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Bryant opens December at the Chace vs. Navy

Photo by DSPics.com
Photo by DSPics.com

SMITHFIELD, R.I. - The Bryant University men's basketball team opens the month of December by returning to the Chace Athletic Center for a Monday night meeting with Navy.

Bryant, which enters December at 4-4 and with a record of .500 or better for the first time in six seasons, looks to improve its 2-1 mark at home in the first of two games in Smithfield this week.

The Particulars
Opponent:
Navy
Location: Chace Athletic Center (Smithfield, R.I.)
Date and Time: Monday, Dec. 2 – 7:30 p.m.
Tickets: Monday | Season Tickets
Watch: NEC Front Row (Adam Giardino, Frankie Dobbs)
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Game Notes: Bryant
Social Media: FacebookTwitter | Instagram | #12Seven4 | #NECMBB 

SCOUTING THE MIDSHIPMEN
Navy is 4-3 on the year after a 76-56 win Saturday at Brown. The Midshipmen and Bears were tied at 50 with eight minutes remaining before Navy closed the game on a 26-6 run. 

Cam Davis leads Navy with 15.0 points per game, while John Carter Jr. has added 13.7 and Greg Summers has chipped in 11.0 points and a team-high 8.2 rebounds per game. The Midshipmen hold a rebounding margin of +9.7 on the year.

THE SERIES
The Bulldogs and Midshipmen are meeting for the sixth time in last eight seasons with Navy holding a 4-1 advantage in the series. 

Bryant climbed back from a slow start in last year's meeting in Annapolis, erasing an 11-point deficit before being held off in the closing minutes of an 83-79 contest. Adam Grant (Franklin, Va.) scored 21 points in last year's matchup with the help of six three-pointers.

THE BIG DOG GAME
Monday's meeting between Bryant and Navy - the sixth in the program's Division I histories - will be the final one with 1970 United States Naval Academy graduate and Bryant University President Ronald K. Machtley at the helm in Smithfield. Machtley, who was named Bryant's president in 1996, will retire next spring after a 24-year tenure that included the Bulldogs' rise to Division I and countless accomplishments in academics and athletics. 

LAST TIME OUT: NEW HAMPSHIRE 87, BRYANT 76
Bryant chipped away at a 14-point deficit thanks to a season-high 29 points from Grant, but the Bulldogs were unable to close out New Hampshire Tuesday, falling in overtime in a trip to the Granite State. 

CONNECT FOUR
Bryant's winning streak from Nov. 10-18 gave the Bulldogs four straight wins for the first time since Bryant defeated Saint Francis U, Fairleigh Dickinson, Wagner and Central Connecticut Jan. 8-17, 2015. 

GLASS IS IN SESSION
Bryant had zero games of 50 or more rebounds through the Bulldogs' first 340 Division I contests, never reaching more than 46 after 11 seasons and three games. 

The Bulldogs have rewritten that column of the record book over the last three weeks, grabbing 53 rebounds at Saint Peter's, 55 vs. NVU-Lyndon and 52 at Niagara for Bryant's three highest rebounding totals in the program's D1 era in a span of three games. Bryant's 44.0 rebounds per game rank 10th in the nation.

BOARD MAN GETS WINS
Sophomore Patrick Harding (Fairfield, Conn.) is averaging 12.3 rebounds per game over his first eight games of 2019-20 and ranked fifth in the nation in rebounding average enter the weekend. 

Harding has collected 32.9% of potential defensive rebounds while on the floor this season, good for ninth nationally as of Saturday.

STEAL CITY
Grant broke Corey Maynard's Division I program record for career steals Nov. 20 at Drexel and now has 120 for his career. 

Redshirt-junior Ikenna Ndugba (Boston, Mass.) added three Tuesday to pass Alex Francis and Hunter Ware for third in the Bulldogs' D1 era with 110 steals.

CHARLES, TON OF POINTS
Freshman Charles Pride (Syracuse, N.Y.) dropped 25 points in the contest at Drexel on 11-of-17 from the field. The 25 points were the most by a Bryant freshman since Grant scored 32 in a triple-overtime game against Sacred Heart on Jan. 14, 2017. 

Pride became the fourth player in Bryant's D1 era to score 25 points without a made three-pointer, joining SaBastian Townes, Dan Garvin and Alex Francis.

The 11 made field goals for Pride ranked tied for ninth in a single game in Bryant's Division I tenure and were the most since Townes collected 13 in a win over St. Francis Brooklyn last January.

NEW DAWG CITY
Bryant's newcomers have provided 51.9% of the Bulldogs' scoring so far this season, including three of Bryant's top five in points per game. Freshmen Pride (12.0 ppg), Michael Green III (Bronx, N.Y.) (9.4) and Benson Lin (New Taipei City, Taiwan) (7.0) rank second, third and fifth on the team in scoring. 

THE RIGHT TEMPO, SURE TO SPEED UP THE PACE
Bryant is one of three NEC teams in the top 30 in KenPom's adjusted tempo, ranking 29th at 74.7 possessions per 40 minutes. Long Island leads the NEC and is 21st nationally at 75.4 possessions per 40 minutes, while Sacred Heart is 26th in the country at 74.9. The return of Ndugba and addition of Green helped head coach Jared Grasso start to implement his pace in Smithfield after the Bulldogs ranked sixth in the NEC in adjusted tempo a year ago (67.6). 

By comparison, Navy plays one of the slowest paces in the nation, as the rate of 63.7 possessions per 40 minutes ranks 339th out of 353 teams.

UP NEXT: COLUMBIA
Bryant plays its final non-conference home game when the Bulldogs host Columbia Friday at 7 p.m. at the Chace Athletic Center. Tickets for Friday are available HERE and the game can be seen on NEC Front Row with Tristan Hobbes and Hunter Ware on the call. 

Bryant Men's Basketball 2019-20 season tickets are available by clicking HERE.

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