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Bryant dominates CCSU in Saturday showdown

Photo by: DSPics.com
Photo by: DSPics.com

SMITHFIELD, R.I. - The Bryant University women's basketball team picked up its fourth conference win of the season at home on Saturday against Central Connecticut. In a dominant performance, the Bulldogs were able to hold off Central's only major run of the game and secure the 59-47 victory.

Senior Sydney Holloway (Morgantown, W.Va.) grabbed her 1,000th rebound in today's NEC matchup as she now becomes the third Bulldog in history to secure 1,000 points and 1,000 rebounds in a career. Holloway was one of two bulldogs who notched double-digit scoring led by junior Brooke Bjelko (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) with 15 while Holloway tallied 11. The victory today moves the bulldogs to 12-10 historically against Central Connecticut in D1 competitions.

GAME INFORMATION
Bryant 59, Central Connecticut 47
Records: Bryant (6-15, 4-6), Central Connecticut (2-21, 1-11)
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)

KEY MOMENT

  • Bryant gained momentum early in the matchup by grabbing an 8-1 lead midway through the first quarter.
  • The Bulldogs continued to make things difficult in the second quarter, working their way up to an 11-point lead with less than four minutes to go in the half.
  • The Blue Devils ended the second half on a 9-0 run off three-straight three-pointers. The run continued into the start of the third quarter when Central opened the half with a three and a layup for 14-straight points. The 14-0 run gave the Blue Devils its first and only lead of the game, 31-28.
  • Bryant immediately took the lead back and held Central Connecticut to just one basket in over five minutes in the third, giving them the momentum that they would need to hold onto the victory down the stretch.
  • Holloway picked up two major and-one baskets late in the third quarter to extend the lead and suppress Central's efforts at a comeback.
  • Bryant outscored the Blue Devils 12-8 in the final quarter to hold onto the lead and secure their sixth victory of the season.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The Bulldogs hit the ground running in the first quarter as they managed to earn an 8-1 run thanks to scoring from four different players. Bryant held Central to just one point up until an and-one at the 4:28 mark, 8-4.
  • Back and forth scoring from the teams resulted in a six-point Bryant lead heading into the second quarter, 18-12.
  • Bryant got hot in the second frame, and Bjelko's layup with 3:44 left in the first half gave the Bulldogs their first double-digit lead, 28-17
  • Central Connecticut was able to fight back with three makes from beyond the arc, cutting the deficit to just two points, 28-26, as the teams headed into the locker rooms at the halftime break.
  • The Blue Devils showed up defensively on the first possession of the second half, causing a turnover which led to a three-pointer on the other end. The 28-29 lead was the first of the game for Central.
  • Central's lead didn't last long as Bryant managed to go on a 13-2 run, led by 6 points from Bjelko, 41-33.
  • Holloway asserted her dominance in the paint and converted two huge and-one layups which helped Bryant maintain the game's momentum heading into the final quarter, 47-39.
  • Nicole Gallagher (Foxboro, Mass.) kicked it out to Kandis Taylor (Sunrise, Fla.) who was able to hit the mid-range jumper and give the Bulldogs their second double-digit lead of the game, 49-39.
  • Taylor was able to put two more on the board with a layup just minutes later, giving the Bulldogs their largest lead of the game of 16 points, 55-39.
  • Central hit one last three-pointer to bring us to our final score of 59-47 with two seconds left in the Bulldogs win.

STATS

  • The Bulldogs dominated in the rebound category by grabbing 45 rebounds compared to Central Connecticut's 30.
  • Holloway and Bjelko each grabbed nine rebounds and blocked a shot. Trinity Bravo (Bridgeport, Conn.) led the blocks category for Bryant with two in the game.
  • Central Connecticut's defense caused 29 total turnovers and earned them 20 steals.
  • Bryant outshot the Terriers in the FG% category, leading 41.5% to 30.6%.
  • The Bulldogs earned 15 total free throw attempts as opposed to just three from their opponent.

GAME NOTES

  • Gallagher's five assists tied her career-high which she last achieved against Saint Francis U on Jan. 2.
  • Bryant's 45 rebound total ties their second-best rebounding performances of the season, achieved twice prior to this matchup. Their Bulldogs season-high was tallied in the first game of the season at Brown with 46.
  • Holloway grabbed the 1000th rebound of her Bulldog career during the matchup. She is the third Bulldog in Bryant's D1 history to reach 1000 points and 1000 rebounds in their career.

UP NEXT: St. Francis Brooklyn
The Bulldogs will host a matchup against St. Francis Brooklyn in the Chace Athletic Center on Monday, February 10 at 7 p.m.