FAIRFIELD, Conn – The Bryant Bulldogs built an 18 point halftime lead on Sacred Heart on their way to a 76-67 win Sunday afternoon at the William H. Pitt Center. The Pioneers have now lost six straight and fall to 1-7 in the Northeast Conference.
Senior Louis Montes (Brockton, MA) poured in a team-high 22 points for Sacred Heart, while Steve Glowiak (New Britain, CT) nailed seven three-pointers, including six in the second half, on his way to 21 points. Point Guard Phil Gaetano (Wallingford, CT) dished out six assists, including the 500th dime of his Sacred Heart career.
For Bryant, Dyami Starks led the way with a game-high 24 points on 8-of-16 shooting. Alex Francis added 20 points and Corey Maynard scored 18 points. The Bulldogs shot 3-of-18 from beyond the arc but made 21-of-25 free throws in the victory.
The Pioneers were out of rhythm offensively in the first half and found themselves in a big hole early. SHU scored just four points in the first 9 minutes and 13 seconds of the game, trailing Bryant 16-4. Steve Glowiak knocked down a three-pointer at the 10:47 mark to put an end to a seven-minute SHU scoring drought.
The momentum however was short-lived for SHU as Alex Francis answered with back-to-back baskets on the other end to put Bryant back up 13 midway through the first. The Pioneers did not have an answer for Francis inside, as the big man scored 16 points in the first half.
Bryant's lead ballooned all the way up to 22 in the first half as they took an 18 point lead into the break.
Sacred battled tough in the second half with Steve Glowiak and Louis Montes leading the Pioneer surge. The duo combined for 38 of Sacred Heart's 44 second half points with Montes pouring in 20 points after halftime.
Montes scored eight consecutive early in the second half to cut the Bulldog lead to 17 with 16:19. Glowiak followed that up with consecutive long balls to cut the lead to 11 with 15:08 left in the second.
Glowiak again pulled up for a three-ball, this time wide open in transition to cut the lead to nine at 61-52 with 8:18 left.
Glowiak drilled his seventh three-pointer of the game to get Sacred Heart within five, 70-65, with 2:06 remaining, the closest they'd been since Bryant led 8-4 in the first half.
After a defensive stop, the Pioneers had a chance to cut the lead to one possession but a Pioneer turnover created a transition lay-up for Bryant to put their lead back to seven, 72-65, with 1:20 left. SHU would again cut it to five after a Gaetano lay-in with 1:10 left but a clutch three from Starks with 39 seconds left put Bryant back up eight and put an end to the SHU comeback.
The Pioneers continue their home stand Thursday night as the play host to the Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers at 9 PM at the Pitt Center. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN3.