Yesterday, I braved the bomb cyclone again to make it out to the Chace Athletics Center in beautiful Smithfield, RI to watch the Bryant Bulldogs host the Central Connecticut State Blue Devils.
My first impressions of the Chace Athletics Center were similar to my first impressions of The Roof. It had the feel of a high school gym. Luckily, for Bryant the attendance levels were much higher than what I encountered at Boston University.
I was also immediately let down that the apple of eye Taylor Goode had not made the trip with the CCSU team.
Luckily, Sydney Holloway made it easy for me to overcome my initial heartbreak.
The first quarter was a tough one for Bryant as they were outscored 19-10 by CCSU. The imbalance of scoring for Bryant compared to the balanced attack from CCSU in the first quarter was representative for the remainder of the game. In the first quarter CCSU had seven players score while Bryant only had two.
I was initially, impressed by Bryant guard Naomi Ashley’s ability to get deflections and force turnovers with her active hands. However, her inability to convert her steals into points particularly close to rim was a big factor in the slow start Bryant had offensively. Kianna Patterson, lead the way for CCSU in the first quarter scoring 4 points.
There was a T-Shirt toss after the end of first quarter that like the Boston University T-Shirt toss was almost funny/painful to watch. At most sporting events when it’s time for a T-Shirt toss you have T-Shirt guns and people going absolute ape shit for a T-Shirt that they’ll probably never wear.
Not at Bryant University.
The marketing staff practically had to beg people to take the T-Shirts from them.
Onto the second quarter…
The story of the second quarter was Bryant’s defense that help them cut into CCSU’s lead. They were able to hold CCSU to a lowly 15% from the field, shooting 3-20, and forced 6 turnovers. Emma McCamus scored all 9 of CCSU’s points in the second, while Kathleen Everson lead the way for Bryant with 6 points.
CCSU went into the locker rooms with a 2 point lead from a largely underwhelming first half.
Halftime got off to a bang with an electric halftime show
Basketball musical chairs. Unbelievable. The Halftime show ended almost on cue as the real show started.
The Sydney Holloway show.
Bryant outscored CCSU 18-8 in the third quarter lead by Sydney Holloway’s 11 points. Similar to my experience at Boston University height was hard to find the on court today which allowed Holloway to take advantage. Holloway’s combination of length, athleticism and coordination was a sight to behold as she picked apart the CCSU defense. Her ability to get to the basket at will, as well as, the free throw line was mesmerizing.
As a former mop boy I noticed one thing that I didn’t like during the 3rd quarter. This mop boy’s performance.
Just a lackluster lazy performance. Weak form only using one hand. SAD! The players deserve better than this. Act like you want to be there bub. If Kobe Bryant can mop, you can mop.
Listen to the emotion in Kobe’s voice, how exhilarating mopping the floor was for him. This kid needs to watch some game film, do some soul searching and come back with a better performance next game. There is no reason why the Chace Athletic Center should’t have the driest floor in the Northeast Conference.
Figure it out.
Back to the game…
Holloway put up another 8 points in the 4th quarter leading the way for Bryant with 28 points and 10 rebounds en route to a 66-50 victory over CCSU.
This was Holloway’s 6th double double of the season. Sydney was also able to reach another career milestone scoring her 500th point. Just an all out dominating performance from the sophomore.
Following the game, Bryant head coach Mary Burke commented saying “I thought it was really great for the players to start off 2018 with a home win. I thought we did a few things really well, we were able to hold Central to 50 points defensively which was great. Offensively, getting into the 60s was a goal of ours because we’ve had trouble scoring. I’m really proud of the effort. Needless to say, it hasn’t been easy, but the players have put us in this position in order to be successful.”
Overall, I enjoyed my experience at the Chace Athletics Center. The crowd was engaged, the concession stand accepted credit cards (I’m looking at you Boston University) and Sydney Holloway put on a clinic.
I’d one hundred percent return to Bryant University again and plan on following
Sydney Holloway’s career and the rest of the Bryant team.