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Bryant defeats Mount after thrilling fourth quarter

Photo by: Eric Miller
Photo by: Eric Miller

EMMITSBURG, Md. – The Bryant University women's basketball team became the first Northeast Conference team to defeat Mount St. Mary's on its home court on Saturday afternoon. In an electric fourth quarter, the Bulldogs came out on top, 72-67, in Knott Arena for their second-straight win during the conference schedule.

Four Bulldogs entered double-figures led by senior Masey Zegarowski (Hamilton, Mass.) with 15. Freshman Nicole Gallagher (Foxboro, Mass.) tallied with 12 followed by Brooke Bjelko (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) with 11 and Trinity Bravo (Bridgeport, Conn.) with 10.

GAME INFORMATION
Bryant 72, Mount St. Mary's 67
Records:
Bryant (5-12, 3-3), Mount St. Mary's (10-9, 5-2)
Location:
Knott Arena (Emmitsburg, Md.)

KEY MOMENT

  • The Bulldogs dominated in the second quarter by taking off on a 15-0 run to close out the half and gain a 15-point advantage.
  • Mount St. Mary's started chipping away in the second half and outscored the Bulldogs, 24-16, in the third quarter to get within seven heading into the fourth quarter.
  • With three minutes to go in the game, Mount St. Mary's sank a three to even the score. Gallagher would grab two on the next possession down to bring the advantage back to the Black and Gold, but the Mountaineers hit another three to grab its first lead since the second quarter, 64-63.
  • A Holloway putback put an end to the Mount's short-lived lead followed by the Bulldogs shooting seven-for-eight from the foul line in the final 30 seconds.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Gallagher and Zegarowski capitalized on winning the opening tip with a give-and-go for a Zegarowski three. Gallagher followed with a three of her own in the very next possession to give the Bulldogs an early 6-0 lead.
  • Mount St. Mary's responded with a 6-0 run to even the score at the 7:23 mark.
  • Bryant grabbed the next five points thanks to another three from Zegarowski and a dump pass from Gallagher to Bjelko. Mount St. Mary's would go on to net just one more basket that counted for three points before the Bulldogs closed out the quarter grabbing four more, 15-9.
  • The Mount opened the second frame with a pair of threes and a layup in transition to take the lead, 17-15.
  • Mount's lead was short-lived when Holloway ended Mount's 8-0 run at the seven-minute mark to kickstart a 6-0 run for the Bulldogs, 21-17.
  • A three and one from the foul line with five minutes left to play would be it for the Mountaineers in the first half before Bryant erupted for a 15-0 run led by Bjelko with the first six. Bryant headed into the locker room with a 15-point cushion, 36-21.
  • The Mountaineers cut Bryant's lead to single-digits at the start of the second half when they scored seven-straight, 36-28.  
  • Junior Kandis Taylor (Sunrise, Fla.) immediately ended Mount's run when she sank two from the stripe followed by a coast-to-coast layup off a missed Mount three-pointer, 40-28.  
  • Both teams nearly went basket-for-basket for the rest of the frame, but the Mountaineers cut the lead to seven with the final four points of the quarter, 52-45.
  • Zegarowski opened the final quarter by driving to the basket and hitting a runner in the paint, but the Mount responded by going on a 7-0 run to get within two, 54-52.
  • Bravo answered with a step-back three to break the Mountaineer press and end their run to give the Bulldogs a five-point lead, 57-52.
  • Just before the media break, the Mount's Bridget Birkhead sank a three to cut Bryant's lead to three. At the 3:01 mark, Birkhead did it again from the same spot on the wing to even the score at 61 apiece.
  • In the next possession down, Gallagher drove to the middle of the paint and hit her defender with an up and under for two to regain the advantage, 63-61.
  • For the first time since the second quarter, Mount St. Mary's took the lead when Michaela Harrison flared off a screen for a three on the wing, 64-63, with 1:24 left to play.
  • Holloway battled for an offensive rebound and got the putback to fall to bring the advantage back to the Black and Gold. Holloway then denied Mount of a three with a block in the corner on the other end sending Gallagher to the free-throw line after getting fouled for when she came up with the loose ball. Bravo piggybacked off Gallagher and hit a free throw of her own, 68-64.
  • Harrison hit one more three to cut the score to just one with 19 seconds to go, but Gallagher and senior Taty LaFrance Boyce (Norwich, Conn.) each hit a pair of clutch free throws to ice the game, 72-67.

STATS

  • Four Bulldogs notched double-figure scoring led by Zegarowski with 15. Gallagher trailed with 12 while Bjelko added 11 and Bravo contributed 10.
  • LaFrance Boyce was the team leader in rebounds with eight getting three on the offensive end.
  • Taylor led with a game-high six assists and was the team leader with two steals.
  • Bryant dominated Mount St. Mary's on the glass outrebounding the NEC foe by double-digits, 40-26.
  • The Bulldogs outshot the Mount shooting 47.1 percent from the field compared to the Mount's 39 percent.

GAME NOTES

  • Taylor's six assists mark a career-high as she also tied her career-best in scoring with nine.
  • The Bulldogs tallied its best shooting percentage of the season which was previously set earlier this season against the Mount. Bryant shot a season-best 47.1 percent off 24-of-51 shooting.
  • Today's win is the second consecutive win for the Black and Gold and is the first winning streak of the season.
  • Bryant is the first NEC team to take down the Mountaineers on their home court as they now hold a 6-5 advantage when playing in Knott Arena.  

UP NEXT: Wagner
Bryant looks to build off its winning streak when they welcome Wagner to the Chace Athletic Center on Monday, Jan. 27 at 7 p.m.