Balanced Scoring Propels Bryant To Blowout Win Over Saint Francis

Bryant University Press Release

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Senior guard Joe O’Shea (Burlington, Vt.) tied his career high with a game-best 21 points as the Bryant University men’s basketball team tied its season-best scoring production and handed Saint Francis U. its first Northeast Conference loss of the season, 80-54, Thursday night at the Chace Athletic Center.

Five Bulldogs (5-7, 2-1 NEC) reached double figures for the second time this season, and Bryant saw new season highs set for shooting percentage (56.9) and 3-point percentage (47.6) as Thursday’s hosts returned to the long distance success they are used to. Rookie guard Hunter Ware (Powder Springs, Ga.) led that charge, going 4-for-7 from beyond the arc and 6-of-11 on the day to put up 16 points with three assists. O’Shea chipped in three more trifectas and paced the Bulldogs with eight rebounds, also adding four assists of his own.

Sophomore forward Dan Garvin (Bethel, Conn.) finished the night with a career-high 14 points on 7-of-9 accuracy from the field, grabbing seven boards with a trio of blocks. Junior point guard Shane McLaughlin (Old Tappan, N.J.) moved the ball around well to the tune of seven assists while also scoring a season-best 12 points (4-6, 2-2 from 3-point range). Senior guard Dyami Starks (Duluth, Minn.) added 11 on the day with seven boards.

Earl Brown and Ollie Jackson paced the Red Flash (8-6, 2-1) with 12 points apiece while Ronnie Drinnon led the game on the glass with 11 boards. Bryant outrebounded Saint Francis, 40-25, and limited its visitors to just 18 baskets on the evening (34.6 percent).

The Bulldogs trailed for just 19 seconds in the contest, when six-straight points from the Red Flash tipped the score in the visitors’ favor, 12-10, eight minutes in. But the lead wouldn’t last long, and a McLaughlin trey off an offensive rebound put the Bulldogs up, 18-14, with nine minutes to play in the first.

A corner three from Ware as the clock hit the five-minute mark upped the hosts’ lead to eight, 29-21, and Bryant took a double-digit lead by Ware’s hand with 2:32 to play on a drive through the lane, 35-24. Two Brown free throws would close the spread back to single figures in the final minute of the opening frame, and Jackson would drop in a three with two ticks left in the half, but the Bulldogs would take a 37-32 edge into the locker room at the break.

The Bulldogs built their lead back to nine early in the second half, 45-36, and a missed and-one opportunity from sophomore forward Andrew Scocca (Melrose, Mass.) at the line would turn into a pair of offensive rebounds and an O’Shea triple with 13:19 left in the contest for a 50-39 Bryant advantage.

McLaughlin echoed the effort just a minute later, and O’Shea would drain another on the next Bulldog possession for a 14-point, 56-42 lead with less than 12 minutes to play. And thanks to strong work on the boards and distribution around the court, the Black and Gold continued to build, owning a 70-52 lead entering the final four minutes of regulation.

Starks nailed a deep three with 3:31 to go to become the fifth double-digit scorer for the Bulldogs on the night, and O’Shea hit his third long ball just 50 seconds later to all but put the game away en route to the 80-54 victory.

Bryant dished out a season-high 18 assists on the night with a season-best 33 makes from the field.

The Bulldogs remain home for the next two contests and will take on Fairleigh Dickinson Saturday afternoon at the Chace Athletic Center (4 p.m.). Saturday’s game can been seen live on NECFrontRow.com and heard at WOON 1240 AM.