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Bryant squares off with Saint Francis U Saturday

Paul Falcone
Paul Falcone

LORETTO, Pa. - The Bryant University men's basketball team looks for a split of its annual trip to Pennsylvania when the Bulldogs face Saint Francis U Saturday night in Loretto.

The Particulars
Opponent:
Saint Francis U
Location: DeGol Arena – Loretto, Pa.
Date and Time: Saturday, Feb. 9 – 7 p.m.
Watch:
NEC Front Row (Pat Farabaugh, Bernie Jubeck)
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Game Notes:
Bryant
Social Media: FacebookTwitter | Instagram | #12Seven4 | #NECMBB 

SCOUTING THE RED FLASH
Saint Francis U is 11-11 on the year and tied for second in the NEC at 7-4. The Red Flash have won four straight with three of the victories coming by five points or less, including Thursday's 90-85 win over Central Connecticut. 

Keith Braxton ranks fifth in the NEC at 16.6 points per game while leading the league with 9.9 rebounds per game. Braxton, Jamaal King (14.3 ppg), Isaiah Blackmon (11.8 ppg) and Andre Wolford (9.2 ppg) are the only SFU players averaging 20+ minutes per game this season.

THE SERIES
Bryant is 9-10 all-time against Saint Francis U and 3-6 in Loretto. The Red Flash have won the last five meetings at DeGol Arena. 

The Bulldogs are looking for their first regular-season sweep of the Red Flash since 2013 thanks to a 76-67 victory at the Chace Athletic Center Jan. 21. Redshirt-senior Byron Hawkins (Fort Washington, Md.) led four Bulldogs in double figures with 16 points in the MLK Day win in Smithfield.

LAST TIME OUT: ROBERT MORRIS 72, BRYANT 59
For the second consecutive game, a second-half surge proved too much for Bryant, as Robert Morris bounced back from a seven-point halftime deficit for a victory Thursday. Junior SaBastian Townes (Chesapeake, Va.) scored all 14 of his points in the second half. 

THAT'S GONNA BE A NO FROM THIS DAWG
Junior Juan Cardenas (Medellin, Colombia) leads Bryant with 35 blocks on the year, good for third in the NEC. Cardenas ranks sixth in Bryant's Division I era in career blocks through just 21 games played. 

HAWK HEATING UP
Redshirt-senior Byron Hawkins has scored 13 or more points in each of his last six games, averaging 15.2 points per game during that stretch. 

DAY BY DAY, BRICK BY BRICK
Bryant entered the week with the third-best turnaround in the nation from a year ago. The Bulldogs' 10-game improvement in win-loss record from last season is tied with Longwood behind the 10.5-game improvement of American and USF. 

FRESHMAN GLASS
Freshman Patrick Harding (Fairfield, Conn.) ranks second nationally among freshmen in KenPom's defensive rebounding percentage. Harding has grabbed 28.3 percent of available defensive rebounds when on the floor, which ranks 21st nationally. 

SWEEP STAKES
Bryant is looking for its first regular-season sweep of Saint Francis U since 2012-13. The Bulldogs have collected just two season sweeps against any NEC opponent in the last three years, which came against Robert Morris and Central Connecticut in 2016-17. 

SPEED LIMIT 70
All eight of Bryant's wins this season have come when the Bulldogs hold their opponents under 70 points. Bryant has allowed 72 points or less in nine of its last 13 games. 

UP NEXT: SACRED HEART
Bryant returns home for the first time since Jan. 26 when the Bulldogs host Sacred Heart Thursday at the Chace Athletic Center. The 7 p.m. tip on Valentine's Day can be seen on NEC Front Row and heard on WOON AM 1240 & 99.3 FM. 

Tickets for home games at the Chace Athletic Center are available by clicking HERE or calling (401) 319-TIXX. Bryant is back home Thursday, Feb. 14, when the Bulldogs host Sacred Heart.

Follow Bryant University men's basketball on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to get an inside look at the program.