SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Junior SaBastian Townes (Chesapeake, Va.) scored a career-high 34 points and redshirt-senior Byron Hawkins (Fort Washington, Md.) reached the 1,000-point mark for his collegiate career, but the Bryant University men's basketball team was defeated by Hartford, 91-74, Wednesday night at the Chace Athletic Center.
Townes shot 13-of-17 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line for the fifth-highest single-game point total of Bryant's Division I era. Hawkins added 13 points with a three-pointer in the closing minutes putting him over the 1,000-point plateau for his collegiate career.
Hartford 91, Bryant 74
Records: Bryant (2-7), Hartford (4-7)
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)
COACH GRASSO'S COMMENTS
"The team knows what my expectations are, and I have very high expectations for this group. The flip side to that is that our season starts January 3. I'm the sorest loser and biggest competitor there is. But I also know that our real season starts January 3. We have 20 days to improve until January 3.
Of course I'd love to beat Dartmouth and beat Iowa. But by the start of league play, we need to be significantly better. That's on me. This is my team and my program and I have to figure this out. I have to figure it out and my staff needs to figure it out and as a group, I need some of my leaders – SaBastian Townes, Taylor McHugh, Adam Grant – to step up and get some of the other guys playing as hard as they do.
I thought our group was very competitive in the second half. I don't know why we weren't in the first half. That's something I need to figure out as a coach and something I take on myself. I need to get this group better and figure out the moves to make by January 3 for us to be a team to make the conference tournament and make a run in the conference tournament."
- Hartford used a 16-0 run to turn a 29-20 advantage into a 45-20 cushion in the closing minutes of the opening half.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Townes scored six of Bryant's first eight points to keep the Bulldogs within 10-8 at the 16:27 mark of the first half.
- Bryant got a pair of threes from junior Tanner Johnson (Lexington, Ky.) before a 16-0 Hartford run put the Hawks ahead 45-20 with 2:28 to play in the first half.
- The Bulldogs went on an 8-3 run to close the half with all eight points from Hawkins to pull within 48-28 heading to the locker room.
- Townes tallied eight points in the opening three minutes of the second half to cut the Hartford advantage to 52-36. An offensive rebound and layup from senior Taylor McHugh (Centreville, Va.) followed to cut the deficit to 14 before Hartford extended the lead back to 20 out of the first media timeout.
- A four-point play from junior Adam Grant (Franklin, Va.) cut the Bryant deficit to 81-65 with 4:42 to play.
- Bryant would score the final seven points of the game with threes from Hawkins and Grant for the final 91-74 margin.
- Townes scored 34 points on 13-of-17 from the floor and 8-of-10 from the free-throw line.
- Hawkins and Grant each scored 13 points, with Grant adding four assists and three rebounds.
- Johnson and redshirt-sophomore Brandon Carroll (Bronx, N.Y.) grabbed five rebounds each.
- McHugh tallied a season-high six assists.
- Bryant recorded 19 assists on 25 made field goals.
- The Bulldogs were 17-for-21 (81.0 percent) from the free-throw line.
- Townes' 34-point performance was the most by a Bulldog since Dyami Starks scored 35 points three times in the 2013-14 season, most recently against Delaware Dec. 21, 2013, at Madison Square Garden.
- Townes joins Starks and Alex Francis as the only Bulldogs in the program's time in Division I to score 34 or more points. The scoring output was the first 30-point night by a Bryant player since Adam Grant scored 32 against Sacred Heart Jan. 14, 2017.
- Hawkins has scored 143 of his 1,001 career points in a Bryant uniform. The graduate transfer tallied 643 in two seasons at Towson and 215 last year at Murray State.
- Grant moved within four points of 1,000 for his collegiate career.
- Bryant drops to 1-1 against Hartford in the Division I era and 6-6 all-time.
Bryant will be off for nine days for final exams before a contest against Dartmouth, Friday, Dec. 21 at 11 a.m. at the Chace Athletic Center. Tickets for the Friday matinee against the Big Green are available by clicking HERE.
Season and single-game tickets for home games at the Chace Athletic Center are available by clicking HERE or calling (401) 319-TIXX.