Bryant Pulls Away in Second Half, Downs Men's Basketball in Season-Finale

Bryant Pulls Away in Second Half, Downs Men's Basketball in Season-Finale

Bryant pulled away from Central Connecticut in the second half to claim a 91-77 win on Saturday in men's basketball action in Smithfield, RI. The Blue Devils were within three points early in the second half before the Bulldogs used a 10-0 run to pull away and claim the double-figure win.

The teams combined four 24 three-pointers, including 16 in the second half. 

Bryant scored five straight to take the lead at 7-4 on a Nisre Zouzoua three-pointer. The Bulldogs would lead throughout the first half, pushing the lead to as much as 34-22 after outscoring CCSU, 9-3, over a span of 1:06.

The Blue Devils would hold Bryant to just one field goal over the final 5:10 of the opening period to trim the deficit. Freshman Chris Williams hit a jumper at the 2:53 mark to open a 7-0 run for Central. A jumper from senior Tidell Pierre was followed by a three-pointer from sophomore Austin Nehls to make it 36-31.

Nehls would hit a three-pointer with :01.1 left in the period, and was fouled. He hit the foul shot to convert the four-point play and get CCSU within 38-35 at the intermission. 

The Blue Devils shot 13-of-28 (.464) from the field, and 4-of-7 (.571) from the arc in the opening half. Nehls led all scorers with 12 points in the period.

Bryant shot 12-of-31 (.387) overall and 4-of-16 (.250) from three-point range. The Bulldogs finished the half missing eight straight from the arc. Bryant had a stretch of 10 straight points come from the foul line in the opening half and was 10-of-13 (.769) at the stripe in the opening period.

A three-pointer by Khalen Cumberlander got Central within, 51-48, at the 14:39 mark of the second half, but Bryant would score the next eight points to begin pulling away.

Zouzoua would hit back-to-back trifectas to open the spurt and CCSU would get no closer than nine points the rest of the way. Bryant outscored CCSU, 21-4, over a span of 6:07. The Bulldogs would have spurts of 10 straight and then nine unanswered points. A dunk by Dan Garvin would give the Bulldogs their largest lead at 85-57 to cap a string of nine straight points with 4:27 to play.

Central trimmed the deficit with 12 straight points. Williams would hit two straight three-pointers and another from freshman Harrison Kay would cap the spurt. Back-to-back three-pointers from Kay and freshman Tyson Batiste to close the game would make it 91-77.

The Blue Devils had three players in double-figures, led by Nehls and Williams with 17 points each. Williams' total was a career-high Cumberlander added 10 points in his final collegiate game. Batiste finished with a career-high seven assists against one turnover. Pierre finished with eight points and four rebounds and classmate Tafari Whittingham had four points and three rebounds in their final college games. Kay finished with a career-igh eight points, going 3-for-3 from the field.

CCSU shot 30-of-61 (.492) overall and was 11-of-18 (.611) from three-point range.

Bryant was led by Zouzoua with 27 points. Ware and Marcel Pettway added 10 points each. 

The Bulldogs were 32-of-63 (.508) from the field and 13-of-35 (.371) from the arc. Bryant had a 37-28 edge in rebounding.

Central closes the 2016-17 campaign with a 6-23 mark overall and 4-14 in the Northeast Conference. Bryant improves to 12-19 overall and 9-9 in the NEC.