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Bryant knocks off Boston College

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Tim O'Shea has been saying it. Maybe now some will start believing it.

Bryant's Bulldogs are no longer Division I in name only.  Now, they're starting to win.  

Led by Dyami Starks' 17 second half points, and 15 points with eight rebounds from point guard Frankie Dobbs, Bryant upset Boston College 56-54 Sunday afternoon at the Conte Forum in Chestnut Hill, MA.

The win is Bryant's first win over a program from the Atlantic Coast Conference, and the biggest win for the team since transitioning to Division I play.

Neither team got off to a fast start as Bryant held a slight 10-8 lead 10 minutes into the contest. BC freshman guard Olivier Hanlan tied the score for the first time at 10-10 after making a steal and converting a breakaway layup at the 9:07 mark.

BC sophomore guard Lonnie Jackson connected on the Eagles' first 3-pointer of the game at 1:56 to pull BC within two of the Bulldogs, 21-19. Freshman guard Joe Rahon followed up with another trey to give the hosts their first lead of the game at 22-21 with 1:20 left in the half. Hanlan scored on a leaner in the lane to tie it at 24-24 before Corey Maynard made a floater at the buzzer to give Bryant a 26-24 halftime lead.

Bryant held a 29-24 lead early in the second half before Hanlan (19 points) rattled off seven straight points over a 1:47 span to give BC a 31-29 lead at 16:22. Hanlan’s streak sparked a 12-3 run that saw the Eagles take a 36-32 lead with 14:21 left to play. The Eagles claimed their largest lead of the game at 44-36 off a layup in traffic from sophomore forward Ryan Anderson at the 10:18 mark.

The two teams traded 3-point baskets on three consecutive possessions as Dyami Starks, Rahon, and then Dobbs hit threes to give Bryant a 51-49 lead with 5:09 to play. A deep 2-pointer from Hanlan tied the score at 51-51 before a driving layup from Starks gave the Bulldogs the lead back, 53-51, at the 1:46 mark.

A free throw from Rahon pulled BC within one at 55-54 with 31 seconds to play. Dobbs made a free throw with 12 seconds left to push Bryant’s margin to 56-54. After Alex Francis missed the front end of a one-and-one, Hanlan was called for a charge on the ensuing possession, but Maynard traveled on the inbounds play. The Eagles had a final chance at the buzzer, but a long three from Anderson hit off the backboard and fell off the rim.

"I knew we were hugely improved, but the only way to validate that is to get some wins," coach Tim O'Shea said afterward. "And when you think about our journey over the past four years, to finally start to turn it around is pretty emotional really.

"Five years ago, the biggest game on Bryant's schedule was Bentley," O'Shea added. "Five years later, we've just beaten Boston College on the road. It's a big deal."

Now 3-2 on the year with three straight victories, the Bulldogs will next face Army Saturday at the Chace Athletic Center on campus in a 4:00 pm tip off.


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