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Bryant fends off Wagner, 67-65

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Junior Adam Grant (Franklin, Va.) scored a game-high 17 points and junior Juan Cardenas (Medellin, Colombia) added a career-high 13 as the Bryant University men's basketball team held on for a 67-65 victory over Wagner Thursday night at the Chace Athletic Center in a game nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.

Grant went 5-of-7 from beyond the arc as Bryant tripled its overall and conference win totals from a year ago. Junior SaBastian Townes (Chesapeake, Va.) and redshirt-senior Byron Hawkins (Fort Washington, Md.) were also in double figures for the Bulldogs, who swept the regular-season series with the Seahawks for the first time since 2014-15.

GAME INFORMATION
Bryant 67, Wagner 65
Records: Bryant (9-17, 6-9 NEC), Wagner (13-13, 8-7 NEC)
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)

KEY MOMENTS

  • The Bulldogs held the Seahawks off the board for nearly eight minutes in the middle of the first half to open up a 19-10 lead.
  • Wagner stormed out of the locker room on a 12-0 run to pull within three and took the lead with 6:30 to play.
  • The teams traded the lead back and forth, with six straight Bryant points putting the Bulldogs ahead by four with under two minutes to play.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • A pair of early threes from Grant had the teams tied 8-8 3:29 into the contest.
  • Bryant held Wagner off the scoreboard for a span of 7:44 to build a 19-10 advantage midway through the first half.
  • The Bulldogs led 38-23 at the half, shooting 51.9 percent from the field. Grant had 12 points to lead all scorers in the opening 20 minutes.
  • Wagner opened the second half on a 12-0 run over the first 4:01 out of the locker room before a drive to the hoop from freshman Joe Kasperzyk (New Haven, Conn.) got the Bulldogs on the board.
  • The Seahawks tied the game with 11:27 to play on a three-pointer. Wagner took its first lead of the second half with 6:30 to go, making a three-pointer to go ahead 52-51.
  • Five straight points from Hawkins put Bryant ahead 57-55 with four minutes left in the contest.
  • Four Wagner points were answered with six from the Black & Gold, with four straight Cardenas free throws putting Bryant up 63-59 with 1:42 to play.
  • A Wagner three cut the Bryant advantage to 67-65 with 13.9 seconds left. The Seahawks regained possession on a five-second inbounding violation and got three looks at a game-tying shot in the closing seconds, but the Bryant defense held up for the two-point victory.

STATS

  • Grant was 6-of-10 overall and 5-of-7 from three. He added five rebounds and three steals, giving him 101 for his collegiate career.
  • Cardenas went 3-for-4 from the field and 6-of-7 from the line along with seven rebounds and a block, giving him 40 rejections for the season.
  • Townes added 13 points and Hawkins chipped in 12.
  • Bryant shot 49.0 percent for the game, while Wagner was at 42.9 percent.
  • The Bulldogs outrebounded the Seahawks, 34-30.

GAME NOTES

  • Bryant improves to 7-11 all-time against Wagner.
  • The Bulldogs became the first team in the nation this season to triple their 2017-18 win total.
  • Bryant moves to 9-1 this season when holding its opponent under 70 points.
  • Cardenas is averaging 11.5 points per game in the month of February with 12 or more points in five of six games.
  • Grant passed Ikenna Ndugba (Boston, Mass.), Shane McLaughlin and Chris Birrell on Bryant's Division I steals list to become the fourth Bulldog to collect 100 at the D1 level.
  • Townes moved within 20 points of Joe O'Shea for the top 10 on the Bulldogs' Division I scoring list.
  • Cardenas became the third player in Bryant's Division I era to collect 40 blocks in a season, joining Papa Lo and Dan Garvin.

UP NEXT
Bryant closes out its regular season home slate Saturday when the Bulldogs host Mount St. Mary's on Senior Day. Tickets for the 4 p.m. tip are available by clicking HERE.

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