Mary Burke earns 300th with 64-49 win over LIU

Photo by David Silverman

BULLDOGS TOP BLACKBIRDS, 64-49, SATURDAY TO EARN HEAD COACH MARY BURKE'S 300TH CAREER WIN

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Head coach Mary Burke earns her 300th career win as the Bryant University women's basketball team defeated LIU Brooklyn, 64-49, Saturday afternoon at the Chace Athletic Center.

Bryant's (6-12, 2-5 NEC) aggressive play did not allow the Blackbirds (4-14, 1-6 NEC) to get in any type of a rhythm offensively in the second half as the Bulldogs lead continued to grow, 50-37 with under ten minutes to play.

The Bulldogs maintained a double-digit advantage through the final minutes of the contest as their active hands on defense and the offensive glass earned Bryant the 64-49 victory.

Another monster game from junior forward Naana Ankoma-Mensa (Brampton, Ont.) paced the Bulldogs, as she finished with a game-high 14 points and 19 rebounds in 38 minutes of play. Juniors Courtney Schissler (Branford, Conn.) and Stephanie Cardamone (Freehold, N.J.) added some great minutes off the bench, scoring 13 and 11 points, respectively. Freshman Tiersa Winder (Baltimore, Md.) continued to play well in her new starting role, shooting 4-4 from the field for 10 points, while junior Jenniqua Bailey (Bloomfield, Conn.) added 10 points and three assists.

Tamika Guz led the Blackbirds with 14 points and five boards, while Cleandra Roberts finished with eight points and eight rebounds.

The Black and Gold won the rebounding battle once again, snatching 49 boards compared to just 37 for LIU. But what truly separated the two teams on Saturday was Bryant's play in the second half, holding the visitors to just 27 percent shooting in the final minutes, while outscoring their opponents, 34-18, en route to its second-straight victory.

After Bryant jumped out to 10-2 run to open the contest, the visiting Blackbirds cut the margin to three with just under 12 minutes to play in the opening half. A trio of layups granted LIU its first lead of the game, 13-10, at the eleven minute mark.

A 25-6 LIU run, spanning nearly eight minutes propelled the visitors into a 25-16 advantage with 6:27 to play in the half, but back-to-back triples from Schissler and Cardamone brought the Bulldogs within five, 27-22, with five minutes remaining in the half.

The Bulldogs responded with an 8-2 run of their own to reclaim the advantage, 30-29, with just under two minutes to play. A Guz lay-in pushed LIU back into the lead, 31-30, as both teams headed into the locker room.

Schissler led all scorers at the break with 11 points, while Cardamone added five off the bench. Guz and Sophie Bhasin each put up six for the visitors in the first half, while Duvall lead the Blackbirds with nine points in six minutes.

The Bulldogs looked to set the tone right out of the locker room to start the second half, regaining the advantage, 37-35 with just under 15 remaining in the contest. Back-to- back trifectas from Cardamone and Winder and an Ankoma-Mensa fastbreak layup pushed the Bryant lead to double digits, 48-37 at the 11:57 mark of the second frame.

The Bulldogs will hit the road to their next three games beginning with a trip to Sacred Heart on Monday, Jan. 28. Tip is set for 7 p.m.

For all the latest news on the Bryant University women's basketball team, visit BryantBulldogs.com.

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