Bryant University news release...
|Bryant (15-6, 8-2 NEC)||33||44||77|
|Monmouth (8-15, 3-7 NEC)||24||38||62|
|West Long Branch, N.J. | the MAC|
|Pts: Frankie Dobbs - 27||Pts: STEELE, Jesse - 27|
|Reb: Alex Francis - 11||Reb: O'GARRO, Tyrone - 7|
|Ast: Frankie Dobbs - 4||Ast: STEELE, Jesse - 5|
|Field Goal %||48.9% (22-45 )||34.4% (22-64 )|
|Pts off Turnovers||6||18|
|2nd Chance Pts||9||16|
|Pts in the Paint||28||28|
DOBBS GETS CAREER-HIGH 27, BULLDOGS GUARANTEE THEMSELVES WINNING RECORD WITH PROGRAM-BEST EIGHTH NEC VICTORY
WEST LONG BRANCH, N.J. – Senior Frankie Dobbs (Berea, Ohio) scored a career-high 27 points and junior Alex Francis (Harlem, N.Y.) picked up his fifth double-double of the year as the Bryant University men's basketball team topped Monmouth, 77-62, on the road Saturday night, setting a new Division I program record for conference wins.
The victory was the eighth for the Bulldogs (15-6, 8-2) in Northeast Conference action and the eighth road win of year, as Francis added 15 points and pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds, and classmate Corey Maynard (Adelaide, Australia) chipped in 10 more to round out Bryant's double-digit scorers. Jesse Steele was the only double-figure scorer for the Hawks (8-15, 3-7), tying Dobbs with a game-best 27 points including 17 in the second half alone.
The Bulldogs doubled up the hosts early, 14-7, with 10 of those points coming from Francis and Dobbs. A 3-pointer from sophomore guard Dyami Starks (Duluth, Minn.) right off a Dobbs inbound pass with 12 to go put the visitors up, 17-9, but tough defensive pressure and a consistent double team on the ball hindered the Bulldogs' ability to charge too far out in front, holding a 24-13 edge as the clock ticked under the eight-minute mark.
And while the Bulldogs would hold the Hawks scoreless for nearly four minutes from there, the Black and Gold notched just three points – all from the charity stripe – in the span. Bryant would also go without a basket for eight full minutes in the second half of the opening stanza, as Monmouth's defensive pressure forced turnovers on three-straight trips and allowed the hosts to pull within five, 29-24, with 90 seconds remaining before the break.
With 1:08 left on the clock, though, Maynard took a pass from rookie Shane McLaughlin (Old Tappan, N.J.) deep in the right corner and buried his first long ball of the game to snap the drought, and sophomore Joe O'Shea (Burlington, Vt.) capped off the first-half scoring seconds later, hitting the back end of two free throws to send the Bulldogs into the intermission with a 33-24 lead.
The consistent Monmouth pressure produced seven Bulldog giveaways in the frame despite Bryant's 47.8 percent shooting clip, as the visitors held a slight edge on the glass, 17-16. The Hawks also turned the ball over seven times but shot just 34.6 percent from the field, led by 10 points from Steele.
The Bulldogs started out the second slowly, as Monmouth scored the first six points of the frame to close the deficit to just three, 33-30. But four Hawk fouls in 39 seconds put the hosts in a good deal of foul trouble, with four players having taken at least three whistles.
Consecutive treys from Dobbs and Starks with 15:15 to go pushed Bryant's edge back up to seven, 42-35, and while the margin would waiver and narrow to as few as three, 47-44, with just over 12 to play, the Hawks couldn't even the score. Monmouth would find itself deeper into foul trouble soon after, seeing four players with four fouls before the midway point of the half with Bryant leading, 52-44.
Dobbs drained his fourth trey of the contest with 10:31 remaining, and while Steele almost singlehandedly kept the Hawks in the game, scoring seven-straight points for a 59-53 margin with six minutes to go, a triple from Maynard with 3:52 gave the Bulldogs their largest lead of the day, 66-55, and would prove to be enough of a cushion to seal the eventual 15-point victory.
Bryant shot 48.9 percent in the contest and won the rebounding battle, 39-34. Monmouth converted 34.4 percent from the floor and forced 15 Bulldog turnovers. The win marked the second-straight road victory for the Black and Gold, who topped Fairleigh Dickinson in Hackensack, N.J., Thursday night.
"Winning on the road is the hardest thing to do in college basketball," said head coach Tim O'Shea. "Looking at this road trip as a whole, to come away with two road wins – and for us to now have eight true road wins on the year – I think that says something about the character of this team."
Bryant's 15th victory of the year ups the Division I program record for single-season wins, but marks another important milestone as well. With just eight games remaining, the Bulldogs are now guaranteed to finish the 2012-13 regular season with a winning record.
"This win guarantees us a winning record in our first year of NCAA eligibility," said O'Shea. "That is significant for us."
The Bulldogs return to Smithfield, R.I., for their next outing, hosting St. Francis Brooklyn Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7:00 p.m. The game will be broadcast live on ESPN3, Fox College Sports and Cox (RI).