The Bryant Bulldogs kept it close for a half, heading into the locker room down just two. But the young, sharpshooting Eagles got hot from three in the second half (7-for-12) and were able to put away the Bulldogs 77-55 on Sunday afternoon at Conte Forum.
Lonnie Jackson sparked a 10-0 Eagles run to start the second half by connecting on a pair of three pointers early in the second half. Jackson finished with a career-high 26 points, including 7-for-11 shooting from beyond the arc. Ryan Anderson had a great all-around game on Sunday, finishing with his second career double-double (12 points, 12 boards). Big man Dennis Clifford finished with 10 and 6, while most importantly, point guard Jordan Daniels dished out nine assists and zero turnovers in the victory.
We all know that Steve Donahue's offense relies on shooters and hopefully the Eagles have found that in Jackson. While he won't get as many looks as he did against a smaller Bryant squad, Jackson was feeling it from beyond the arc and easily put together his best performance of the season.
The Eagles played with a bit more confidence on offense, moving the ball well and finishing with a season-high 21 assists on 28 buckets.
Even with the victory -- the Eagles' first winning streak on the year -- there was room for improvement.
Bryant closed the first half on an 13-5 run (and 11 of the last 13 points) to cut the lead to just two points going into the half. If the Eagles hadn't come out for the second half hot, this game could have turned out much, much differently.
Matt Humphrey continues to struggle from the floor, finishing the game just 1-11 and 1-8 from three. On many possessions, Humphrey will pull up and shoot far too early in the possession. Some of his misses from range early in the possession allowed Bryant to fast-break down the other end of the court for some easy buckets. Humphrey needs to distribute the ball more and wait for the Eagles to get into more of an offensive set before chucking up threes.
Ryan Anderson, Dennis Clifford, Jordan Daniels, Matt Humphrey and Lonnie Jackson were the five Eagles that logged 20+ minutes yesterday as Donahue begins to settle into a more regular rotation. Patrick Heckmann (10 points, 2 boards) had limited PT playing with four fouls.
The Eagles are back in action on Wednesday night as they host another NEC team -- 6-6 Sacred Heart -- at Conte Forum. Tip is 7 PM.