SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Junior Adam Grant (Franklin, Va.) scored a team-high 17 points and senior Taylor McHugh (Centreville, Va.) added a career high-tying 12, but the Bryant University men's basketball team was held off by Robert Morris, 79-65, Saturday at the Chace Athletic Center.
Grant scored Bryant's first nine points from beyond the arc and collected four steals in the contest. McHugh matched his career-high on 4-of-5 shooting and 3-of-4 from outside. The Bulldogs trimmed a 21-point deficit to nine with 2:57 to go before the Colonials held on for the victory.
Robert Morris 79, Bryant 65
Records: Bryant (5-11, 2-3 NEC), Robert Morris (9-9, 4-1 NEC)
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)
COACH GRASSO'S COMMENTS
"Our kids played hard in the second half. We put ourselves in a hole, and we have to learn to take the next step as a program. Robert Morris has been to NCAA tournaments. Andy [Toole]'s been very successful for a reason. Those kids are tough and physical, and we weren't ready early to compete against that physicality. Our guys responded in the second half when it was a little bit too late. For us, we're a work in progress, and we have to keep getting better."
- Bryant cut the deficit to 38-30 on a McHugh three-pointer, but Robert Morris responded with the next 11 points to push its advantage to 49-30.
- The Bulldogs used a 10-2 run to get back within nine with under three minutes to play, but the Colonials held off Bryant down the stretch.
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Grant scored the first nine Bryant points on three-pointers to put the Bulldogs ahead 9-8 with 15:21 remaining in the first half.
- A 9-2 Robert Morris run put the Colonials up 32-20 with 3:08 to play in the half. Junior SaBastian Townes (Chesapeake, Va.) would answer with the next five, but RMU would score the next four to go into the locker room leading Bryant 36-25.
- A three-pointer from McHugh brought the Bulldogs within 38-30, but an 11-0 Robert Morris run prompted a Bryant timeout with 16:19 to play.
- Junior Juan Cardenas (Medellin, Colombia) hit a three-pointer with 5:33 to go to bring Bryant within 67-53 and a Bulldog timeout followed.
- The Bulldogs would cut the deficit to 69-60 on a three-point play from freshman Nino Hernandez (Gardner, Mass.), but it was the closest Bryant would come, as Robert Morris scored 10 of the game's final 15 points for the 14-point margin.
- Grant scored 17 points with 12 of them coming from beyond the arc. The junior guard added four steals, one shy of his career high.
- McHugh scored 12 points with nine of them from outside. The senior guard played a season-high 35 minutes.
- Cardenas tallied nine points, five rebounds and three blocks.
- Freshman Patrick Harding (Fairfield, Conn.) grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and added eight points.
- Bryant shot 44.2 percent for the game, while Robert Morris was at 57.8 percent.
- The Bulldogs outrebounded the Colonials, 28-27.
- Grant passed Frankie Dobbs for seventh in Bryant's Division I era in steals with 94.
- Cardenas has recorded 24 blocks in his first 14 games in Black & Gold. The total is good for eighth in a single season in Bryant's D1 history.
- Harding has grabbed six or more rebounds in nine of 15 contests during his freshman year.
- Bryant falls to 4-15 all-time against Robert Morris.
Bryant continues a four-game homestand Monday at 5 p.m. when the Bulldogs host Saint Francis U. Tickets 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.