Trailing by as many as 13 in the first half, Mount St. Mary’s stormed back in the second half to defeat Bryant 67-65 at the Chace Center on Saturday in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
The road win keeps the Mountaineers in the hunt for the top spot in the Northeast Conference standings. Mount St. Mary’s is 2-2 in the NEC, 6-11 overall.
Jalen Gibbs led the Mount with 16 points, 14 in the second half. Malik Jefferson and Nana Opoku each had 15 points.
Mount St. Mary’s held a 35-33 rebounding advantage and had a season-high seven blocks, three by Opoku.
Bryant led 34-24 at halftime.
Mount St. Mary’s then made its move. The trio of Gibbs, Opoku and Jefferson led the charge on offense, finding lanes inside to score in the paint. The Mount shot 55 percent from the field in the second half, chipping away at the Bulldog lead. They took a three-point lead thanks to a 14-0 run over a five-minute stretch.
Mount St. Mary’s kept the advantage until the 11:40 mark, when a layup gave the Bulldogs the lead back. But the Mount retook the lead 20 seconds later on an Opoku layup 20, initiating a back-and-forth exchange where the Mount would score and Bryant would respond.
A 3-pointer from Adam Grant put Bryant back on top with 6:48 left, but Damian Chong Qui responded with a 3-pointer on the next possession. The Mount led the rest of the way.
Mount women 76, Bryant 70
Michaela Harrison led Mount St. Mary’s with 18 points. Jatarrikah Settle had 17. Rebecca Lee had 17 points with nine rebounds.
With the win, the Mount is 3-0 in the Northeast Conference, the first time since the 2005-2006 season Mount St. Mary’s has started out 3-0 in the conference.