Bryant limited offensively in blowout loss to Ohio

Photo provided by Bryant University

ATHENS, Ohio – The Bryant University men’s basketball team was held to just a 6-for-30 effort from three and a 21-for-58 performance from the floor in Saturday’s 79-53 loss to Ohio University.

“We had a struggle today scoring the basketball and shooting from the outside which we really have not experienced yet this year, even against quality teams like Notre Dame or Gonzaga,” said head coach Tim O’Shea.

Sophomore Nisre Zouzoua (Brockton, Mass.) led the Bulldogs (3-6) with a team-high 16 points on 4-of-5 from three to go along with six boards and three steals. Freshman Adam Grant (Franklin, Va.) netted 12 points and classmate Ikenna Ndugba (Boston, Mass.) had a team-best 10 rebounds along with four assists and no turnovers. But Bryant struggled as a unit, shooting just 36 percent from the floor and 30 percent from distance with only one made three in the second half (1-11).

“We’ve been so used to scoring in excess of 70 points, but we just had an off day,” said O’Shea. “Give them credit for using their help defense to get in the face of shooters, but a lot of shots rimmed out, so it was just one of those days that you need to move on from.”

Bigman Antonio Campbell had contest-highs of 23 points and 12 boards while going 8-of-10 from the floor and 3-for-4 from long range to pace the Bobcats (5-1). Jordan Dartis was an assassin from beyond the arc, as he drained six treys and tallied 20 points to pair with six boards. Jaaron Simmons had nine points and nine assists, Doug Taylor had nine points and nine caroms, and Rodney Culver added nine points off the bench.

“We really missed Dan Garvin today who missed his second-straight game and we felt his absence much more than we did against Yale,” said O’Shea. “He would have certainly helped us out down low with the length Ohio has, and our big guys had some early foul trouble so that extra body which just so happens to be our top rim protector would have helped. But Dartis shot extremely well and Campbell is a very skilled post player who can do a lot to hurt you.”

A back-and-forth opening seven minutes was a one-point game at the 13:30 mark following a deep step-back two from Zouzoua. But Simmons and Dartis hit consecutive threes from the left wing to head an 8-0 run and give the hosts their largest lead to that point, 19-10, at the 11:56 mark.

The Bulldogs went on a 9-2 run over the next two minutes capped off by Zouzoua’s third trey of the half to make it 21-19. After a Gus Riley (Nelson, New Zealand) layup brought Bryant to within two once again, 28-26, at the 6:36 mark, the hosts closed out the half on a 22-7 run to take a commanding 50-33 edge. Dartis drained four of his six threes in the stretch, including one with three seconds remaining to carry the Bobcats.

Ohio extended the lead to 25 over the first 5:40 of the second half with a 10-2 run behind a three from Dartis and seven points from Campbell, capped off by his two-handed flush on a lob from Simmons. The hosts led by as many as 30 and no fewer than 20 over the final 13:17 to wrap up the victory.

Bryant concludes its final non-conference road trip with a visit to Navy on Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.