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Bryant hosts Saint Francis U in MLK Day contest

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

SMITHFIELD, R.I. - The Bryant University men's basketball team hosts Saint Francis U Monday evening in a special 5 p.m. start on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the Chace Athletic Center.

In collaboration with the Northeast Conference, both teams will be wearing special warmup shirts in honor of the work and legacy of Dr. King and its continued importance.

The Particulars
Opponent:
Saint Francis U
Location:
Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)
Date and Time: Monday, Jan. 21 – 5 p.m.
Tickets:
Holiday Hoops
Watch: NEC Front Row (Jon Wallach, Chris Burns)
Listen: WOON AM 1240 & 99.3 FM (Jon Wallach, Chris Burns)
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Game Notes:
Bryant
Social Media: FacebookTwitter | Instagram | #12Seven4 | #NECMBB 

SCOUTING THE RED FLASH
Saint Francis U is 8-9 on the year and one of five teams at 3-2 in conference play. The Red Flash picked up an 80-69 win at Central Connecticut Saturday for the team's second road win of the year. SFU played a non-conference slate that included UCLA, North Carolina and Virginia Tech in a nine-day span. 

The Saint Francis offense is led by a pair of NEC preseason all-conference selections in Keith Braxton (15.6 ppg) and Jamaal King (14.5). Braxton has grabbed 10.4 rebounds per game and 11.6 in NEC play. The Red Flash ranks second in the NEC in scoring (75.6) and first in rebounding (39.8).

THE SERIES
Bryant is 8-10 all-time against Saint Francis U and 5-4 at the Chace Athletic Center. The Red Flash have won the last three meetings in the series.

Ikenna Ndugba (Boston, Mass.) dished out a career-high 12 assists in an overtime contest in Smithfield last season, while SaBastian Townes (Chesapeake, Va.) went 10-for-16 from the field. 

LAST TIME OUT: ROBERT MORRIS 79, BRYANT 65
Junior Adam Grant (Franklin, Va.) scored 17 points and senior Taylor McHugh (Centreville, Va.) matched his career-high with 12, but Robert Morris pulled away with an 11-0 second-half run and held off a Bryant comeback in the closing minutes Saturday. 

TAYLOR'S 12-POINT PLAY
Senior Taylor McHugh matched his career-high Saturday with a 12-point performance against Robert Morris. McHugh was 4-for-5 from the field and 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. 

NINO PROVIDING SPARK OFF THE BENCH
Freshman Nino Hernandez (Gardner, Mass.) has averaged 15.0 minutes per game off the bench in the Bulldogs' last two contests. Hernandez scored a career-best 14 points in 14 minutes at Sacred Heart and played a career-high 16 minutes Saturday vs. Robert Morris, recording personal-bests in rebounds (3) and assists (3). 

ORDERING A LIFT
Freshman Joe Kasperzyk (New Haven, Conn.) has played some of his best basketball in the eight games in which he has come off the bench, averaging 15.3 points per game. Kasperzyk scored a career-high 21 points at Mount St. Mary's and matched that total at Sacred Heart. 

FRESHMAN GLASS
Freshman Patrick Harding (Fairfield, Conn.) ranks second among NEC freshmen with 5.7 rebounds per game this season. Harding has collected six or more boards nine times this season. 

LET'S GET IT STARTED
Eight different Bulldogs have recorded the first made field goal of the game for Bryant this season. Junior Adam Grant has scored the first field goal in five of Bryant's games and junior SaBastian Townes has done it in four contests. Junior Juan Cardenas (Medellin, Colombia) has achieved the feat twice, while redshirt-senior Byron Hawkins (Fort Washington, Md.), senior Taylor McHugh, junior Tanner Johnson (Lexington, Ky.), redshirt-sophomore Brandon Carroll (Bronx, N.Y.) and freshman Patrick Harding have each done it once. 

UP NEXT: CENTRAL CONNECTICUT
The NEC returns to its traditional Thursday/Saturday schedule next weekend with Bryant home for two more games. The Bulldogs will host Central Connecticut at 7 p.m. Thursday, the first day of classes for Bryant's spring semester. 

Tickets for home games at the Chace Athletic Center are available by clicking HERE or calling (401) 319-TIXX.

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