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Bulldogs make short trip to PC on Sunday

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The Bryant University women's basketball team hits the road for the first time this season as they make the short trip to Alumni Hall to meet with Providence on Sunday, November 29 at 2 p.m. 

 Alumni Hall (Providence, R.I.)
Game Time:
2:00 p.m.
Live Stats:
Sidearm Stats
Watch Live:
 Friars All-Access
Game Notes:
Game 3 - Providence
Social Media: 
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Bryant hits the road for the first time this season as they make the short trip to in-state foe Providence on Sunday, November 29th at 2 p.m. Providence is the alma mater to both head coach Mary Burke ('87) and associate head coach Britt King (86) who are both in PC's Athletic Hall of Fame for their standout careers as a Friar. 
The last time these two teams met was during the first round of the Ocean State Tip-Off Tournament in Smithfield. PC came out on top, 76-32, and went on to beat URI in the Championship game. PC's Mary Baskerville led the Friars with 14 points against the Bulldogs and recently put up 15 points and 9 rebounds in their loss to Quinnipiac. No Bulldog was able to score in double-figures against the Friars as they were led by recent alum Masey Zegarowski with nine. Brooke Bjelko posted four points while Nicole Gallagher added three as the only returning Bulldogs to score against PC. 
Providence opened its season on November 25 with a 71-65 loss at Quinnipiac. 6-4 junior Alyssa Geary led the Friars with 17 points followed by Mary Baskerville with 15 points and nine rebounds. Senior Kyra Spiwak added 14 points as the only other Friar to notch double-figure scoring. The Friars meet with Rhode Island on Saturday before facing the Bulldogs. Last season, PC posted a 13-19 overall record and concluded the season at DePaul with a 97-59 loss in the Big East Quarterfinal. PC graduated just one senior in 2019-20 but show six players who did not return for the 2020-21 season. The Friars added two freshmen in Grace Efosa-Aguebor and Julia Fabozzi who both saw minutes in their season-opener. 
Bryant picked up its first win of the season over New Hampshire, 75-72, thanks to Bjelko who posted her second-straight double-double of the season with 21 points and 16 rebounds. Bjelko was one of four Bulldogs to notch double-figure scoring followed by Alana Perkins with 16, Nicole Gallagher with 13, and Shannon O'Connor with 10. The Bulldogs also stuffed the assist column as Kandis Taylor matched her career-best of six assists and O'Connor set a career-high for herself with five. As a team, Bryant got back to dominating the boards by outrebounding the Wildcats, 44-33, including 16 offensive rebounds. 
Brooke  Bjelko opened her senior season with back-to-back double-double performances, first against UMass with 11 points and 13 rebounds, and then against UNH with 21 points and a career-best 16 rebounds. The 6-3 center currently ranks first nationally in double-doubles and total rebounds with 29. Bjelko's dominance in the paint also helps her lead the team with two blocks so far on the season. 
Redshirt freshman Shannon O'Connor is back and has been a key for the Bulldogs so far this season. In the first two games of 2020-21, O'Connor combines for 17 points (seven vs. UMass & 10 vs. UNH) and set a new career-high of five assists (vs. UNH) and four steals (vs. UMass). Despite being listed as a guard, the Wrentham native has been showcased as a forward in the four spot due to her 5-11 height which diversifies her into more positions. With O'Connor on the floor, Bryant is able to have four ball handlers on the court. 
Sophomore Alana Perkins led Bryant in its season opener against UMass with 12 points off the bench. Perkins netted two threes and aided in Bryant's biggest run of the game (16-2) in the fourth quarter. The sophomore shot two-of-five from three-point range and also added one assist and two rebounds. She followed the UMass game with a season-best 16 points against UNH off six-of-16 shooting from the field. The 16 FG attempts mark a career-high as well as the seven rebounds that she pulled down against the Wildcats. 
The Bulldogs opened the season by tallying 15 points against both UMass and UNH. Bryant is now 30-for-41 from the foul line which is good for 73.2%. Of 180 teams ranked so far in the 2020-21 season, the Black and Gold ranks seventh nationally in free throw attempts and eighth nationally in made free throws. O'Connor leads the team after the first two games shooting nine-for-10 from the stripe.