BRIDGEWATER, Mass. – The Bridgewater State University men's basketball team edged visiting Dean College, 78-77, on Thursday night at the Tinsley Center.
The Bears picked up their first win of the season as they improve to 1-6, while the Bulldogs fall to 2-7 with their seventh straight setback. Bridgewater State is 1-2 all-time versus Dean as the two teams have meet each of the last three seasons.
Three Bears scored in double figures led by senior guard Ryan Carney (Easton, Mass.) who tallied a game-best 21 points, 11 rebounds (three offensive) and seven assists. The double-double marked Carney's second of the season.
Sophomore forward Jose Monteiro Jr. (Brockton, Mass.) added a career-high 18 points and eight rebounds as well as four assists, two steals and two blocked shots, while senior forward Dimitri St. Louis (Brockton, Mass.) notched a double-double with 15 points and 11 boards (four offensive) to go along with a pair of blocks. St. Louis' connected for a clutch three-pointer in the final minute to help secure the win.
Senior forward Rayshon Ward (Fayetteville, Mass.) added eight points and ten rebounds for the Bears.
All five starters scored in double figures for the Bulldogs. Senior guard Jordan Booker (Waterbury, Conn.) paced Dean with 20 points, five rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Senior guard D'caran Anderson (Compton, Calif.) added 15 points, while junior guard Traijan Powell (Sierra Vista, Ariz.) tallied 12 points and junior forward Joel Jones (Fayetteville, N.C.) and junior guard Jordan Lynch-Rexroth (Harrisburg, Pa.) finished with ten points apiece. Jones also pulled down a team-high ten rebounds to record the double-double.
The Bulldogs outscored the Bears 17-2 over the first 5:13 of the contest. Carney converted a traditional three-point play and then dropped in a layup to jumpstart a 14-4 BSU run as the Bears closed the gap to 21-16 with 9:42 remaining in the first half. Carney scored eight points during the run. The rest of the half was tightly contested with the Bulldogs taking a 42-36 lead into the break.
Carney scored 14 points in the opening stanza while Monteiro checked in with ten. Booker and Anderson tallied 12 first-half points apiece for the Bulldogs.
Back-to-back buckets by Powell early in the second half pushed the Dean lead up to eight, 46-38. The Bears then torched the Bulldogs with an 18-3 run over a five-minute stretch to jump on top, 56-49, with 13:47 left to play. Five different Bears scored during the run which was capped off by a David Laine (Bourne, Mass.) trifecta.
Bridgewater extended the lead to 12 (65-53) following a Ward layup at the 11-minute mark. The Bears had a chance to make it a 14-point game on their ensuing possession, but a key turnover would change the momentum of the game.
The Bulldogs responded with a 12-2 run, sparked by six points from Powell, to make it a two-point game (67-65) with 7:11 remaining. Dean, however, would go nearly three minutes before scoring again.
A three-pointer by sophomore guard Alan Pettway (Worcester, Mass.) and 1 of 2 throws from Monteiro Jr. pushed the BSU advantage back up to six, 71-65, as the clock ticked down to four minutes. After Anderson and Ward exchanged jumpers, the Bulldogs ripped off six straight points as they capitalized on back-to-back turnovers to knot the score at 73-73 with 2 ½ minutes remaining.
Both teams came up empty on each of their next two possessions before St. Louis drained the clutch three-pointer to give the Bears a 76-73 lead with 56 seconds left to play. After coming up with a key offensive rebound, Booker knocked down a pair of free throws with 39 seconds remaining to cut it one, 76-75. Ward then dropped in a soft jumper from the paint off a nice feed from Carney with 11 seconds showing to give the hosts a three-point cushion (78-75).
The Bulldogs had a good look at a three, but could not convert. Lynch-Rexroth grabbed the offensive board and dropped in a layup with just two seconds left. The Bears, however, easily inbounded the ball and ran out the clock to secure the win.
The Bears shot 43% (30-70) for the game, while the Bulldogs connected on 42% (32-76) of their field goal attempts. The two teams combined to go just 7-for-49 (14%) from behind the arc. Bridgewater finished with a 44-26 advantage in points in the paint, while Dean held a 20-6 edge in points off turnovers.
Remarkably, the game featured just two ties and one lead change.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday. The Bears host Wheaton College at one o'clock, while the Bulldogs take on Trinity College at eight o'clock in the Ed Hockenbury Classic hosted by Norwich University.