February 19, 2009
TERRIERS TOP BULLDOGS, 82-66, ON SENIOR NIGHT AT THE CHACE CENTER THURSDAY
SMITHFIELD, R.I. - Stefan Perunicic hit his first seven three point attempts on the night, finishing with a game-high 23 points to lead St. Francis (NY) past Bryant, 82-66, on senior night at the Chace Center Thursday.
The Terriers (10-16), who came into the night having taken the most three pointers in the Northeast Conference, shot 14-for-24 from behind the arc in the game, good for 58.3 percent. Perunicic led all scorers with 23 for the game, going 7-for-9 from three.
The Bulldogs (8-20) were held to 33.9 percent shooting in the game, hitting on just 9-of-33 in the second half. Cecil Gresham (Bloomfield, Conn. / MCI) was the high man with 20 in the game to go with six rebounds. Peter Lambert (Cumberland, R.I. / Cumberland) and Adam Parzych (Lindenhurst, N.Y. / Lindenhurst) also registered double figures with 12 points apiece.
The visitors went 8-for-14 from behind the arc in the first half to take a, 39-34, lead into the locker room. Perunicic, the top three point shooter in the Northeast Conference, went a perfect 5-for-5 from deep to lead all scorers with 15 points.
Bryant led for the majority of the first half, including taking a 6-0 advantage at the 18:23 mark after a pair of Lambert threes and three-straight stops on the defensive end. Lambert finished the frame with nine points as the Bulldogs were 4-for-11 from downtown in the first 20 minutes while shooting 41.4 percent from the floor. The senior also passed Jon Wallace for sole possession of sixth place for career made three point field goals, as he now has 123.
Jamaal Womack, who had eight points in the half, knocked down a trey for the Terriers, tying the game at 17 apiece with 13 minutes to play in the half after the Bulldogs led for the first seven.
Great ball movement down the other end found Gresham wide open at the top of the key for three to quickly give Bryant the lead back at 20-17. The junior led the Bulldogs with 10 at the break.
A nice spin move in the paint and left-handed finish by Parzych put Bryant back up five at 28-23 with 5:52 left. Parzych had six at the half along with two rebounds.
The Terriers then rattled off ten-straight over the next two minutes, including two threes to claim a 34-28 edge with 2:32 to play. St. Francis led by as many as seven in the half.
Nick Pontes (New Bedford, Mass. / New Bedford) scored a bucket inside to cut the lead back down to five before the break at 39-34. He finished with four while Ryan McLean (Plymouth, Mass. / Plymouth North) had three points to compliment a team-best three rebounds. The Bulldogs outrebounded the Terriers 19-17 in the first frame, including six on the offensive end, leading to ten second chance points.
St. Francis came out of the locker room on an 18-3 run, holding the Bulldogs without a field goal for nearly seven minutes to take a 20-point lead at 57-37 with 13:26 to go. Perunicic hit two threes in the stretch, while Richard Clark and Ricky Cadell each added four.
Gresham cut the deficit back down to 14 with 11:15 left, scoring all six points in Bryant's 6-0 run, as the Bulldogs trailed 60-46.
The Terriers responded own run, as Cadell drilled threes on back-to-back possessions to go along with a pair of free-throws as part of a 10-straight St. Francis points, pushing the lead as high as 24 with 8:25 remaining.
A Chris Birrell (Scituate, R.I. / Scituate) free-throw got Bryant to within 15 following an 8-2 run, cutting the deficit to 72-57 with 5:45 to go, but that would be as close as the Bulldogs would come.
Cadell had 17 points, 14 coming in the second half for the Terriers while Womack added 13. The squad ended the game shooting 48 percent from the floor, and beat Bryant 22-17 on the boards in the second frame.
The Bulldogs struggled to find the touch from the outside, finishing the game shooting 22.2 percent from the outside and only 2-for-16 in the second half. The four seniors in Lambert, McLean, Andrew Lyell (Portsmouth, R.I. / Portsmouth) and Wright have led Bryant to 68 wins and three-straight NCAA tournaments with just one game remaining in their careers.
The Bulldogs play their season finale on Saturday, February 28 as they travel to Sacred Heart to battle the Pioneers for the second time this season, concluding their inaugural year of Division I play. Bryant fell to Sacred Heart, 73-64, earlier this season at the Chace Center.