McLaughlin’s Game-Winning Jumper Pushes Bryant Past St. Francis Brooklyn

Bryant University Press Release

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University men’s basketball team eradicated a six-point deficit with under four minutes to go in the second frame, setting up a Shane McLaughlin (Old Tappan, N.J.) game-winning jumper with 1.3 seconds remaining to catapult the hosts over St. Francis Brooklyn, 61-59, Thursday night at the Chace Athletic Center.

Freshman bigman Marcel Pettway (North Providence, R.I.) provided the Bulldogs (7-11, 4-1 NEC) with his fourth double-double of the season, tallying 12 points and game-high 12 boards while distributing two assists. Sophomore guard Hunter Ware (Powder Springs, Ga.) charted a team-best 14 points on a 5-for-11 effort from the floor and a 4-of-6 clip from beyond the arc. Frosh Nisre Zouzoua (Brockton, Mass.) inked 10 points, while junior forward Dan Garvin (Bethel, Conn.) scored 10 points and grabbed six caroms, despite picking up four fouls in only 15 minutes on the court.     

Tyreek Jewell led the Terriers (6-12, 2-3 NEC) and all scorers with 20 points, shooting 50 percent from both inside and outside of three-point land. Amdy Fall was the only other visitor to post double-digit points with his 12, also grabbing 10 boards. Yunus Hopkinson and Chris Hooper added eight points apiece, and Antonio Jenifer netted six points to pair with seven rebounds.

Bryant shot 53 percent from the field in the second half, and 43 percent for the game (25-58) while hitting six of its 13 shot attempts from downtown (46 percent). St. Francis converted just 36.8 percent of its shots from the floor (21-57) and only 27.6 percent of its shots (8-29) from long range.     

A back-and-forth second half was skewed in favor of the Terriers, as they built a lead as high as six, with that margin being generated at the 3:48 mark after a Hooper layup made it 57-51. A Zouzoua backdoor cut the basket was rewarding with a beautiful bounce pass from Pettway that led to a two-handed flush for the guard, bringing the Black and Gold to within four, 57-53, just 19 seconds later.

A Garvin basket in the paint on the pick-and-roll between he and McLaughlin brought Bryant to within just two, 57-55, with 2:39 left to go. Zouzoua theft Hopkinson on the next Terrier possession and took it all the way to the rack himself, tying the contest with just two minutes remaining. A Pair of Garvin makes at the line gave the Bulldogs their first lead in nearly eight minutes of second-half action, making it 59-57 at the 1:26 mark.

Hooper connected on a layup at the end of a wild Terrier possession to tie the game, 59-59, with 24 seconds remaining. St. Francis called a timeout immediately following Hooper’s basket, giving the Bulldogs time to work on a play with the shot clock turned off. Having no fear of big shots, McLaughlin dribbled the ball up the floor and worked it from one side of the court to the other, finally elevating on a jumper at the right elbow that connected to give Bryant a 61-59 edge with 1.3 seconds. The Terriers inbounds pass at their own baseline was tipped by Garvin which sealed the victory for the Bulldogs.

Neither side shot particularly well from the floor in the opening half, as the Bulldogs converted just 32.1 percent of their shots (9-28), while the Terriers shot at a .290 clip from the field (9-31).  

Consecutive buckets in the form of a Pettway conversion in the paint and a Zouzoua trey gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the night, 9-7, at the 11:33 mark in the first stanza. The Black and Gold lead got up to four, 13-9, at the 9:19 mark, but the Terriers embarked on a 10-0 run to push them ahead, 19-13, with 7:34 to play in the opening 20.

The two sides went ice cold over the next four minutes, as Bryant finally netted its first basket in nearly six full minutes of action, coming at the 3:54 mark after a Curtis Oakley Jr. (South Euclid, Ohio) layup. Ware drilled a three on the Bulldogs ensuing possession, followed by a pair of hits from the charity stripe courtesy of Gus Riley (Nelson, New Zealand) to give the home side a 20-19 lead.

A 4-0 Terrier run capped off by a Fall layup gave them the edge with 49 tics remaining in the stanza, but Oakley Jr. converted on a lay in following his own miss, and Ware banged home a triple at the first half buzzer to give Bryant a 25-23 lead at the break.

The contest featured eight ties and 20 lead changes, with six stalemates and 14 edge alterations coming in the second half alone. A Oakley Jr. layup gave the Bulldogs a 43-42 lead with 9:18 to play in the second frame, but two-straight Jewell knockdowns from deep gave the Terriers a 48-43 edge at the 8:08 mark. Hooper’s lay in with just under four to play gave the visitors their second six-point advantage, but the Bulldog’s 8-0 run over a two minute stretch at the end put McLaughlin in position for his clutch jumper.

McLaughlin, who finished with four points and a game-high seven helpers, has now hit a shot to either tie the contest or give his team the lead with under two seconds on the clock in consecutive games. The senior captain tied the matchup at Mount St. Mary’s on Jan. 9 with just 0.8 seconds on the clock, sending the game into OT, as the Bulldogs ultimately won in two extra frames.

The Black and Gold remain tied for first in the NEC, sitting with Fairleigh Dickinson and Mount St. Mary’s, teams they have already defeated this season. Bryant will return to the hardwood on Saturday when it hosts LIU Brooklyn at 4 p.m. in the Chace Athletic Center.