Bryant’s Furious Rally Falls Short In Loss At Fairleigh Dickinson

Bryant University Press Release

HACKENSACK, N.J. – Having trailed by 22 points at halftime and 26 points with 14 minutes to go, the Bryant University men’s basketball team stormed back to get within just one basket, but a halfcourt shot at the buzzer hit the side of the rim and Fairleigh Dickinson fended off the furious rally for an 87-84 Northeast Conference win Saturday.  

Sophomore Nisre Zouzoua (Brockton, Mass.) scored a game-high 22 points and tallied five assists for the Bulldogs (4-12, 1-3 NEC). Classmate Marcel Pettway (North Providence, R.I.) netted 21 points on a 7-for-10 performance from the field to go along with six boards. Junior Bosko Kostur (Melbourne, Australia) scored 17 points and senior Dan Garvin (Bethel, Conn.) tallied 11 points and a team-best eight rebounds.

Five Knights (6-9, 4-0) scored in double-figures, led by Stephan Jiggetts with 19 on a 5-for-7 effort from the floor and a perfect 3-for-3 from beyond the arc. Earl Potts Jr. scored 19 points, both Mike Holloway and Darian Anderson had 14 points with the latter going 4-of-5 from deep and Darnell Edge scored 13 off the bench. The Knights went 13-for-19 from long range and also hit 58 percent of their shots from the floor, while Bryant hit just 6-of-20 triples.  

The Knights were lights out in the first half, as they connected on 67 percent of their shots from the floor and 81 percent of their triples to take a commanding 56-34 lead into halftime. The hosts hit 12 of their final 14 shots and drained all six of their threes over the final 11:04, as Anderson drained three long balls in the stretch and the Bulldogs did not connect on their first three until the 1:45 mark.

The lead got up to as many as 26 and though Bryant trimmed it to 18, a Potts Jr. triple gave the Knights a 70-47 advantage at the 14:13 mark. But the Bulldogs flipped a switch defensively, started to press, forced seven FDU turnovers and got three steals over the next 6:44, while connecting on six of their 11 shots to go on an 18-0 run, getting right back into the game.

Edge answered a Zouzoua triple with one of his own at the 7:12 mark for the Knights’ first points in seven minutes. The lead didn’t dib below six over the next five minutes until four-consecutive free-throws from Kostur and a Zouzoua layup cut the deficit to just one, 83-82, with 57 seconds to play.

Anderson got fouled on the following possession and drained two free throws to make it, 85-82, with 33 seconds to go. On the ensuing trip, Kostur missed a three and the Knights came up with the loose ball. Jiggetts had Potts Jr. open on the break, lobbed him a pass, but the alley-oop was unsuccessful, giving Bryant the ball.

Zouzoua hoisted a three with under 10 seconds to go, the shot went wide, but Pettway was there for the cleanup to make it 85-84 with just 1.7 seconds remaining. Jiggetts got fouled before the ball even made it in bounds and hit two free throws, setting the Bulldogs up for a last second opportunity. Zouzoua played receiver, fought for the inbounds near midcourt and was able to get off a three at the horn, but the shot hit the side of the iron and the comeback fell just short.    

The Bulldogs will try to carry the positives over from the strong second half into a three-game homestand which begins on Thursday against Wagner College at 7:00 p.m.