Peoria, IL (Sports Network) - A pair of free throws by Walt Lemon Jr. with 16 seconds remaining gave the Bradley Braves some breathing room as they held on to defeat the Southern Illinois Salukis, 69-66, in a Missouri Valley Conference showdown at Carver Arena.
Lemon finished the contest with 16 points, adding eight assists and three steals for the Braves (11-7, 3-3 MVC) as they snapped a three-game slide. Dyricus Simms-Edwards accounted for a team-best 18 points, Tyshon Pickett 15 and six rebounds, followed by Will Egolf with 11 points, seven boards and four blocked shots for the hosts.
The Salukis (8-9, 1-5) were led by Desmar Jackson who produced a game-high 21 points, while Jeff Early recorded a double-double with 17 points and 11 rebounds, followed by Anthony Beane with 13 points as the team bowed for the sixth time in the last seven outings.
A close game throughout, SIU knocked down a sizzling 62.5 percent from the floor in the first half, but just 1-of-6 beyond the arc and 4-of-8 at the free-throw line, and yet the team still held a slim 35-34 advantage at the break.
In the second half a tip-in by Pickett with just over three minutes remaining extended the Bradley lead to eight at 66-58, but the Salukis made a late run to close the gap.
SIU had a chance to tie the game in the waning moments, but a 3-point attempt from the wing came up short.
In a game that featured 11 ties and 15 lead changes, the Braves survived 16 turnovers as they outscored the visitors 15-8 at the free-throw line and limited Southern Illinois to just 2-of-12 shooting behind the 3-point line.
01/15 23:19:24 ET
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