Kovatch hits nine threes in 87-69 win over Bryant


n a night that Jessica Kovatch (Phillipsburg, N.J./Phillipsburg) was named a Lieberman Award candidate, the junior went for 36 points on nine threes and added three steals as Saint Francis improved to 8-1 in the NEC in a 87-69 victory over Bryant on Monday night.

The Red Flash went toe-to-toe with one of the best rebounding teams in the conference and ripped down 54 rebounds including 29 on the offensive glass. SFU had a 25-17 advantage on second-chance points and scored 38 points off 27 Bryant turnovers.

The teams traded early baskets with a Ace Harrison (Baltimore, MD/Digital Harbor (Maryland)) three giving SFU an early three-point lead only to see Bryant go on a 6-0 run to take the lead
SFU was held scoreless for a four-minute stretch as Bryant built a five-point lead, their largest of the game
Back-to-back threes by Kovatch erased the lead as SFU took the lead for good
Harrison and Kovatch each ran out lay-ups to extend the SFU lead to six at the first-quarter buzzer
The Red Flash led 24-18 after the first quarter
The SFU lead hung between five and seven points for the majority of the second quarter as the teams traded baskets
Bryant would cut the lead to four twice only to see Kovatch extend the lead out to seven with a three both times
A Kroll three with under a minute to go extended the SFU lead to eight
The Red Flash dominated the offensive glass in the second quarter, ripping down 11 offensive boards, leading to 10 second-chance points
SFU would take a 40-32 lead into the locker room
The Red Flash jumped out on a 9-2 run to start the quarter to lead 49-37
Lay-ups by Leah Morrow (Columbus, Ohio/Columbus Africentric), Duling and Haley Thomas (Hooversville, PA/Bishop McCort) led to a Swogger three and forced a Bryant timeout
The lead grew to 15 before Bryant went on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to five
The Red Flash answered back with lay-ups by Duling and Caitlyn Kroll (Bridgeport, Ohio/Bridgeport) pushed the lead back out to nine to end the quarter
SFU led 60-51 heading into the fourth
Saint Francis steadily built back the lead to start the fourth quarter as a three by Kovatch and a trio of Courtney Zezza (Plum, Pa./Plum) lay-ups bumped the lead to 15
A Duling lay-up capped a 14-4 run that ran back to the third quarter as the SFU lead hit 17 at 72-55
A four-point play by Kovatch helped the lead grow to 18
Bryant whittled the lead back down to 11 but Kovatch hit threes on back-to-back possessions and added a third to put the game on ice
Kovatch hit five of her nine threes in the fourth and scored 16 of her 36
SFU won the rebounding battle 54-50 as Bryant came in out rebounding NEC teams by 11 boards per game
Five players had at least two steals for SFU who totaled 15 on Monday
Saint Francis turned 27 Bryant turnovers into 38 points
Kyasia Duling (Zanesville, Ohio/New Albany (Duquesne)) had a 13-point 12-rebound double-double while Bryant’s Sydney Holloway had 18 points and 10 rebounds before fouling out
Kovatch’s nine made threes are tied for second in SFU history, behind her own record but her 9-15 shooting is her best shooting night of her career
The Bulldogs put four players in double figures led by Holloway’s 18
Saint Francis swatted away nine shots led by Duling’s three
The Red Flash stay at home and welcome in 9-0 Robert Morris for a Saturday tilt. Tip-off is set for 2 p.m. and can be seen on NEC Front Row and ESPN 3.

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