Bryant Upends First Place Wagner To Win NEC Regular Season Title

The Bryant University men’s basketball team claimed the programs first-ever Northeast Conference Regular-Season Championship with a 78-70 victory over Wagner in front of a sold out Chace Athletic Center on Saturday afternoon.

Bryant finishes the regular season with a 19-9 record and a 16-2 mark in league, securing the No. 1 seed and home court advantage throughout the NEC Tournament. The regular-season title is the first in DI program history for the Black and Gold, while the 19 wins are tied for the most in a single season in DI program history.

Peter Kiss led three double-figure scorers with 23 points, while Charles Pride scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half. Hall Elisias added 19 points and Adham Eleeda had eight points and 11 rebounds.

Game Information
Bryant 78, Wagner 70
Records: Bryant 19-9, 16-2 NEC | Wagner 19-5, 15-3 NEC
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)
Attendance: 2,650

Key Moments

Pride put the Black and Gold on his back, hitting a trio of three-pointers to turn a 54-52 Wagner lead into a 62-57 Bulldog lead with 7:54 to go.
How it Happened

Bryant jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead Elisias drilled a triple and finished at the rim for five early points.
The Seahawks would then go on a 13-2 run to take a 16-11 lead with 13:44 to go in the opening half.
Eleeda would tie the game at 20-all with his first three of the afternoon at the 9:33 mark.
The teams would trade baskets for the rest of the half, with Elisias’ alley-oop slam tying the game at 35-35 with 1:49 to go.
Wagner, however, scored the final six points of the half to take a 41-35 lead to the locker room.
Elisias got things going in the second half for Bryant, completing a conventional three-point play.
Pride would tie the game at 43-43 with a layup and Elisias would give Bryant a 45-43 lead with an electrifying two-handed slam.
Bryant, however, struggled to get over the hump. That was until Eleeda buried a deep three to tie the game at 52-52.
After Wagner retook the lead, Pride calmly sank a triple from the left wing. On the next possession, Pride pulled up from the top and banked home a three to make it 58-54.
Moments later, Bryant grabbed an offensive rebound and Pride finished it with a three from the left wing.
Another offensive rebound led to another Pride three at the 5:03 mark to make it 65-59.
Wagner would make it tight at the end but Eleeda’s 11th rebound, subsequent free throws and four final points from Pride closed it out.
Stats

Bryant finished 28-of-63 (44.4 percent) from the field, 8-of-29 (27.6 percent) from three and 14-of-18 (77.8 percent) from the line.
Bryant outrebounded Wagner, 43-36.
Kiss had 23 points on 9-of-19 shooting from the field. He added five boards and three assists.
Pride scored 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting from the field and a 4-of-7 mark from deep. He added eight boards.
Elisias posted 19 points and five boards.
Eleeda collected eight points and a career-high 11 rebounds.
Tyler Brelsford posted three boards and six assists in 18 minutes.
Game Notes

Bryant improved to 12-12 all-time against Wagner, splitting the season series with the Seahawks.
The Bulldogs claimed their first-ever NEC Regular-Season Championship.
Bryant will serve as the No. 1 seed and have home court advantage throughout the NEC Tournament.
Bryant’s 19 overall wins are tied for the most in DI program history. The 16 league wins are also the most by the Bulldogs in program history.
Bryant finished the regular season 11-1 at home and 9-0 against NEC opponents.The Bulldogs are 21-2 at home the last two years and have won 16-straight NEC regular-season home games.
The announced crowd of 2,650 was a sellout.
Bryant recognized its five-member senior class prior to the game.
Kiss posted his 42nd double-figure scoring game in 45 outings as a Bulldog.
Kiss has scored 20+ points 16 times this year and has 20+ points in 13 of his 15 NEC games. He has scored 20+ points in 20 of his 29 NEC regular-season games.
Kiss had his streak of 10-straight games of 25+ points come to an end.
Kiss leads the nation in scoring with 25.1 points per game. Kiss is averaging 28.1 ppg in NEC play.
Kiss now has 578 points this season, the third-most in a single season in DI program history.
Pride scored in double figures for the 16th time in 17 league games and now has 232 rebounds, the sixth-most in a single season in DI program history.
Pride finished the year with a league-leading 8.3 rebounds per game.
Eleeda now has 87 threes on the year.
Kiss and Pride continue to be the nation’s highest-scoring duo, averaging 42.9 points per game.
Elisias’ 19 points are his most since he scored 25 in the NEC opener at CCSU.
Brelsford’s six assists are his most against a DI opponent this year.
Up Next
Bryant has earned the No. 1 seed in the NEC Tournament and will host the winner of Monday’s play-in game between No. 8 Central Connecticut and No. 9 Fairleigh Dickinson. Tip will be at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

Categories: Sports