By Adam Levine
Asst. Sports Editor
The Framingham State Rams were outmatched against the Bryant University Bulldogs in a 98-44 exhibition game loss Nov. 28.
The Rams struggled with shooting in the matchup, only making 25% of their field goal attempts and 12.5% of their 16 three-point field goal attempts. While the Bulldogs also struggled with their three-point shooting, only making 28% of their three-point field goal attempts, they shot for an astounding 58% from the field.
The game tipped off and the NCAA Division I Bulldogs attacked the Rams with full force.
After 5 minutes of play had passed, Bryant held an impressive 13-0 lead, led by six points from Antwan Walker and two steals each from Sherif Gross-Bullock and Charles Pride.
With 14:37 left in the first half, Framingham got on the scoreboard when the Rams’ Julius Goines scored a layup.
Bryant now led Framingham with a score of 13-2.
Bryant’s Pride and Framingham’s Jahden Erold made back-to-back three-point attempts, increasing the score to 16-5 in favor of Bryant.
Another 4 minutes went by and the only point scored was a successful free throw attempt by Bryant’s Gross-Bullock.
With 10:12 left in the first half, the Rams’ JD Okafor scored a layup and added two points to the Rams’ score.
The Rams’ Bryan Thompson stole the ball from Gross-Bullock and scored another layup, which added two points to the Rams’ score.
Bryant now led the game with a score of 17-9.
For the next 9 minutes, Bryant continued to outscore Framingham and they increased their lead.
With 1:09 remaining in the first half, Bryant led the game 38-18. The Bulldogs went on another scoring run, this time scoring eight unanswered points.
Thompson was able to score two free throws to end the first
half of the game, but the Bulldogs still held an imposing 46-20 lead over the Rams.
Bryant started the second half with another momentous scoring run. They scored eight points in the first minute and 30 seconds of the second half.
The Rams responded by outscoring the Bulldogs 7-2 in the next minute.
During this run, Framingham's Goines dominated the court by piecing together a defensive rebound, a coast-to-coast dunk, and a successful free throw attempt.
With 16:46 left in the second half, Bryant lau
nched another scoring run. The Bulldogs’ Doug Edert scored back-to-back three-point attempts, helping the Bulldogs score 10 unanswered points.
Framingham’s Thompson was able to score another Rams’ layup before he fouled Edert during a three-point field goal attempt. Edert made all three of his free throw attempts.
Another four points from the Bulldogs increased the score to 73-29 in favor of Bryant.
The final 13 minutes of the second half were not enough for the Rams to stage a comeback.
Bryant continued to outscore Framingham, but the Rams’ intermittent baskets prevented the Bulldogs from orchestrating any major scoring runs.
Bryant’s multiple scoring runs propelled them to a 98-44 victory over Framingham.
Thompson was the leading scorer for the Rams with ten points. He played for a team-high of 34 minutes and was also the team’s assist leader with two assists.
Regarding his role on the team, Thompson said, “My role is just to put everyone in the right positions, keep running the right plays, and control the game.”
Despite the score, Framingham State did not add a loss to their record because of the nature of this game.
The Rams’ head coach, Donald Morris Jr., explained the condition of the exhibition matchup as “that it would be played like a real game but it would not count toward our record.”
This was the first matchup between the Division III Framingham State Rams and the Division I Bryant University Bulldogs in the programs’ histories.
Morris spoke about the logistics behind the exhibition game. “Bryant had the need for an exhibition game for this season and we needed one more game as well.
“The process was very similar to when we schedule D-III programs,” added Morris.
“We did receive a small stipend from Bryant to play the game. That money goes to our program for fundraising,” Morris said.
This is the only Division I program that Framingham will face this regular season.
Morris commented on the Rams’ matchup with a D-I program. “I've played in numerous other D-I/D-III games at other universities, and it's always been a great experience for the kids.
“We love the chance to have the opportunity to see what this level is like,” Morris added.
Morris also spoke about his players. “We have a bunch of kids whose dream was to maybe play Division I, so tonight, they got to live that dream.”
After the experience, Morris said, “We had the opportunity to play in a large venue with a band and cheerleaders against a really good team. The game was also on ESPN+, which was really special to our student-athletes.”
Morris spoke about how the players conducted themselves and what they can learn. He said, “The energy on our bench, on the bus, and in the locker room was very positive and upbeat.
“Everyone stayed positive and saw the bigger picture of why we played the game,” Morris added.
Thompson also reflected on what the team can learn. “When we go into conference games, this game is going to help us.”
Morris spoke very highly of the Bryant University Bulldogs. “I think this year, Bryant is going to make it out of the first round of the NCAA tournament.
“I think they are going to compete with a lot of major D-I programs as well, and I think they are going to surprise a lot of people,” Morris added.