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Defensive effort key to Bryant's win at Wagner

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Junior SaBastian Townes (Chesapeake, Va.) scored a game-high 23 points as the Bryant University men's basketball team picked up its first win at Wagner since 2014-15 with a 71-64 victory Thursday at the Spiro Sports Center.

Redshirt-senior Byron Hawkins (Fort Washington, Md.) and junior Adam Grant (Franklin, Va.) added 16 points each for the Bulldogs, who have won three of their last four games. Bryant held Wagner to 14 points over the first 15 minutes of the second half.

GAME INFORMATION
Bryant 71, Wagner 64
Records: Bryant (8-12, 5-4 NEC), Wagner (9-11, 4-5 NEC)
Location: Spiro Sports Center (Staten Island, N.Y.)

COACH GRASSO'S COMMENTS
"I'm proud of our guys' effort tonight to win a physical game in a very tough environment. Going back to my playing days in the NEC, I have been in a lot of physical battles in the Spiro Center. I was very proud of my team's defensive effort, holding Wagner to 39-percent from the field and under the 70-point mark. We are already beginning our prep for a hot CCSU team that's coming off a big win tonight."

KEY MOMENT

  • Bryant held Wagner off the scoreboard for a span of 6:10 in the second half, opening up a 51-38 advantage after leading by two at the half.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Townes scored 11 of Bryant's first 13 points to give the Bulldogs a 13-10 advantage with 12:29 remaining in the opening half.
  • A Grant three – the 15th lead change of the first half – put Bryant ahead 30-28 with 1:52 to play before halftime. Bryant took a 31-29 lead into the locker room.
  • A 7-2 run to open the second half moved Bryant ahead 38-31 on four straight points from Hawkins with 17:10 to go.
  • The Bulldog defense clamped down, holding the Seahawks scoreless from the 15:22 to 9:12 mark of the second half to take a 51-38 lead.
  • A layup from freshman Patrick Harding (Fairfield, Conn.) and Townes jumper gave Bryant a 58-45 lead with 3:48 to play, but Wagner responded with a 9-0 run to pull within 58-54 with 2:12 to play.
  • Baskets by Grant and Townes brought the advantage back to eight at 62-54 with 1:30 left in the game. Bryant would lead by at least five the rest of the way.

STATS

  • Townes scored 23 points on 8-of-13 from the field and 6-of-8 from the free throw line.
  • Grant was 6-for-11 shooting with four rebounds, and assist and a steal
  • Hawkins knocked down three of four three-point attempts and was 5-for-10 from the field.
  • Junior Juan Cardenas (Medellin, Colombia) tallied eight points, seven rebounds, three blocks and three assists.
  • Senior Taylor McHugh (Centreville, Va.) collected three steals.
  • Bryant shot 49 percent from the field, including a 54.2-percent mark in the second half. Wagner was 38.7 percent overall, a season-low percentage allowed by the Black & Gold.
  • The Bulldogs outrebounded the Seahawks, 35-34.

GAME NOTES

  • Grant moved within 35 points of Frankie Dobbs for third in Bryant's Division I era in scoring.
  • Cardenas moved into a tie for sixth in Bryant's Division I era in career blocks with 33.
  • The Bulldogs are 8-0 this year when holding opponents under 70 points.
  • Bryant improves to 6-11 all-time against Wagner and 3-6 on Staten Island.

UP NEXT
Bryant is back in action Saturday at Central Connecticut. The 3:30 p.m. tip in New Britain can be seen on NEC Front Row.

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

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