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Early push not enough against Robert Morris

Photo by: Bryant Athletic Communications
Photo by: Bryant Athletic Communications

MOON TOWNSHIP, PA. – It was a hard fought battle tonight in Moon Township as the Bryant University women's basketball team put the undefeated Robert Morris on its heels before falling, 59-56 in the final minute of play.

The guards shined tonight for the Black and Gold as senior Kierra Palmer (Aberdeen, Md.) led Bryant with 14 points shooting a perfect 4-for-4 from beyond the arc. Junior Masey Zegarowksi (Hamilton, Mass.) and red-shirt senior Naomi Ashley (Hamilton, Ont.) each added 12 points as Ashley led with eight rebounds.

GAME INFORMATION
Robert Morris 59, Bryant 56
Record: Bryant 6-15 (4-6), Robert Morris 13-8 (10-0)
Location: North Athletic Complex (Moon Township, Pa.)

COACH BURKE COMMENTS
"I'm really proud of the team's effort today," said head coach Mary Burke. "We came in and battled with Robert Morris until the very end and fell short. As frustrating as that may be, to come out here and compete against the bets team in the league, who's undefeated, really speaks volumes about us. I'm looking forward to another opportunity to play them again."

KEY MOMENT

  • To start the second half, Robert Morris went on a 13-0 run to take the lead.
  • After several lead changes, Ashley gave Bryant a one-point advantage, but the Colonials went on a 6-0 run to take the lead that they would not surrender at the end of the fourth quarter.

HOW IT HAPPENED

  • Zegarowki started off strong for the Bulldogs dropping down into help for a steal in the very first possession. Zegarowski then hit back-to-back three's to start Bryant's scoring, 6-4.
  • Later in the first quarter, Irekpitan Ozzy-Momodu stole the ball and pushed it up to Natalie Villaflor to tie the game at 12 apiece. After Sydney Holloway (Morgantown, W. Va.) got a quick look inside, the Colonials knocked down a three to end the quarter with the lead, 15-14.
  • In the second quarter, the Bulldogs held Robert Morris to just six points forcing the Colonials to shoot 3-of-13 from the field.
  • Bryant capitalized by going on a 9-0 run to start the second quarter. Sophomore Brooke Bjelko (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) started the run after pulling down an offensive rebound and putting it back in for two.
  • Robert Morris came out firing to start the second half going on a 13-0 run and taking its biggest lead of the game, 34-29.
  • Palmer ended the run with her first three-pointer of the game followed by an assist to Holloway to tie the game, 34-34. The senior point guard hit another three to bring the advantage back to the Bulldogs, 37-36.
  • The two teams went back and forth in the fourth quarter, unable to go on any significant runs.
  • With two minutes to go in the game, sophomore Hannah Scanlan (Rumson, N.J.) sank two free throws to tie the game, 52-52, followed by a free throw from Ashley to lead by one.
  • After Ashley's foul shot, the Bulldogs would go scoreless until Palmer pulled up for three with 12 seconds left to put Bryant within one, 57-56. The Bulldogs were forced to foul and the Colonials sank both from the charity stripe to ice the game.  

STATS

  • Palmer led the Bulldogs with 14 points shooting a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the arc.
  • Zegarowski and Ashley each notched 12 points as Zegarowski shot 4-of-5 from three and Ashley shot 4-of-7 from the foul line.
  • Ashley also led Bryant with eight rebounds and three steals.
  • Holloway, Scanlan, and Palmer all tallied two assists each.
  • Bryant outrebounded Robert Morris, 39-30, grabbing 13 offensive rebounds led by Ashley with four.

GAME NOTES

  • The Bulldogs made a season-high nine three pointers.
  • Zegarowski's four three-pointers is a season-high and the second time in her career. The last time Zegarowski made four three's was in 2017 against Saint Francis U.
  • Bryant is the only team in the conference to hold Robert Morris to just 59 points this season. They are also the only team in the NEC to come within three points. The only other time Robert Morris beat an NEC team by just three points, was Bryant earlier this season in January 60-57.
  • The Bulldogs fall to 5-18 all-time against the Colonials and 0-12 in Moon Township.

UP NEXT
The Bulldogs remain in Pennsylvania as they make their way over to Saint Francis U for a 6 p.m. tip on Monday, February 11.