WORCESTER, Mass. – The Bryant University women's basketball team takes the short trip over the Massachusetts border to meet with Holy Cross for a midweek tilt on Wednesday, Nov. 20. Tip-off is set for 7:05 p.m. as the Bulldogs look to secure their second win of the season.
Opponent: Holy Cross
Location: Hart Center at the Luth Athletic Complex (Worcester, Mass.)
Game Time: 7:05 p.m.
Watch Live: Patriot League Network
Live Stats: Sidearm Stats
Game Notes: Game 4 – Holy Cross
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | #AllHeart #AllHustle | #NECWBB
SCOUTING THE CRUSADERS
The Crusaders kicked off the 2019-20 season with a challenging start to the season against both Illinois and Boston College. Holy Cross took Illinois into overtime for its season opener but fell, 78-75, before topping Boston College in its home opener, 80-71, for an even 1-1 record.
Holy Cross averages 77.5 points per game thanks to leading scorer Lauren Manis who averages 16.5 a night as she posted a 20-20 game at Illinois with 22 points, 21 rebounds. Manis posted 22 against the Bulldogs last season off 6-of-11 shooting. She ranks fourth in the Patriot League for her scoring efforts and seventh in the country with 13.5 rebounds a game.
LAST TIME OUT: VERMONT
The Bulldogs fell to Vermont for the first time in program history, 71-66, on Sunday afternoon. Freshman Nicole Gallagher (Foxboro, Mass.) posted a career-high 21 points as she was one of three Bulldogs to post double-figure scoring. Taty LaFrance Boyce (Norwich, Conn.) tallied 14 with 12 points coming in the second quarter alone. Junior Brooke Bjelko (Plattsburgh, N.Y.) posted her first double-double of the season with 13 points, 12 rebounds.
Gallagher earned NEC Rookie of the Week honors on Monday, Nov. 18 for her career-high game at Vermont. The rookie dropped 21 points off 60.0 percent shooting from the floor to go along with a 5-to-1 assist to turnover ratio. Gallagher is the first freshman for the Black and Gold to earn a ROW laurel since Hannah Scanlan in 2018. The 5-8 point guard currently leads the team averaging 12.7 points per game.
LUCKY YEAR NUMBER THREE
Bjelko made her first set of career starts in the Black and Gold to start the 2019-20 season. The 6-3 center tallied her first double-double of the season, fourth of her career, at Vermont with 13 points, 12 rebounds. Bjelko also endured the longest game of her career with 37 minutes of playing time, dishing out a career-best four assists.
SECOND QUARTER RALLY
LaFrance Boyce posted a season-best 14 points at Vermont in the 71-66 setback. The Uconn Avery Point transfer entered the starting lineup for the first time this season and helped Bryant make a comeback in the second quarter. In the second frame alone, LaFrance Boyce was two-for-two for three for an 83.3 percent field goal percentage tallying 12 points. The offensive burst fueled an 11-0 Bryant run to escape a 10-point deficit and but the Black and Gold within two at the end of the first half.
THREE'S A COMPANY
The Bulldogs have posted three double-digit scorers in all three of their first games of the 2019-20 season. Holloway (13), Gallagher (11), and Bravo (11) helped Bryant top Brown, while Lesko (13), Zegarowski (11), and Bjelko (10) contributed against New Hampshire. Most recently, Gallagher (21), LaFrance Boyce (14), and Bjelko (13) all posted double-figures at Vermont.
After ranking first last season in the NEC for most rebounds per game, the Bulldogs continue to dominate the glass in 2019-20. After just three games, Bryant remains as one of the top rebounding teams in the NEC leading the conference with a +8.3 rebound margin and 42.33 rebounds per game. Sydney Holloway (Morgantown, W.Va.) leads the conference and ranks sixth in the country averaging 6.7 offensive rebounds a game.
UP NEXT: ILLINOIS
The Bulldogs continue on the road as they trek to Illinois on Sunday, Nov. 24 for a 2 p.m. tip-off before heading the Minnesota that following Tuesday.