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Taylor hits game-winner in OT thriller

Photo by: Max Slomiak
Photo by: Max Slomiak

SMITHFIELD, R.I. - Senior Kandis Taylor drained a game-winner in overtime on Tuesday night to give the Bryant University women's basketball team its first Northeast Conference victory of the season over St. Francis Brooklyn. 

The Bulldogs topped the Terriers, 89-88, in a dramatic ending to a conference-opener. Despite the game-winner, it was senior center Brooke Bjelko who led the Black and Gold with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Bjelko was one of four Bulldogs who tallied double-figures as she was accompanied by Alana Perkins (17), Fatou Jallow (11), and Nicole Gallagher (10). 

GAME INFORMATION
Bryant 89, St. Francis Brooklyn 88
Records: Bryant (3-2, 1-0), St. Francis Brooklyn (0-1, 0-1)
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)

Key Moment

  • The Bulldogs thought they had the game all wrapped up with a seven-point lead with one minute to go in regulation, but the St. Francis Brooklyn press forced the Bulldogs into four-straight turnovers to help the Terriers tie the game at 77 apiece. 
  • The Terriers held a one-point lead with three seconds to go in overtime when Taylor hit a pull-up jumper along the baseline to give Bryant the game. 

How It Happened

  • Both teams were neck and neck to start the game until Gallagher attacked a loose ball in transition and found a wide-open Perkins on the wing for three to put the Bulldogs up five, 15-10.
  • The Terriers responded with an 8-0 run sparked by Ally Lassen to give them a three-point lead, but Perkins wouldn't let the lead last long when she hit her defender with a shot fake followed by a step-back-three to tie the game just before the buzzer to end the first frame at 18 apiece.
  • With the score at 21-all in the second quarter, St. Francis Brooklyn's Carmen Segura sparked a 10-1 Terrier run with a three. It was followed by back-to-back three's from Alyssa Fisher to give the Terriers a seven-point lead.
  • The Bulldogs chipped in a few more baskets to end the run, but a pair of free throws from the Terriers with one minute to go in the half, gave them their biggest lead of the game, 28-30.
  • About halfway through the third quarter, Jallow threw a cross-court pass to Gallagher for a three that kicked off an 11-1 run for the Bulldogs to take back the advantage, 53-49.
  • The Bulldogs started to find their groove on offense and poured in 32 third-quarter points led by Bjelko with 12 and Gallagher with eight in the third frame alone.
  • Bryant grew to its largest lead of the night when Juliette Golden pulled down an offensive rebound and got the putback to fall with 1:50 to go in the game.
  • The St. Francis press deemed too much for the Bulldogs as the Terriers scored seven-straight off of turnovers to send the game into overtime during the last minute of regulation.
  • In the first ten seconds of overtime, Bjelko took a seat with five fouls.
  • Both teams fought back and forth and the Terriers held a one-point lead with 23 seconds to go after a Nevena Dimitrijevic foul line jumper.
  • After a jump ball situation, the Bulldogs took the ball out of bounds under their basket with three seconds on the clock. Taylor ran off a screen on the baseline and hit her defender with a quick pump fake. She took one dribble and hit a pull-up jumper in the short corner to give Bryant its first conference win of the season.

Stats

  • Four Bulldogs finished the game in double-figures led by Bjelko with 19 off eight-of-12 from the field. She also posted a double-double with 12 rebounds and tallied seven blocks and two assists.
  • Perkins trailed Bjelko with 17 points shooting six-for-12 from the field and five-for-eight from three.
  • Jallow notched 11 points (5-7), six assists, three steals, and three rebounds.
  • Gallagher added 10 points (4-12), eight rebounds, three assists, and two steals.
  • Taylor finished the game with six points, two steals, and an assist.
  • Freshmen Stephanie Mayerhofer and Golden netted their first points in the Black and Gold. Mayerhofer sank one three while Golden added nine off the bench in 20 minutes of play.
  • Bryant shot 47.3% from the field shooting 35-of-74.

Game Notes

  • Bjelko's double-double is her fourth across the first five games. She also tied Bryant's Division I single-game block record with seven. She matches Siamone Bennett who denied seven at LIU Brooklyn in 2009.
  • Mariona Planes Fortuny posted a career-high of six points. 
  • Jallow's six assists mark a career-best. 
  • The last time the Bulldogs won in overtime was in 2017 when the Bulldogs topped Robert Morris, 62-59.
  • Bryant continues to hold the all-time series record over the Terriers, 15-8, and 9-4 in Smithfield.

Up Next
It's a quick turnaround for the Bulldogs when they host St. Francis Brooklyn for the second of the two-game series in less than 24 hours on Wednesday, December 9 at 4 p.m.