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Bulldogs trek to Mount St. Mary's for weekend series

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

SMITHFIELD, R.I. - The Bryant University women's basketball team treks to Mount St. Mary's this weekend for its second NEC road series of the season. Games are set for Saturday, Feb. 20, and Sunday, Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. on NEC Front Row.

GAME INFORMATION
Opponent: Mount St. Mary's
Location: Knott Arena (Emmitsburg, Md.)
Game Time: 2 p.m.
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Watch Live: NEC Front Row - Game one | Game two
Game Notes: Game 14/15 - Mount St. Mary's
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #AllHeart | #AllHustle | #NECWBB

THE MATCHUP
The Bulldogs split with the Mount last season when they first fell, 76-70, in Smithfield, followed by a 72-67 triumph in Emmitsburg. Bryant posted one of its best offensive performances to take down Mount St. Mary's shooting 47.1% (24-51). Both Bjelko and Gallagher were 50% from the field in that game as Gallagher led the returner with 12 points (3-6) followed by Bjelko with 11 (5-10). 
 
Last year's win was the first time an NEC team took down the Mountaineers on their home court and the Bulldogs now hold the all-time series record, 6-5, in Knott Arena. 
 
SCOUTING THE MOUNTAINEERS
 
The Mountaineers are coming off a three-game winning streak after a split with Fairleigh Dickinson followed by a sweep of LIU. Mount St. Mary's shows an 8-2 record in conference play with losses against FDU and Sacred Heart, but have yet to meet with NEC heavy hitters, Saint Francis and Wagner. However, the Mountaineers prove to be one of the best teams in the conference as they lead the way in assist-turnover ratio (0.87), assists per game (13.4), fewest turnovers (200), FG percentage (43.7%), scoring margin (+10.9), scoring offense (73.4), three-point field goals per game (7.8), three-point FG percentage (34.2%), and turnover margin (2.46). 
 
Redshirt senior Kendall Bresee leads the Mountaineers in scoring and is ranked second in the NEC behind Bjelko with 15.5 points per game. Bresee tallied double-figure scoring in the last five games for the Mount including a season-best 26 points against CCSU. Outside of her scoring capabilities, the 5-10 guard does it all for the Mountaineers as she leads the NEC in double-doubles (7), free throw attempts (79), steals (32), and steals per game (2.46). 
 
LAST TIME OUT: MERRIMACK
In a total team effort, the Bulldogs snapped a two-game losing stream when they took down Merrimack, 83-80, in overtime. Brooke Bjelko and Fatou Jallow led Bryant with 19 points each and were two-of-four Bulldogs to tally double-figures. Stephanie Mayerhofer posted a career-high 18 points shooting 70% from the field (7-10), while Shannon O'Connor netted 12 points in just 22 minutes of play. Senior Kandis Taylor also showed an impressive stat line of 11 assists, four steals, six rebounds, and five points. The outing was Bryant's best shooing performance as the team shot a season-best 47.2% from the field (34-72) and dished out a season-high 22 team assists. 
 
JERSEY GIRL
Freshman Stephanie Mayerhofer has been making the most of her increase in minutes for the Bulldogs. The rookie made her first set of career started in the Sacred Heart series and remained in the starting lineup against Merrimack. Mayerhofer combined for 11 points against Sacred Heart before erupting for a career-high of 18 points. The 18 point mark came off an impressive 70% shooting from the field (7-10) and four-for-six from three. She also added three rebounds, one assist, and one steal in the OT win. 
 
I WANT KANDY
Kandis Taylor has had a breakout season this year highlighted by an OT game-winner against St. Francis Brooklyn which earned her a spot on ESPN's SportsCenter Top-10 plays at number 9. Most recently, Taylor dished out a career-best 11 assists and filled the rest of the stat sheet with six rebounds, five points, and four steals. She leads the Bulldogs averaging 3.7 assists a night, ranking her fifth in the NEC. She also ranks fourth in the conference with 2.00 steals per game average. 
 
SENIOR SZN
Brooke Bjelko posts six double-double efforts so far this season. She has been key in Bryant's success this season with three 20+ point performances including a career-high 30 points against Saint Francis. The senior is the first Bulldogs since Jenniqua Bailey '15 in 2014 to accomplish the 30-point feat. Bjelko was also awarded the first three NEC Player of the Week nods, marking the first Bulldog to earn three-straight in the D1 era. Currently, Bjelko has posted double-figure scoring in five-straight games as she averages 16.8 points a night. She also leads the conference and ranks among the top 30 nationally in offensive rebounds per game with 3.8. She leads the NEC in rebounds per game (9.8), ppg (16.8), ranks second in FG percentage (49.4), and third in blocked shots per game (1.77). 
 
SWISS MISS
Junior transfer, Fatou Jallow, has made an immediate impact on the Bulldogs this season. She recently posted her fourth double-digit scoring performance of the season with a career-high 19 points off eight-of-17 shooting. On the defensive end, Jallow proves why she's one of the most dominant defenders in the NEC as she leads the team and ranks second in the conference with a 2.2 steal per game average. She swiped a career-best six at Central Connecticut.