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Bryant held off in NEC Quarterfinals, 67-63

Tristan Hobbes/Bryant Athletics
Tristan Hobbes/Bryant Athletics

LORETTO, Pa. – Junior Juan Cardenas (Medellin, Colombia) scored a team-high 17 points, while redshirt-senior Byron Hawkins (Fort Washington, Md.) and freshman Joe Kasperzyk (New Haven, Conn.) added 15, but the Bryant University men's basketball team was held off by Saint Francis U, 67-63, in the Northeast Conference Quarterfinals Wednesday night at DeGol Arena.

GAME INFORMATION
Saint Francis U 67, Bryant 63
Records: Bryant (10-20), Saint Francis U (17-13)
Location: DeGol Arena (Loretto, Pa.)

KEY MOMENTS

  • Bryant opened with an 8-3 lead, but a 19-4 Saint Francis run gave the Red Flash a 10-point cushion midway through the first half.
  • A Cardenas three got Bryant back within six with 12 minutes to play, but the Bulldogs would not close the gap to less than five before Kasperzyk's three at the buzzer.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Three-pointers from Hawkins and Kasperzyk gave the Bulldogs an 8-3 lead 2:11 into the contest.
  • A 19-4 Saint Francis run gave the Red Flash a 22-12 advantage, prompting a Bulldog timeout with 9:00 remaining in the first half.
  • The Red Flash extended their lead to 37-19 at the half, holding the Bulldogs to seven points over the final nine minutes of the frame.
  • The Bulldogs scored the first six points of the second half and pulled within six on a Cardenas three to make it 44-38 with 12:11 to play.
  • A Kasperzyk layup brought the Bulldogs within 55-48 with 6:08 to go before the Red Flash scored the next four.
  • A pair of Townes free throws cut it to 59-50 with 2:59 to go and his layup made it 61-52 with 2:21 remaining.
  • A Hawkins layup brought Bryant within five at 61-56 with 1:01 to play and a Kasperzyk banked-in three at the buzzer led to the final margin.

STATS

  • Cardenas was 6-of-11 from the field for 17 points – two shy of his career-high – while grabbing seven rebounds.
  • Kasperzyk was 5-of-10 from the field and 3-of-5 from three with four steals.
  • Hawkins shot 7-for-13 and grabbed four rebounds in his final collegiate game.
  • Junior SaBastian Townes (Chesapeake, Va.) added nine points and five rebounds.
  • Bryant shot 41.8 percent from the field, while Saint Francis U was at 47.2.
  • The Red Flash outrebounded the Bulldogs, 37-30.

GAME NOTES

  • Bryant falls to 9-12 all-time against Saint Francis U.
  • Townes moves up to a tie for seventh in Bryant's Division era in scoring with 895 points, matching Dan Garvin. He passed Dyami Starks for 10th in D1 career rebounding with 297.
  • Wednesday marked the final game in Black & Gold for Hawkins and senior Taylor McHugh (Centreville, Va.), who finishes his collegiate career 11th in Bryant's Division I era i career assists.

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