Home » Columns » Currently Reading:

Bryant digs deep to lock up a tournament home game

February 27, 2015 Columns No Comments

SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Trailing by 11, with their hopes of locking in at least one home game in the Northeast Conference Tournament on the line, Bryant had to dig deep. They were up against a team that had nothing to lose and was playing like it all night long. Central Connecticut had started the second half 6-8 from the field, including two of their three attempts from deep. It was almost as if the Bulldogs were putting so much pressure on themselves, as if they knew that this was their best chance to clinch a top-four seed.

“The way they were making shots, I’ll be honest with you, I could see myself telling Howie (Dickenman, Central Connecticut’s head coach), ‘Great game’ at the end,” said Bryant head coach Tim O’Shea. “They were making some incredible shots.”

Then Bryant did it. They dug deep. Their leader did what he does, and the rest of the team followed. They got what they wanted – a 77-69 win to lock up no worse than a No. 4 seed.

Dyami Starks sensed the team needed a spark, and though he had missed his first six shots from deep, he never stops competing. He went on a personal 8-0 run, capped by consecutive three-pointers, to get them within three. Central Connecticut had more answers for a while, but you could see the Bulldogs coming.

“We go as he goes,” said sophomore forward Dan Garvin, who had his sixth double-double of the season with 17 points (8-10 shooting) and 14 rebounds to go with four blocked shots. “He’s up, we’re up; he’s down, we’re down.”

And as if it was all supposed to work out this way, after the senior leader got it all going, it was a freshman who completed the comeback. Hunter Ware, who they have been high on all along but had struggled recently, hit a big three-pointer to Bryant up for good at 64-63. It was all Bryant from there, with Ware finishing with 16 points, including 4-6 shooting from long range.

Ware’s three-pointer started a run of ten unanswered points. The run continued with two baskets by Garvin, who had a so-so non-conference this year but has been better in Northeast Conference play, and ended with a three-point play by unsung hero Joe O’Shea, who quietly had 15 points and seven rebounds to continue what has been a solid couple of months.

Both the coach and Starks talked about the team staying together while they fell behind. O’Shea saw the togetherness in the timeouts, and Starks also highlighted how much they trusted each other. They did it at just the right time considering what lies ahead.

“It was like a tournament situation, having to win to advance and get a home game,” said O’Shea. “It really had the feel, coaching, like a tournament game. Down double digits on your home court, to a team that’s been struggling, it’s a lot of pressure on everybody, and the guys did not fold. That’s what I was happy about.”

Bryant was going to have a tougher time getting that much-needed win on Saturday, when regular season champion St. Francis Brooklyn comes to town in the finale. Winners of nine straight, the Terriers have established themselves as the class of the conference, leading by four games with one to play. Saturday is also Senior Day, and that can be a tough time because of emotions and having to take care of things leading up to the pre-game ceremony. While the Bulldogs would like to do all they can to land the No. 2 seed, the pressure is off as far as securing a home game.

The Bulldogs had a tough time in non-conference play. They looked like a team that needed to figure out what they were going to be aside from Starks and the potential Garvin has. Even then, Garvin appeared to still be figuring out what kind of player he’s going to be. Once conference play got going, they played better, with the likes of Bosko Kostur emerging and Garvin playing more to his potential. Shane McLaughlin, who had 12 assists with just one turnover on Thursday night, has developed into a solid point guard.

Bryant can still get the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament, which would then guarantee them a home semifinal game should they win their quarterfinal. They also want to continue playing well going into it, knowing how competitive and unpredictable the conference has become outside of St. Francis Brooklyn.

“It’s definitely better to be playing at home, but I’m not going to go as far as to say it’s a relief,” said Garvin. “We’ve still got to go to the playoffs, take each game one at a time, so if we can lock up the second seed, that would be good.”

Comment on this Article:







Subscribe to Hoopville

Enter your email address to subscribe to Hoopville

Advertisement


Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

Coaching Changes

The coaching carousel is moving. Keep track of the latest coaching changes right here on Hoopville.

Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

Hoopville Podcasts

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – May 30, 2018

May 30, 2018 by

The NBA Draft and its deadline to withdraw to return to school leads the way in our latest podcast. We also look at one conference’s new scheduling plans, a number of quick hitters, and pay tribute to a fallen conference leader.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 26, 2018

April 27, 2018 by

In our latest podcast, we spend a lot of time looking at what the Commission on College Basketball came up with, as their report was just produced. We also look at the NBA Draft and transfers, which have many rosters potentially in flux for next season.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 6, 2018

April 6, 2018 by

In our first podcast in the postseason, we look back one more time on the NCAA Tournament, which was just what we needed at this time. We also look at the NIT, CBI and CIT, as well as important transactions with players leaving early for the NBA Draft and coaching changes.

Talking Hoops With Ted Sarandis – April 3, 2018

April 3, 2018 by

The 2018 national championship is in the books, and with it another season of college basketball. We break down the national championship game and some of its implications to wrap up the season.

College Basketball Tonight – April 1, 2018

April 2, 2018 by

Welcome to our Final Four edition of College Basketball Tonight. In this edition, we look ahead to Monday’s national championship game, and bring on two guests – long-time Villanova radio play-by-play broadcaster Ryan Fannon and Radford head coach Mike Jones – to get their thoughts and insights on the game.

Phil Kasiecki on Twitter

Recruiting Coverage

Lincoln captures Hamilton Park title

August 15, 2017 by

For the first time, a public school won the Hamilton Park Summer League, and they were led by a big effort from a junior point guard in the title game.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Boston Shootout

June 12, 2017 by

Some news and notes coming from the second and final day of action at the 2017 Boston Shootout, where the host program provided plenty of talent, but so did a program that produced a team that beat them.

Notes from a day at the 2017 Northeast Hoops Festival

April 11, 2017 by

The Northeast Hoops Festival helped bring in the new spring travel season in New England, and we have notes from some of Saturday’s action.

2016 Boston Back to School Showcase notes

September 12, 2016 by

We look back at the 2016 Boston Back to School Showcase, where a couple of Boston City League teams were among the most impressive on the day.

2016 Hoopville Spring Finale championship recap

June 28, 2016 by

We look back at the championship games of the 2016 Hoopville Spring Finale, which had a big local flavor as one might have expected.