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Bryant avenges loss to SFU

LORETTO — Despite coming into Friday’s game off the back of Thursday night’s triumph over Bryant, the Saint Francis men’s basketball team was unable to replicate that victory on Friday.

The two Northeast Conference teams concluded their two-game series with a 72-63 victory by the Bulldogs on Friday at DeGol Arena.

Saint Francis fell to 2-7 overall and 1-4 in the NEC, while Bryant improved to 10-3 overall, 6-2 in the NEC.

Bryant started out the first half strong en route to a 14-4 lead early in the game. Despite the slow start, the work of the Red Flash’s aggressive defense was a notable highlight for the team and earned praise from coach Rob Krimmel.

“We took a step forward today defensively and I thought we played well enough (on defense) to win the game,” Krimmel said. “The challenge for us going up against a team like Bryant, who is so potent on offense, you’ve got to be able to make shots.”

The Bulldogs kept a tight hold on the lead early, even though Saint Francis got back into the game, entering halftime down only seven, 33-26.

In the second half, the Bulldogs continued to tighten their grip by extending their advantage to 12 points early on. Even with great individual plays from the likes of Myles Thompson, Marlon Hargis and Zahree Harrison, Saint Francis was only able to close the gap to seven points in the second half.

Similar to how Bryant’s many fouls gave numerous easy points to Saint Francis in Thursday night’s outing, the Red Flash’s effective defense would, at times, surrender foul shot attempts for the Bulldogs.

“We want to make more free-throws than our opponents take and that wasn’t the case tonight,” Krimmel said. “One of the things we got to learn defensively is to play a lot harder without fouling. We put them (Bryant) on the line way too much.”

Saint Francis senior Ramiir Dixon-Conover led the Red Flash. He went 8-for-16 from the field and scored a team-high 18 points. Dixon-Conover also said his team was able to “grow defensively” from this game, but referenced how missed shots by the Flash, and foul shots, led to the loss to Bryant.

“A lot of their points came from the free-throw line and we missed a lot of opportunities,” Dixon-Conover said.

Coming up next, the Red Flash travels to Connecticut on Thursday to face-off against Sacred Heart.

“Come back at it (Saturday), we’ll take care of our bodies, get some work with the guys who didn’t play a ton here and get ready for next week,” Krimmel said.

BRYANT (10-3): Elisias 3-7 3-5 9, Green 3-11 8-8 16, Hurtado 0-2 1-2 1, Kiss 7-12 4-4 22, Pride 1-8 4-6 7, Childs 4-12 0-0 11, Stokes 1-2 0-0 2, Bans 2-2 0-0 4. Totals 21-56 20-25 72.

ST. FRANCIS (2-7): Flagg 0-2 1-2 1, Thompson 3-10 0-1 6, Dixon-Conover 8-16 2-2 18, Laskey 3-8 0-0 9, Land 1-7 0-0 2, Giles 1-9 0-0 2, Hargis 5-10 2-3 12, Cohen 4-6 1-1 9, Harrison 2-3 0-0 4, Ruggery 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 27-73 6-9 63.

Halftime–Bryant 33-26. 3-Point Goals–Bryant 10-24 (Kiss 4-6, Childs 3-10, Green 2-5, Pride 1-2, Stokes 0-1), St. Francis 3-22 (Laskey 3-8, Hargis 0-1, Harrison 0-1, Dixon-Conover 0-2, Land 0-2, Ruggery 0-2, Giles 0-3, Thompson 0-3). Rebounds–Bryant 38 (Elisias 20), St. Francis 36 (Hargis, Cohen 8). Assists–Bryant 10 (Green, Pride 3), St. Francis 10 (Dixon-Conover, Laskey 3). Total Fouls–Bryant 13, St. Francis 22.

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