Huge Second Half Propels Bryant
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Paced by a 54-point second-half output, including
74 percent shooting from the field, the Bryant University men's
basketball team took down Dartmouth, 79-66, Saturday afternoon at the
Chace Athletic Center in the final contest before the holiday break.
The Big Green (2-8) were able to cut the Bulldog (6-4) lead to 13
points five different times in the final 10 minutes of play, but the
visitors couldn't overcome a 20-4 Bulldog run that spanned 6:18,
snapping a 31-31 tie and vaulting Bryant to an 51-33 advantage with
11:07 to go.
Senior Frankie Dobbs (Berea, Ohio)
led the Bulldogs, tying his season high with 19 points, including 14 in
the second frame, and a season-high seven assists, while junior Corey Maynard (Adelaide, Australia)
chipped in a season-best 15 points and six rebounds. For the first time
since January 2011, five Bulldogs recorded double-figure points in the
win, with junior Alex Francis (Harlem, N.Y.) adding 13 (eight rebounds) and sophomores Dyami Starks (Duluth, Minn.) and Joe O'Shea (Burlington, Vt.) chipping in 12 and 10 points, respectively.
Connor Boehm put up a game-high 24 points and nine rebounds for
Dartmouth, while Alex Mitola added 15 points and five helpers. The
victory guarantees the Bulldogs a winning non-conference record with
just one game left before starting Northeast Conference action.
After shooting just 34.4 percent in the opening period, the Bulldogs
went off in the second half, posting a 73.9 percent shooting clip and
missing just six shots in the period. Bryant finished the game shooting
better than 50 percent (.509) from the floor for the third time this
season and went 19-for-21 from the free throw line, getting to the
stripe 20 times in the second frame.
An emphatic slam from Francis granted the Bulldogs an 11-7 advantage
nearly halfway through the opening frame, as the methodical pace of the
contest made points hard to come by early on for both squads.
As the half progressed, the pace and scoring output began to pick up
for Bryant, as the Black and Gold rattled off a 9-2 run by forcing
Dartmouth into turnovers and controlling play on the glass. The Bulldogs
would take a 22-12 advantage at the 3:27 mark, but it wouldn't last
long, as a deep triple from Mitola sparked an 11-3 Big Green run in the
closing minutes of the first half that brought the visitors within a
single basket, 25-23, heading into the locker room at the intermission.
Maynard led the Bulldogs with seven points and four rebounds at the
half, while Francis put up six points and four boards in 18 minutes of
play. Mitola paced the Big Green with seven points and two assists.
Neither team wasted time coming out of the locker room in the second,
as both squads traded baskets to open the frame. But after a Boehm
layup knotted the score at 31-31 at the 17:25 mark, the Bulldogs
responded with 13 uninterrupted points, a streak highlighted by a pair
of Francis slams and a three-point play from rookie Shane McLaughlin (Old Tappan, N.J.).
Boehm got the Big Green back on the board with 12:15 remaining on the
clock, but the Bulldogs continued to get out in front in transition,
scoring seven more consecutive points for the 20-2 run that put the game
out of reach.
A trifecta from Dartmouth's John Golden at 9:33 brought the visitors
back within 13, but it was the closest the Ivy League opponent would
come, as the hosts extended their advantage to 20 points, 58-38, with
8:20 to go and maintained the double-digit edge through the remainder of
the outing for the 79-66 final.
Bryant's 90.5 percent conversion from the free throw line marked a
new season best, as Maynard (4-4), Dobbs (6-6), McLaughlin (3-3) and
Starks (2-2) were all perfect from the charity stripe.
The Bulldogs will have a six-day break before their next outing, as
the team travels to Bethlehem, Pa., on Dec. 29 for its final
non-conference matchup of the season.