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Bryant treks to Loretto for Wednesday NEC Quarterfinal

Tristan Hobbes/Bryant Athletics
Tristan Hobbes/Bryant Athletics

LORETTO, Pa. - The Bryant University men's basketball team returns to the Northeast Conference Tournament with a Wednesday night quarterfinal at Saint Francis U.

The Particulars
Opponent:
Saint Francis U (NEC Quarterfinal)
Location: DeGol Arena – Loretto, Pa.
Date and Time: Wednesday, March 6 – 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 went 16-13 in the regular season and earned a share of the NEC regular-season title with a 12-6 record in conference play. The Red Flash split the final week of the year with a win at Wagner and loss at Sacred Heart. 

Keith Braxton ranks fifth in the NEC in scoring at 16.4 points per game leads the conference in rebounding, averaging 9.7 per contest. Jamaal King is tied for eighth in the NEC in at 15.3 points per game. The Red Flash are second in the league in scoring at 76.9 points per game.

THE SERIES
Saint Francis U holds an 11-9 advantage in the all-time series and is 7-3 against Bryant in Loretto. The teams split the regular-season series with the Bulldogs winning 76-67 in Smithfield Jan. 21 and the Red Flash taking an 84-75 victory in Loretto Feb. 9. 

Bryant and Saint Francis will square off in the NEC quarterfinals for the third time in the last six seasons. The Red Flash outlasted the Bulldogs 55-54 at the Chace Athletic Center in 2014 and downed Bryant 100-78 at DeGol Arena in 2017.

LAST TIME OUT: LIU BROOKLYN 81, BRYANT 65
Bryant pulled ahead shortly after halftime, but LIU used a pair of second-half runs to build a double-digit lead and went on to a Senior Day victory over the Bulldogs Saturday in Brooklyn. 

MARCH-ING ORDERS
The Bulldogs are looking for their first victory in the month of March since a 91-85 overtime win over Sacred Heart, March 4, 2015, in the NEC quarterfinals. 

TOURNEY JOURNEY
Bryant is making its fifth trip to the NEC Tournament in seven seasons of Division I postseason eligibility. The Bulldogs are 1-4 in the conference tournament, having played Saint Francis U twice and Mount St. Mary's, Robert Morris and Sacred Heart once each. Wednesday will be the second time Bryant opens the NEC Tournament on the road (2017). 
 
FROM HAMPTON ROADS TO RHODE ISLAND
Junior duo Adam Grant (Franklin, Va.) and SaBastian Townes (Chesapeake, Va.) have led the Bulldog offense this year with Grant seventh in the NEC at 15.9 points per game and Townes tied for eighth with 15.3. 

Townes and Grant, who have played organized basketball together since they were 11 years old, have combined for 17 20-point and three 30-point games this season.

BLOCK & GOLD
Junior Juan Cardenas (Medellin, Colombia) leads Bryant with 46 blocks on the year, good for third in the NEC. In his first season with the Bulldogs, Cardenas has already risen to fifth in Bryant's Division I era in career blocks. Cardenas is eight blocks away from matching Papa Lo's D1 program single-season mark of 54 in 2009-10. 

FRESHMAN GLASS
Freshman Patrick Harding (Fairfield, Conn.) ranks second in the NEC and second nationally among freshmen with a 27.2 defensive rebounding percentage, per KenPom. Harding ranks 27th nationally after he matched his career-high with 12 boards Saturday at LIU Brooklyn. 

UP NEXT: NEC SEMIFINAL
With a victory, Bryant would advance to the NEC Semifinals for the second time in program history. The Bulldogs would play the highest remaining seed - Fairleigh Dickinson, Sacred Heart, Robert Morris or St. Francis Brooklyn - Saturday afternoon at a time to be determined on ESPN3. 

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