SMITHFIELD, R.I. – In an NEC race that seems to pretty clearly up for grabs this season, it’s nice to have a guy like Shane McLaughlin around. The Bryant senior captain leads the conference in assists, and although he averages just 7.4 points per game can almost always be counted on to do the right thing down the stretch.
And with seemingly every NEC game going to the wire in 2015-16, he’s a big reason why the Bulldogs have shaken off a frustrating non-conference campaign to sit atop the NEC at 4-1 thus far. Thursday night in a tie game with the clock running down, Tim O’Shea put the ball in McLaughlin’s hands and hoped he could find an open teammate. When the tough St. Francis Brooklyn defense wouldn’t let him, McLaughlin – despite being just 1-5 from the field for two points at the time – took it upon himself, draining a fade away 18-footer with 1.3 seconds left to give Bryant a hard-fought 61-59 win at the Chace Athletic Center.
BOSTON – Sportswriters (and the world at large, to be honest) tend to make way too big a deal out of singular events, but if there was ever a statement as to the current (and future) power of the Ivy League, it was Harvard’s complete demolition of Bryant Wednesday night at Lavietes Pavilion.
Having unfortunately borne witness to many of them over the years, it had all the look of a “guarantee game”. Of course, if Bryant wanted that, it could have gone down the street to Boston College or down I-95 to Providence.
But from the opening tip, Zena Edosomwan was just bigger and stronger than anyone the Bulldogs could throw at him, young guards Tommy McCarthy and Corey Johnson were bordering on arrogance because they could score whenever they pleased. Physically, athletically, skill-wise, whatever way you sliced it, it didn’t take a basketball expert to figure out who was the better team. It was a 20-point game by halftime and it was time to clear the benches and cheer for the walk-ons by the midway point of the second half.
From Opening Day, heck probably months before that, Sacred Heart coach Anthony Latina has preached that defense was the way his team would improve on his first season in charge, a 5-26 campaign that saw the Pioneers win just twice in NEC play. Continue reading →