicole Gallagher (Foxboro, Mass.) helped the Bulldogs pull away, 10-5.
  • The Great Danes responded with a 6-1 run to end the quarter and even the score at 11 apiece.
  • Albany netted the first five points to start the second quarter while Bryant remained scoreless until the 5:23 mark when Bravo notched one from the stripe.
  • The Bulldogs netted just two field goals in the second quarter, scoring six of their 11-second-quarter points from the free-throw line.  
  • Albany's Kyara Frames opened the second half with a three-pointer in the first possession to grow the Great Danes to its largest lead of the day, 32-22.
  • Bryant responded when junior Kandis Taylor (Sunrise, Fla.) kickstarted an 8-0 run with a runner just outside the paint.
  • LaFrance Boyce's layup at the 1:22 mark in the third quarter tied the game at 35 and extended the Black and Gold run to 13-3 to end the frame. Bryant held the Great Danes to just six points before the start of the fourth quarter.
  • Both teams remained relentless as they nearly went basket-for-basket during the first eight minutes of the quarter.
  • Zegarowski bookended an 11-0 run with 1:52 left to play when the senior guard pulled up for three at the top of the key. Albany remained scoreless for the remainder of the game as the Bulldogs grew to a 13-point advantage to finish the game.

STATS

  • Three Bulldogs notched double-figure scoring led by Bjelko with 23 off six-of-10 shooting from the field and 11-of-12 from the stripe. Zegarowski tallied 14 in just 18 minutes of play followed by Bravo with 12.
  • Bravo led with a game-high eight assists and four blocks.
  • Gallagher was the game leader on the glass with 10 rebounds.
  • As a team, the Bulldogs finished the game with nine blocks.
  • Bryant outrebounded Albany, 43-41.
  • The Black and Gold shot 39.2 percent from the field off 20-of-51 shooting. Albany posted 29.7 percent off 19-of-64 shooting. 

GAME NOTES

  • The Bulldogs broke the single-game record of nine team blocks. Bryant posted seven on two different occasions in 2017 against LIU Brooklyn and Robert Morris.
  • Bravo posted a number of career-bests with eight assists and four blocks in the longest game of her career totaling for 39 minutes.
  • Bjelko's explosive 23 points marked a career-high.
  • Gallagher's 10 rebounds are a career-best.
  • Today's win places the Bulldogs at 1-0 all-time against the Great Danes.  

UP NEXT: ARMY WEST POINT
Bryant takes a trip to Army West Point after the holidays on Dec. 29 for a 1 p.m. meeting.