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Sacred Heart visits Smithfield in weekend play

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

SMITHFIELD, R.I. - The Bryant University women's basketball team looks to build on their win at Central Connecticut when they host Sacred Heart at home for a pair of Northeast Conference matchups. Game one begins Saturday, Feb. 13 followed by a meeting on Sunday, Feb. 14. Both games are set for a 4 p.m. tip and in addition to NEC Front Row, Saturday's game can be viewed on COX YurView New England (Channel 4 in Rhode Island). 

THE PARTICULARS
Opponent: Sacred Heart
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)
Game Time: 4 p.m.
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Watch Live: COX YurView | NEC Front Row - Game one, Game two
Game Notes: Game 11/12 - Sacred Heart 
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #AllHeart | #AllHustle | #NECWBB

THE MATCHUP
The Bulldogs host Sacred Heart on Feb. 13 and 14 at 4 p.m. where they look to snap Sacred Heart's three-game winning streak. 
 
The Pioneers swept Bryant last season (52-48 & 60-49). Nicole Gallagher and Brooke Bjelko led the Bulldogs in the first game against Sacred Heart last year as Gallagher netted 15 points and Bjelko posted a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds. But it was SHU's Nikki Johnson who hurt the Bulldogs in both games as she went off for 21 points in game one and 13 points in game two. Johnson is back as a graduate student and is second on the team in scoring behind Second Team All-NEC selection Adrianne Hagood. 
 
SCOUTING THE PIONEERS
Sacred Heart is 5-5 overall with a 5-3 mark in conference play as they split with LIU, Wagner, and Mount St. Mary's before sweeping Central Connecticut most recently. Senior and three-time All-NEC selection Adrianna Hagood leads the team in scoring with an average of 11.9 points a night. The senior is currently on a six-game streak of posting double-digit scoring including a season-best 23 points against Wagner. Down low, freshman Kelsey Wood has proven herself as a force on the block as she recently posted back-to-back double-doubles against Central Connecticut. Wood averages 8.5 points and 7.9 rebounds per game coming off the bench. 
 
LAST TIME OUT: CENTRAL CONNECTICUT 
Bryant split with the Blue Devils during the two-game series beginning with a 61-53 loss followed by a 56-53 decision in Bryant's favor. 
 
In game one, the Bulldogs struggled from the foul line, shooting two-of-15 in the eight-point setback. They also had trouble taking care of the ball as they turned the ball over 20 times which allowed the Blue Devils to net 16 points off Bryant's mistakes. 
 
In game two, Bryant bounced back and dominated on the boards by pulling down 21 offensive rebounds. 17 of Bryant's 56 points came from second chance opportunities which were led by senior Brooke Bjelko with seven offensive boards. Bjelko and Gallagher led the charge with a combined 29 points highlighted by Bjelko's double-double of 14 points and ten rebounds. 
 
BLACK AND GOLDEN
Freshman Juliette Golden made her first set of career starts at Central Connecticut. The rookie posted nearly identical stat lines in both games of the series when she tied her career-high of nine points in both outings. She also pulled down seven rebounds in both games marking a career-best as well as dishing out two assists. Golden also made her first career block and grabbed her first steal at CCSU in game two. 
 
DOMINATING THE GLASS
Bryant is known for its dominating rebounders and nothing has changed in the 2020-21 season. Despite being outrebounded against UMass and Saint Francis U, the Bulldogs outrebounded all other opponents in PC, UNH, Iona, and St. Francis Brooklyn. Bryant outrebounded both UNH and Iona by double-digits (44-33 against UNH and 45-33 at Iona), followed by a 39-33 performance over the Friars. The Bulldogs then outrebounded the Terriers in back-to-back games (40-48 and 39-27). Bryant dominated Central Connecticut on the boards, 46-36 & 48-35. In game two against the Blue Devils, Bryant pulled down 21 offensive boards led by Bjelko with seven.