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Bulldogs nipped by Blackbirds at the wire

Sunday, January 27, 2013


LIU Brooklyn - the pre-season favorite in the Northeast Conference - had all it could handle against Bryant Saturday in Smithfield, RI.

Ultimately, the Blackbirds (10-10, 5-3 NEC) manage to hold off the last-minute charge by the Bulldogs (13-6, 6-2 NEC) as junior forward Alex Francis could not convert a free throw with 1.2 seconds remaining...giving LIU the 79-78 win at a sold out Chace Athletic Center.

LIU led 75-72 with four minutes remaining, but a Francis bucket with 3:40 left brought the Bulldogs within just one.  Jamal Olasewere answered right back for the Blackbirds, putting them back up by three, 77-74. Another Olasewere tip-in pushed the LIU lead up to five, but the Bulldogs responded in the form of a Francis layup, cutting the advantage to just three once again, 79-76, with 30 seconds remaining.

Off a missed 3-pointer with under than 10 seconds left, Francis grabbed the rebound and scored on a put-back, absorbing the contact and drawing a foul in the process to bring the Bulldogs within one at 79-78, with 1.2 ticks left on the clock. With the chance to tie it at the line, though, Francis was unable to convert as the Bulldogs fell just short.

Sophomore guard Dyami Starks led all scorers with 25 points (22 in the first half) and three rebounds, while Francis put up 16 points and grabbed a game-high eight boards. Senior point guard Frankie Dobbs finished with 11 points and eight assists in 40 minutes of play.  Olasewere paced the Blackbirds with 19 points, seven rebounds and three assists, while junior Jason Brickman posted a double-double, finishing with 11 points and 10 assists. 

Bryant will play twice in New Jersey this week, taking on Fairleigh Dickinson Thursday at 7:00 pm, and Monmouth Saturday also at 7:00 pm.


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