SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Red Flash cut the Bulldog advantage to 16 points at the 10 minute mark of the second half, but that was as close as they would get as the Bryant University men's basketball team cruised to a 85-60 victory over Saint Francis University Saturday afternoon on Senior Day at the Chace Athletic Center.
With the win, the Bulldogs (19-10, 12-6 Northeast Conference) guarantee themselves a home game in the Northeast Conference Tournament as either the third or fourth overall seed (depending on the outcome of Saturday's action). Although the opponent is still yet to be determined, the game is scheduled for Wednesday, March 6 at 7 p.m. at the Chace Athletic Center.
Junior Corey Maynard (Adelaide, Australia) led the way with a season-high 18 points, while junior Alex Francis (Harlem, N.Y.) put up his third-straight double-double effort (sixth in last nine games) with 19 points and 12 rebounds. Senior Vlad Kondratyev (Nikolayev, Ukraine) posted his second career double-double with 10 points and 10 boards. Sophomores Dyami Starks (Duluth, Minn.) and Joe O'Shea (Burlington, Vt.) chipped in 14 and 12 points respectively, while senior Frankie Dobbs (Berea, Ohio) recorded seven points and seven assists. The Bulldogs are now 6-0 when five players score in double figures.
Dominique Major led Saint Francis (5-24, 5-13 NEC) with 14 points and Ronnie Drinnon put up 10 points to round out the double-digit scorers for the visitors.
Bryant shot a scorching 65 percent from the field, including 7-of-14 from 3-point range. The Bulldogs dominated the lane, outrebounding the Red Flash, 41-16, and scoring 44 of their 85 points in the painted area.
Nearly 10 minutes through the opening frame the Bulldogs established a 21-18 advantage over the Red Flash with red hot 3-point shooting (4-of-6) from the visitors keeping them in the game early on. Saint Francis would come within a basket, but a Maynard trifecta pushed the Bryant lead back to five points, 27-22, with just under six minutes remaining in the half.
With just two minutes left in the first period, the Bulldog's edge increased to eight points, 35-27, their largest lead of the afternoon. Another Maynard 3-pointer in the finals seconds pushed the lead to 11 points as the two squads headed into the locker room with Bryant leading, 41-30.
Maynard led all scorers at the break with 13 points on perfect 4-of-4 shooting from the field. O'Shea added 12 points off the bench. Major put up eight points for the Red Flash, while Drinnon and Ervin each posted six points. The Bulldogs shot an impressive 15-of-21 (71 percent) from the field, while the visitors posted a 39 percent clip.
The second half picked up right where the first ended as the Bulldogs 9-2 run extended their advantage to 18 points nearly four minutes into the second half. Through the under 12 media break both teams traded baskets back-and-forth but the Bulldogs remained comfortably ahead, 58-39 with 11:47 left on the clock.
For all the updated NEC men's basketball standings visit NortheastConference.org and for all the latest news on the Bryant University men's basketball team, visit BryantBulldogs.com.