SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Basketball is back in Smithfield but the Bryant University women's basketball team was unable to pick up the season-opening win as they fell to UMass, 82-54. The young Bulldog squad was led by senior captain Brooke Bjelko with an 11 point, 13 rebound performance, and sophomore guard Alana Perkins who led in scoring with 12 points off five-of-eight shooting from the field. In her career debut junior transfer Fatou Jallow added a double-digit scoring performance with 10.
Bryant 54, UMass 82
Records: Bryant 0-1, UMass 1-0
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)
- UMass started the game hot with a 9-0 run to take the initial lead that they would not surrender. The Minutewomen outscored the Bulldogs 23-11 in the first quarter, and that combined with Bryant's 17 first-half turnovers, gave UMass the cushion they needed to close out the game.
How it happened
- UMass heated up early when a quick layup kickstarted a 9-0 run to start the game.
- The Bulldogs stayed aggressive through the remainder of the first quarter by forcing the Minutewomen to give up six fouls. Bryant capitalized by sinking four-of-six from the charity stripe in hopes of getting the offense going.
- Sophomore Nicole Gallagher found Perkins for a two-point jumper to start the second quarter, but UMass responded with an 11-0 run before a pair of Bjelko free throws halted the run at the four-minute mark.
- Perkins went on to pull up for a transition jumper just before the end of the half as she netted the lone field goals for the Black and Gold in the second frame.
- Almost half of Bryant's first-half points came from the free-throw line in the first half as the Bulldogs struggled to take care of the ball on the offensive end with 17 first-half turnovers.
- Bjelko went nearly basket-for-basket with the Minutewomen to start the second half by scoring the first seven points for the Black and Gold.
- Jallow tallied two-straight layups to break UMass's largest lead of the game of 39 points just before the end of the quarter. UMass went on to get one last layup before the buzzer to end the third, 70-33.
- The Bulldogs started to find a rhythm in the fourth quarter when a three from Perkins propelled a 16-2 run to start the fourth and put Bryant within 25 points.
- After the run, Bryant scored just one more field goal when Jallow took it to the hole with twelve seconds to go. Jallow's layup was the final basket of the game as UMass held the ball until the final buzzer, 82-54.
- Bryant showed a lot of fight to close out the game by outscoring the Minutewomen 21-12 in the fourth quarter.
- Bjelko posted a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds.
- Perkins shot a team-best five-of-eight from the field and netted 12 points.
- In Jallow's debut in the Black and Gold, she posted ten points, two assists, and two steals.
- Both Shannon O'Connor and Gallagher contributed seven points. Gallagher led the team with three assists while O'Connor led with four steals.
- As a team, Bryant shot 33.3% from the field shooting 18-for-54.
- The Bulldogs led in turnovers with 24 compared to UMass's 18.
- UMass finished the game with a 47.8 shooting percentage off 33-of-69 from the field and 8-for-15 from three.
- The Minutewomen outrebounded the Bulldogs, 42-35.
- Bryant falls to 0-3 all-time against UMass.
- The last time Bryant opened the season with a loss was in 2017 when they fell to Boston College, 65-42.
The Bulldogs remain in Smithfield when they welcome New Hampshire on Friday, November 27 at 2 p.m.