Mount St. Mary's (16-13) at Bryant (19-10)|
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, March 6, 7 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Chace Athletic Center (2,600) -- Smithfield, Rhode
Island. Television: None. Home Record: Mount St. Mary's 10-2, Bryant 11-3.
Away Record: Mount St. Mary's 6-11, Bryant 8-7. Neutral Record: Mount St.
Mary's 0-0, Bryant 0-0. Conference Record: Mount St. Mary's 11-7, Bryant 12-6.
Series Record: Mount St. Mary's leads, 7-2.
GAMES NOTES: Looking to break the NCAA record for regular season win
improvement the Bryant Bulldogs will square off with the Mount St. Mary's
Mountaineers in the first round of the Northeastern Confrence Tournament at
Chace Athletic Center.
A year ago at this time Bryant was just 2-28 overall but coming into the
postseason this season the Bulldogs are 19-10. That 17.5 game turn around is
would break the NCAA record for a one season turnaround of 17 games set by
Mercer (2002-03) and Texas-El Paso (2003-04). The timing couldn't have been
any better for the Bulldogs who come into this game as the fourth seed in the
league Tournament during their first season of NEC and NCAA Tournament
Mount St. Mary's makes it way to the NEC Tournament under first-year head
Jamion Christian who led the Mountaineers to a 16-13 overall record and an
11-7 mark in league action. The Mountaineers are the hottest teams in the
league entering the postseason as they picked up wins in their last seven
games of the regular season. The Mountaineers will be looking for their third
Northeastern Conference title and first since 2008.
During the regular season these teams split the series with the home team
victorious each time. The Mountaineers own a 7-2 edge in the all-time series.
The Mountaineers erupted from 3-point range to run by Farleigh Dickinson,
103-82, in the regular season finale. Mount St. Mary's nailed 13 shots from
beyond the arc and was paced by Shivaughn Wiggins who scored a game-high 28
Wiggins (9.6 ppg) really had a strong start to his college career as he was
named NEC Rookie of the Year earlier this week. Wiggins shot 48.6 percent from
the floor on the season and hit 47.7 percent from 3-point range. Wiggins was
more of a complimentary scorer most nights though with Rashad Whack (13.4 ppg)
pacing the team on the offensive end of the floor. Julian Norfleet (10.8 ppg)
and Sam Prescott (10.8 ppg) are additional scoring threats for the
Mountaineers. Frontcourt depth was a real issue for the Mountaineers this
season with the team ranked last in confrence in rebounds (28.8 pg). The
Mountaineers also hurt themselves with the worst opponent field goal
percentage in the country (.516).
Bryant picked up a dominating, 85-60, win over St. Francis (PA) in its season
finale. The Bulldogs had five players in double figures with Alex Francis (19
points, 12 rebounds) and Vlad Kondratyev (10 points, 10 rebounds) each posting
a double-double. As a team the Bulldogs hit 65.3 percent from the field while
owning a massive 41-16 edge in rebounds.
Francis (17.1 ppg, 8.7 rpg), a first-team All-NEC selection has been one of
the best bigs in the conference as he leads the NEC's second-best scoring
offense. The Bulldogs put in 74.3 points per game and shoot an NEC-best 48.1
percent from the field. They also lead the league in assists (15.3 pg).
Defensively the Bulldogs have not been as stellar allowing 71.1 points per
game on 45 percent shooting. Dyami Starks (17.7 ppg) is another dynamic scorer
for the Bulldogs and teams with Francis as the second-best scoring tandem in
the conference. Frankie Dobbs (13.6 ppg, 5.1 apg) is a strong scorer in his
own right while leading the team in assists.
With how well the Bulldogs can put points on the board it will be tough for
the Mountaineers to keep up. Expect Bryant to keep it historical season alive
and move on to the second round.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Bryant 77, Mount St. Mary's 72
03/06 10:34:58 ET