Bradley (12-8) at (20) Wichita State (18-2)
Saturday January 26, 8 p.m. (et)
The Sports Network
By Lucas Gulotta, Associate College Basketball Editor
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charles Koch Arena (10,506) -- Wichita, Kansas. Television: KS22. Home Record: Bradley 9-2, Wichita State 11-0. Away Record: Bradley 3-4, Wichita State 5-2. Neutral Record: Bradley 0-2, Wichita State 2-0. Conference Record: Bradley 4-4, Wichita State 7-1. Series Record: Bradley leads, 71-61.
GAME NOTES: The Bradley Braves will try to snap the No. 20 Wichita State Shockers 19-game home winning streak as they square off in a Missouri Valley Conference bout at Charles Koch Arena.
Saturday's meeting will be the 133rd in the all-time series and although Bradley owns a 71-61 overall series lead, Wichita State is 41-20 all-time at home against the Braves and has won six straight overall in the series. Wichita State's current six-game series win streak is its longest ever against Bradley and the third-longest by either team.
Bradley has gone 2-20 on the road in conference games since the start of the 2010-11 season. Coach Geno Ford's squad continued its trend of losing away from home on Wednesday as it dropped a 66-56 decision to Evansville, making it 12-8 overall and .500 in MVC action. The Braves, who are eighth in the league in scoring (67.6), continued to struggle to find the net versus the Purple Aces, as they went 20-of-56 from the field (37.7 percent) and committed 15 turnovers to 10 assists.
Walt Lemon Jr. dropped in a game-high 22 points to pace Bradley, shooting a perfect 4-of-4 from beyond the arc. Tyshon Pickett and Dyricus Simms-Edwards both added 12 points for Bradley as the team had a two-game win streak snapped. Lemon Jr. is producing 16.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 4.3 assists, and 2.5 steals per tilt in MVC action, while Simms-Edwards (11.8 ppg, 3.15 spg) and Pickett (11.0 ppg, 5.9 rpg) play vital roles for the Braves as well.
Wichita State did not have as much luck when it played Evansville and fell, 71-67, to sustain its only MVC loss to date. Since losing to the Purple Aces, the Shockers have collected three consecutive wins over Illinois State, Creighton, and Missouri State. The Shockers, who also spent time in top-25 earlier this season, got off to a 9-0 start and are now 18-2.
Cleanthony Early had 17 points and 11 rebounds to help Wichita State overcome a poor 37-percent shooting performance from the floor at Missouri State. Carl Hall followed with 15 points and six boards for the Shockers. With the win, senior Demetric Williams became the school record holder for victories with his 99th over his four-year career, surpassing the 2011-12 senior class. Anthony, Hall, Malcolm Armstead, and Williams are the top four scorers on the squad.
The Braves have lost six straight against top-25 teams and it looks like their seventh consecutive setback is on its way. Wichita State continues to pick up steam as Hall and Anthony's lethal one-two punch appears to be unstoppable. Lemon Jr. is an all-conference caliber player for the Braves, but he will need help if Bradley is going to pull off the upset in the Shockers' lair.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wichita State 75, Bradley 66
01/26 11:50:15 ET