|Bryant news release...|
EMMITSBURG, Md. – The Bryant University men's basketball team couldn't contain Mount St. Mary's junior guard Sam Prescott on Thursday night as he scored a career-high 44 points to lead the Mountaineers to an 84-70 victory at Knott Arena.
The loss snaps a three-game winning streak for the Bulldogs (16-7, 9-3 NEC) and keeps them winless in Emmitsburg in five tries. Three weeks after taking the Black and Gold to overtime in Smithfield, the Mountaineers (11-13, 6-7 NEC) exacted some revenge on Thursday.
Prescott was the story throughout, as the junior poured in 28 first-half points to give The Mount a first-half lead it would not relinquish. He followed that with a 16-point second half to help the Mountaineers finally pull away from a pesky Bulldog side.
Kelvin Parker was the only other Mountaineer in double-figures, as he finished with 19 points. Prescott finished 16-of-24 from the field and 10-of-14 from beyond the arc. Backed by his 10 "3s", the Mountaineers shot 17-of-33 from beyond the arc.
Prescott had a first half to remember as the junior poured in 28 points. Having posted a season-high of 16 points, Prescott quickly surpassed that as he started the game a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, including 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. With Prescott's hot shooting and a stifling defense, the Mountaineers were able to turn a 16-12 Bryant lead on its head. Prescott started the turnaround with consecutive triples and eventually scored 11 of the next 13 Mount points to make it 25-21 with 10:44 remaining.
Trailing, 31-21, Bryant was able to slow the Mountaineers offense enough to pull back into the game. The Bulldogs held MSM without a field goal for nearly five minutes, pulling within 31-26 thanks to five-straight points.
Prescott, however, ended the run with five of his own points on a layup and a trifecta, pushing the lead back to 10, 36-26. He then ended the half five more points, giving the Mountaineers a hefty lead at the break.
Bryant put forth a valiant effort coming out of the break led by junior Alex Francis (Harlem, N.Y.). Following a Dyami Starks (Duluth, Minn.) three, Francis would score the next 11 Bulldog points, making it a seven point game, 51-44. He started the run with a monstrous one-handed jam and finished it with a layup at the 16:09 mark.
A trio of threes, however, from Prescott and Parker ended the Bryant run and pushed the Mountaineer lead to 64-50 with 11:33 remaining. The Bulldogs were never able to get closer as the Mountaineers finished the second half canning 9-of-10 from the charity stripe.
Francis also helped the Bulldogs get out to a strong start in the first half as he scored Bryant's first six points of the game.
Back-to-back baskets from Vlad Kondratyev (Nikolayev, Ukraine) pushed the Bryant lead to four and Frankie Dobbs's (Berea, Ohio) first three of the afternoon replenished the four-point lead at 19-15. That would be it for the Bulldogs, however, as they were outscored 27-9 the final 12:40 of the first half.
The Bulldogs shot 60 percent from the field in the second half thanks to the hot hands of Francis, who notched his sixth double-double of the season with 25 points (11-of-16) and 10 rebounds.
He was joined in double-figures by Joe O'Shea (Burlington, Vt.) and Dobbs. Both did a majority of their damage in the second half as O'Shea poured in eight (6-of-7 free throws) and Dobbs added seven.
Mount St. Mary's pressure defense forced Bryant into 15 turnovers and limited the Bulldogs to just nine assists. On the other hand, the Mountaineers posted 22 assists and turned the ball over just six times.
Bryant is now currently tied with Robert Morris for first place in the NEC at 9-3. The Bulldogs will look to get back on the winning side of the court on Saturday, Feb. 16 when they visit Wagner. Game time is set for 4:00 p.m. in Staten Island, N.Y.