Photo: Dave Silverman Photography @DSpicsphoto
Seeking their first trip to the Big Dance in program history, all eyes were on Smithfield, RI, and the Bryant University Bulldogs. In a full-out battle, Bryant lost to the four-seeded Mount St. Mary's in the Northeast Conference title game, falling just short of every program's dream, a bid to the national tournament. In the 73-68 contest, that came down to the wire, there was one player that stood out and gave it his all. That player was Charles Pride.
The 6'4 sophomore from Syracuse provided a career night, knocking in 33 points, 7 rebounds, and an assist. He was a point away from scoring half of Bryant's 68. As the team was slow all around, Bryant was not successful beyond the arc, the team as a whole went 0-13. Pride however was quite the opposite. He drained eight 3-pointers (career-high) and left it out all on the court. He was the leading scorer for both teams.
It was a heartbreaking finish to a historic season. Charles Pride has been one of the most improved players in the NEC and one of the team's most consistent options, averaging over 12 and 7 a game. He has been a catalyst to the Grasso system, and the team's success can stem from the play of Pride. The Bulldogs overcame adversity through these unprecedented times of the pandemic, pausing the program twice due to COVID. They ended the regular season as the 2nd seed, nearly missing the semifinals because of another outbreak. Suiting up a handful of guys, plus a football player and team manager as insurance, Bryant cruised through that game behind Pride's double-double (16pts, 11reb.), defeating Sacred Heart by 30. It was a heartbreaker for Bryant. They were right there. However, the team and Pride should be proud of their season. Next year, don't sleep on Pride, Grasso, and the Dawgs #KEB1