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Bryant set for Friday matchup at Iona on ESPN+

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

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - The Bryant University women's basketball team looks to bounce back after its setback at Providence on Sunday when they travel to Iona on Friday, December 4. The game is set for a 6 p.m. tip and will be featured on ESPN+. Friday's contest is the last game before the Bulldogs kick-off conference play with  St. Francis Brooklyn on December 8.

THE PARTICULARS
Opponent: Iona
Location:
 Hynes Athletic Center (New Rochelle, N.Y.)
Game Time:
 6:00 p.m.
Live Stats:
 Sidearm Stats
Watch Live:
 ESPN+
Game Notes:
 Game 3 - Providence
Social Media: 
Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #AllHeart | #AllHustle | #NECWBB

THE MATCHUP
The Bulldogs head to their second-straight road game of the season when they head to the Empire State. Bryant tips off at Iona at 6 p.m. on ESPN+ on Friday, December 4. 
 
It's been almost eight years since these two teams last met as the all-time series record is tied at one apiece. The Bulldogs dropped the first meeting between the Gaels, 66-53, in Smithfield in 2011, but bounced back in 2012 with a 77-71 victory in New Rochelle in overtime.
 
SCOUTING THE GAELS
The Gaels have only played one game so far in the 2020-21 season against Army on Nov. 29. Iona fell, 67-52, and was led by junior guard Jauna Camilion with 19 points. Camilion led by a large margin as the only Gael to post double-figure scoring with the next highest contributor coming in senior Olivia Vezaldenos with eight points off the bench. Iona struggled to put the ball in the basket shooting 22-for-64 from the field and they were also outrebounded, 42-35.  
 
Iona shows an entirely new team returning just six from last season. The team welcomes three transfers and five freshmen to the roster and is led by head coach Billi Chambers in her eighth season at the helm.
 
LAST TIME OUT: PROVIDENCE
Bryant dropped a 67-40 decision at Providence to open up their road schedule on Sunday. The Black and Gold only trailed the Friars by one heading into the second quarter, but Bryant found themselves in early foul trouble and got outscored 15-7 just before the half. The second-quarter push from PC gave the Friars all the cushion they needed for the remainder of the game. 
 
Bryant posted two double-digit scorers in the sophomore duo of Alana Perkins and Nicole Gallagher. Gallagher led with her first career double-double of 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Foxboro native posted all of her points entirely from the three-point line shooting four-of-seven from downtown. Perkins trailed with 11 points shooting four-for-11 from the field and three-for-nine from the three-point line. Despite the deficit, the Bulldogs outrebounded the Friars, 39-33. 
 
NIKKI G
Gallagher notched her first career double-double of 12 points and career-best 12 rebounds at Providence. Her 12 points came entirely from three-point range shooting 4-of-7 from three. After the first three games, Gallagher combines for 32 points which is good for 10.7 a game. She also leads the Bulldogs in playing time after not leaving the floor against UNH for a full 40 minutes. She averages 36 minutes a game which ranks her first in NEC and among the top 100 in the country at the 95 spot. 
 
ALANA PERKINS FOR THREE
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 is the only Bulldog to have posted double-figures in all three opening games as she ranks second on the team in scoring by just one point with 39, behind Bjelko with 40. The 39 points is good for a 13.0 ppg average. Most recently, Perkins was one of two Bulldogs to post double-figures at PC with 11 points off four-of-11 shooting from the field. 
 
DOMINATING THE GLASS
Bryant is known for its dominating rebounders and nothing has changed in the 2020-21 season. Despite being outrebounded against UMass to open the season, the Bulldogs outrebounded both PC and UNH. Against the Wildcats, Bryant outrebounded UNH by double-digits, 44-33, followed by a 39-33 performance over the Friars. Brooke Bjelko leads the Black and Gold with 34 on the year which ranks her third nationally out of 136 players. Nicole Gallagher ranks 38th and second in the NEC behind her teammate with 23 after posting a career-high of 12 at PC. 
 
WEEKLY AWARDS
Bryant swept the first of the NEC weekly awards when senior Brooke Bjelko earned Player of the Week and redshirt freshman Shannon O'Connor earned Rookie of the Week honors. The 4-5 duo has put up consistent numbers and even set new career-bests to kick off the season. They both lead the conference in multiple categories including, double-doubles, FG attempts, FG made, points, rebounds, rebounds/game, steals, and steals/game.