Bryant falls short to Robert Morris, 77-75
Friday, March 01, 2013
In the biggest of moments, in front of a sellout crowd at home...Bryant learned a valuable lesson Thursday night.
Sometimes, the other team is pretty good, too.
In a battle for first place in the Northeast Conference, Robert Morris proved as much, coming from six points down at the half to beat the Bulldogs 77-75 at the Chace Athletic Center in Smithfield, RI.
Trailing by five points at 71-66 with just :48 seconds remaining, the Bulldogs' Corey Maynard knocked down a huge 3-pointer that pulled Bryant (18-10, 11-6 Northeast Conference) within just two points at 71-69. However, Karvel Anderson (24 points) answered right back for the Colonials (21-9, 13-4 NEC), pushing the lead back to five.
A Vlad Kondratyev dunk brought Bryant within three as the Bulldogs were then forced to foul, sending RMU's Lucky Jones to the line - where he buried both free throws. With time running out, Bulldog guard Dyami Starks raced down the floor and knocked down a deep three, cutting the lead to just two, 76-74, with only seconds remaining.
After another foul, Anthony Myers-Pate then hit 1-of-2 from the line, giving Bryant a chance for last-gasp heroics. Strong defense from the Colonials in the final seconds proved to be too much for the Bulldogs to overcome as the visitors escaped with the win, avenging an earlier 84-77 loss in the NEC opener at home to the Bulldogs.
Junior forward Alex Francis paced Bryant with 22 points and 11 rebounds, his ninth double-double this season (fifth in the last eight games), while senior Frankie Dobbs added 18 points, eight assists and four rebounds in 37 minutes of play. Starks added 17 points and Maynard finished with nine points and seven boards. RMU's Anderson led all scorers with his 24 points.
Bryant shot an astounding 59% from the floor for the game, including 68% in the second half, compared to just 43% for Robert Morris. However, the Colonials turned the ball over just two times for the entire game, while forcing the Bulldogs into 16 turnovers.
With just one game remaining on their 2012-13 regular season schedule, the Bulldogs will face Saint Francis University at the Chace Athletic Center Saturday, hoping to still secure a top seed and a first-round home game in the Northeast Conference Tournament. Tip-off is set for 4 pm.