Sophomore Adam Grant (Franklin, Va.) scored 26 points, while sophomore Sabastian Townes (Chesapeake, Va.) added 21, as the Bryant University men's basketball team picked up its first Northeast Conference victory of the year with a 79-74 win at Sacred Heart Saturday.
Grant and Townes combined for 47 of Bryant's 79 points, while fellow sophomore Ikenna Ndugba (Boston, Mass.) chipped in 18 points including four key free throws down the stretch.
Bryant 79, Sacred Heart 74
Records: Bryant (2-15, 1-3), Sacred Heart (6-11, 1-3)
Location: Pitt Center (Fairfield, Conn.)
Bryant trailed 16-7 before a 10-0 run gave the Bulldogs their first lead at 17-16.
Sacred Heart opened the second half on a 15-5 run to take a 49-45 lead.
The Pioneers held a 63-61 lead before Grant hit a pair of three-pointers to give the Bulldogs a 67-63 advantage with 6:16 to go.
Sacred Heart tied the game at 71 before a 6-0 run for the Bulldogs gave them a lead they would not relinquish.
HOW IT HAPPENED
Sacred Heart used a 6-0 run to push its lead to 16-7 with 14:30 remaining in the first half, but the Bulldogs answered with a 10-0 run to grab their first lead at 17-16 with 12:39 to go in the half.
Bryant led 40-34 at the half on 56.7 percent shooting. Townes and Ndugba had 11 points each in the first half.
There were nine lead changes in the first half.
Sacred Heart opened the second half on a 15-5 run to take a 49-45 lead with 15:38 remaining.
The Bulldogs re-tied the game with 11:34 to go in the game on a three-pointer from Grant.
Trailing 63-61, Grant hit a pair of three-pointers to give the Bulldogs a 67-63 lead with 6:16 remaining.
With the game tied at 71, the Bulldogs would score the next six points while going 4-for-5 from the line.
After a Sacred Heart three-pointer, Ndugba sank a pair of free throws and the Bulldogs held at the other end for the five-point victory.
Grant tallied 26 points on 9-of-16 shooting and 5-of-7 from beyond the arc.
Townes added 21 points on 8-of-16 from the floor with six rebounds.
Ndugba chipped in 18 points with four key free throws in the final minutes.
Senior Hunter Ware (Powder Springs, Ga.) recorded six points and six rebounds, tying him for 10th place in Bryant's Division I history in points (673).
Bryant shot 48.3 percent from the floor while holding Sacred Heart to 43.1 percent.
Both teams grabbed 37 rebounds.
There were five ties and 15 lead changes in the game.
Bryant improves to 6-14 in the Division I era against Sacred Heart.
Grant was in double figures for the 10th time this year and 31st in his career. The sophomore had 20-plus points for the fifth time this season and ninth time in his career.
High school teammates Grant and Townes both scored 20 points in the same game for the first time as collegiate teammates.
Ndugba was in double figures for the 12th time this season.
Townes matched his career-high with four assists.
The Bryant sophomore class – Grant, Ndugba, Townes and Tanner Johnson (Lexington, Ky.) – has combined for 55.8 percent of the Bulldogs' scoring this season.
Freshman Monty Urmilevicius (Kaunas, Lithuania) made his first career start, becoming the 12th different Bulldog to start a game – the second-highest total in the nation, trailing only Harvard. Urmilevicius played a career-high 19 minutes with four points, three rebounds and two assists.
The starting lineup combination – junior Taylor McHugh (Centreville, Va.), Grant, Ware, Urmilevicius and Townes – was the 11th different starting five this season, tied with FGCU, Pitt and UT Martin for the most in the nation.
Bryant is 2-1 in the state of Connecticut this season.
Bryant returns home for a Thursday night clash with Wagner. The 7 p.m. tip can be seen on NEC Front Row and heard on WOON 1240 AM with Jon Wallach and Cam Boon on the call.
Tickets are available starting at just $5 for the Bulldogs' game Jan. 11 vs. Wagner through an online-only Holiday Ticket Special promotion by clicking HERE.
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