Bryant Beats LIU Thursday, Clinches Spot In NEC Postseason Tournament
Redshirt senior Peter Kiss scored 22 points and sophomore Michael Green III chipped in 20 as the Bryant University men’s basketball team clinched a spot in the 2021 Northeast Conference Tournament with a 87-80 victory over Long Island University on Thursday night at the Chace Athletic Center.
In snapping a seven-game losing streak to LIU, the Bulldogs now know they’ll be one of four teams competing for the NEC’s automatic bid to the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
Kiss tied for the game-high with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the field, while Green III helped the Bulldogs close the game out down the stretch. Sophomore Charles Pride added his fourth double-double of the year.
Bryant 87, LIU 80
Records: Bryant 13-5, 9-4 NEC | LIU 9-8, 9-8 NEC
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)
Leading by seven at the half, Bryant ripped off a 10-2 run to start the second half. The run was energized by an alley-oop from Kiss to Hall Elisias.
How it Happened
The first half was played at a breakneck pace. Bryant jumped out to an 11-2 lead as Pride drilled a three with 17:05 left in the first half.
Nathaniel Stokes then drilled a triple from the top to make it 21-11 with 14:28 to go.
After LIU pulled within seven, 25-18, Pride hit another three and Green III finished a floater and was fouled for a three-point play to make it 31-21.
Kiss finished in the lane and then raced back on defense to intercept a pass. It led to a Bryant possession that ended with a beautiful pass from Luis Hurtado Jr. to Pride for a 39-24 lead.
A pair of free throws from Green III made it a 13-point game with 4:11 left.
LIU closed the half on an 11-5 run to make it a seven-point game at the break.
An emphatic alley-oop from Kiss to Elisias jump-started a 10-2 run for the Black and Gold out of the halftime break.
Green III converted a conventional three-point play and then drilled a wing three to make it 62-47. It forced an LIU timeout.
Stokes then hit a three from the top to make it a 16-point game with 15:35 left.
LIU would answer with a 15-4 run over the next 4:35 to close the margin to 71-66.
Elisias would convert a floater to stunt the run and Pride followed with a jumper of his own to make it 75-66.
LIU would get the deficit under 10 with under two minutes to go but the Bulldogs were able to clinch the game from the free throw line.
Bryant finished the game 30-of-58 (.517) from the field, 8-of-21 (.381) from three and 19-of-29 (.655) from the line.
The Bulldogs outrebounded LIU, 45-36.
Kiss led all Bryant scorers and tied for the game high with 22. He was 8-of-10 from the field and added eight boards, three assists and two steals.
Green III finished with 20 points, seven rebounds and two assists.
Elisias posted 14 points, eight rebounds and two blocks.
Pride finished with his fourth double-double of the year with 12 points and 10 boards.
Hurtado Jr. chipped in four points, four boards and a team-high six assists off the bench.
Stokes scored six points off the bench.
With the win, the Bulldogs clinched a spot in the 2021 NEC Tournament that begins next Saturday.
The Bulldogs have now qualified for the NEC Tournament in all three seasons under head coach Jared Grasso.
Thursday’s win was Bryant’s first over LIU since Feb. 27, 2016, a stretch of seven games.
Bryant is now 8-0 at home this season. It is the best home start in DI program history.
Pride posted his team-leading fourth double-double of the year.
Kiss has now scored 20+ points in 7 of his 13 games against NEC opponents.
Kiss leads the Bulldogs with 10 20-point games this season.
Green III finished with his sixth 20-point game of the year.
Hurtado Jr. posted his fifth game of the season with 5+ assists.
Elisias, the league’s leader in field goal percentage, made 6-of-8 shots.
Bryant and LIU wrap up their two-game set on Friday afternoon at the Chace Athletic Center. Tip is set for 4:00 p.m.