Last week was really an enormous week for the Bryant Men’s Basketball team. After starting the season with a subpar 0-2 record, they win their first victory at home, go on the road, and then make school history by defeating Brown University for the very first time to improve to 2-2. Despite what anyone thought about their impressive victory and the momentum they had, no one could guess that the team would accomplish an even greater feat a few days later. After the win at Brown, the Bulldogs had little time to prepare for their toughest matchup since their season opener; a road game against Boston College. When it was all said and done, Bryant earned its most important victory in school history.
This game could not have been closer and any fan on either side was biting their nails all the way through the second half. It was simply uncanny; there literally was almost no point during the game when either team had more than a three point lead. No team dominated at any one point, there were no surges or significant scoring runs; it was the perfect game for any basketball fan to watch. The first half was a defensive death match between the two teams; even Bryant’s sophomore guard, Dyami Starks, scored nothing in the first half after scoring 25 in the previous game against Brown. The teams went into the locker room at halftime with the Bulldogs holding a mere 26-24 advantage.
The majority of the second half had little difference from the first one. It featured the same defensive struggle; with no room for error and the teams fighting until the very end to declare a winner. With 1:02 left to play, Bryant had possession and a small 53-51 lead over the Eagles. After drawing a foul, the Bulldogs were able to get junior forward, Alex Francis, to the line.
After knocking down 1 of the 2 free throws, the Eagles maintained possession and also drew a foul to get Joe Radon to the line. Like Francis, Radon only sunk one shot and with 42 seconds left the lead was back to two. The Eagles immediately fouled senior guard, Frankie Dobbs, with 39 seconds to play and following suit he only made one of two shots.
This kept the Eagles in the game only down by three and on the following play the Bulldogs mistakenly fouled the leading Eagles scorer, Oliver Hanlan, who made both shots to close the gap within 55-54 with 31.1 seconds to play.
The Eagles again fouled Alex Francis, who could not make the one and one, and soon the Eagles had the ball down by one with 28.4 seconds to play. The play was to Oliver Hanlan, who had a clear jump shot that hit off the front rim and was rebound by Frankie Dobbs who was immediately fouled with 12.5 seconds left in the second half. Dobbs would hit one of two to give the Bulldogs the 56-54 lead with 8.5 seconds to go. Then Dobbs would make up for his miss by drawing a charging foul on Hanlan, giving the ball back to the Bulldogs with 3.9 to play. The Eagles would have one last chance thanks to a travelling call on the Bulldogs but the last-second shot by Eagle Ryan Anderson missed and the Bulldogs won the closest game of the season. The win by the team tops everything they had ever done, and will go down as one of the biggest wins in Bulldogs’ history.