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Bryant sweeps Terriers for 2-0 start to NEC play

Photo by: Max Slomiak
Photo by: Max Slomiak

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – After an overtime thriller to kick off Northeast Conference play, the Bryant University women's basketball team followed up with a convincing 78-61 victory to sweep St. Francis Brooklyn. 

Sophomore guard and birthday girl Nicole Gallagher led with a season-high 20 points and added 11 rebounds for her second career double-double. Sophomore Alana Perkins and senior Brooke Bjelko trailed closely behind with 19. The trio aided in the Bryant win which gave the Bulldogs their best start to conference play since the 2015-16 season.

GAME INFORMATION
Bryant 78, St. Francis Brooklyn 61
Records: Bryant (4-2, 2-0), St. Francis Brooklyn (0-2, 0-2)
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)

Key Moment

  • It was the 25-9 first quarter that gave the Bulldogs enough cushion to take the second game of the series. Bryant did not relinquish their lead for the entirety of the game.

How It Happened

  • The Bulldogs set themselves apart early on in the first quarter when Kandis Taylor took an open lane all the way to the basket which kick-started a 17-2 run.
  • Bryant dominated the first quarter, outscoring St. Francis Brooklyn, 25-9, for the early cushion.
  •  The Terriers were unable to break Bryant's lead to single-digits for the entire second half as the Bulldogs finished the half with a 13-point lead, 41-28.
  • St. Francis Brooklyn book-ended a jump shot from Taylor to pull within nine during the first two minutes of the second half.
  • Taylor did not allow for the Terriers to make a comeback when she stripped Zharia Hutchinson and found Gallagher for a three in transition. Gallagher's three led the Bulldogs to a quick 8-2 spurt which brought Bryant back to a double-digit advantage at 51-36. Bryant went on to close out the quarter, 60-42.
  • Bryant broke the Terrier press with ease as Fatou Jallow found Shannon O'Connor bolt ahead of the defense in the frontcourt for a wide-open layup. The layup was the first of a 7-0 run that helped Bryant to its biggest lead of the night, 69-46. The Bulldogs pulled to a 23-point lead on four occasions in the fourth quarter.

Stats

  • Gallagher finished the game with 20 points off seven-of-10 shooting from the field. She also led with a game-high 11 rebounds, three assists, and a pair of steals while playing the full 40 minutes.
  • Both Bjelko and Perkins chipped in 19 apiece. Bjelko shot seven-for-13, including five-for-seven from the charity stripe, and was one rebound away from a double-double with nine. Perkins was five-for-10 from three-point range and pulled down one rebound and added one steal.
  • Jallow led with a game-high six assists and contributed seven points.
  • The Bulldogs shot 46% (29-63) from the field while the Terriers were not far behind with 45.3% (24-53). The differentiator was from behind the arc as Bryant sank 12-for-23 for three compared to nine-for-20 for the Terriers.
  • Bryant outrebounded St. Francis by double-digits, 39-27.

Game Notes

  • Bryant posted season-bests with 19 team assists and just 13 turnovers as a team. The Bulldogs also posted their best shooting performance so far this season with 46% from the field and 52.2% from three.
  • Gallagher was one point away from matching her career-best in a season-high of 20 points. Her 11 rebounds helped her grab her second career double-double in her third full 40 minute game of her career.
  • The 19 points from Perkins marks a season-best.
  • For the second-straight game, Jallow matched her season-high of six assists.
  • This is the first time since 2015 that the Bulldogs started conference play with a perfect 2-0 record.

Up Next
Bryant takes a break from NEC play when they welcome Division III Rhode Island College to the Chace Athletic Center on Wednesday, December 16 for a 2 p.m. tip.