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Bryant battles, falls to #2 Buckeyes 86-48

Wednesday, December 11, 2013


Anyone, anytime, anywhere. And at some point in time, the "anyone" will lose.

But not this time. 

Wednesday night in Columbus, OH, the Bryant Bulldogs once again challenged a premier, established national basketball program.  They tested the nation's second-best (or 3rd, depending on the poll you follow) team at this stage of the college basketball season, the Ohio State Buckeyes, as part of the BlackRock Gotham Classic.  And true to form, the Buckeyes displayed superior ability on both ends of the floor to beat the Bulldogs' challenge 86-48 at the Value City Arena.

Early on, Bryant managed to match Ohio State (9-0) on the offensive end, with Alex Francis scoring to pull the Bulldogs within 14-11 with 14:12 to play in the first half.  From this point, however, the Buckeyes began to smother the Bulldogs' offense, with an 8-0 run capped by a LaQuinton Ross three-pointer.  The lead stayed between seven and eight for the next few minutes, until OSU's Amir Williams and Shannon Scott scored inside to stretch the lead further.  Free throws (9-of-10) and 53% shooting from the floor, while the defense held Bryant to 32% shooting, helped add to the Buckeyes' advantage that reached 20, 43-23, at halftime.

Missing their starting point guard, senior Corey Maynard (out with an injured wrist), there was never much flow to Bryant's offensive game as a whole.  And there was plenty of flow to Ohio State's game, getting things cranked up from three-point range early in the second half.  Lenzelle Smith, Jr. and Marc Loving got untracked for early treys, and an Aaron Craft steal led to a Scott dunk as the Buckeyes stretched the lead to 29, at 62-33 with 14:39 left.  With the game firmly in control by this point, the lead grew to 38 at 78-40 and 4:47 remaining before the benches cleared.

For the game, OSU held Bryant to 27.6% shooting from the floor, while shooting 52% themselves.  The Bulldogs and Buckeyes were even on the backboards at 38-38, but Ohio State forced 18 turnovers, blocked 10 shots and picked up 13 steals.

Dyami Starks, the nation's 8th leading scorer in Division I averaging 22.1 points per game, led the Bulldogs (6-5) with 16 points.  Francis added nine, while Dan Garvin scored seven off of the bench, and pulled down nine rebounds before fouling out with 5:26 to play.  Ohio State was led by Smith's 19 points and eight rebounds, and Williams' 12 points and nine boards. 

The game with Ohio State was not the first time the Bulldogs have taken on an opponent ranked in the nation's top five, and the Buckeyes aren't even the highest-ranked team Bryant has faced. Last season, in the program's first year as a fully-eligible Division I program, the Bulldogs opened the season on the road at pre-season No. 1 Indiana. It was the program's first official Division I game.  Next, the Bulldogs interrupt BlackRock Gotham Classic play and return home to Smithfield, hosting Navy at the Chace Athletic Center Saturday at 12:30 pm.  Bryant will conclude their participation in the BlackRock Gotham Classic by playing Delaware at Madison Square Garden in New York on December 21st. 


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joe adamowicz

Next time just mail it in.

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