Bradley (12-7) at Evansville (11-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 23, 8:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Ford Center (11,000) -- Evansville, Indiana.
Television: None. Home Record: Bradley 9-2. Evansville 9-2. Away Record:
Bradley 3-3, Evansville 2-6. Neutral Record: Bradley 0-2, Evansville 0-0.
Conference Record: Bradley 4-3, Evansville 4-3. Series Record: Bradley leads,
GAMES NOTES: The Bradley Braves will look to match their longest winning
streak of the season when they visit the Evansville Purple Aces at the Ford
Center for a Missouri Valley Conference clash.
With a pair of 69-66 victories on their home floor over Southern Illinois and
Missouri State, the Braves have won back-to-back contests. The Braves have
twice strung together three wins this season with the last such streak coming
in early December. Bradley has earned a 12-7 overall record and with the two
recent wins moved above .500 in league play (4-3) as well. On the road Bradley
has split its first six contests. In the second half of this two-game road
trip the Braves have a stern test against No. 20 Wichita State.
Evansville is returning from its own two-game road trip that ended in a pair
of losses to Drake (83-69) and Indiana State (72-62). The slide has the Purple
Aces at 11-8 overall this season while pushing them to the same 4-3 mark in
conference play as the braves. Playing at home should help the Purple Aces get
back on track as they are 9-2 at Ford Court this season including an
impressive 71-67 victory over Wichita State. Evansville won't be home long as
it plays three of its next four games on the road including the next contest
against Illinois State.
Last season Evansville swept the season series. Despite that, Bradley owns the
all-time series lead, 23-17.
Walt Lemon Jr.'s 3-pointer at the buzzer lifted Illinois State to a thrilling
69-66 victory over Missouri State on Saturday. Lemon Jr. had a game-high 20
points in the contest that helped the Braves overcome a 33-25 deficit on the
boards. Turnovers were key as well with Bradley committing only nine, while
forcing 15 from the Bears.
During this short two-game win streak Lemon Jr. has been stellar. He has
averaged 18 points and six assists per contest, while shooting at a 46.2
percent clip from the field. The Braves leading scorer (13.8 ppg), Lemon Jr.
was named Missouri Valley Conference player of the week for those efforts.
Joining Lemon Jr. in the backcourt and in double figures is Dyricus Simms-
Edwards (11.8 ppg, 3.2 apg) who might be more important for his efforts on the
defensive end as he leads the MVC in steals (3.3 pg). Tyshon Pickett (10.9
ppg, 5.9 rpg) is the best option on the frontlines. As a team Bradley is
closer to the bottom of the conference in offensive efficiency, scoring 68.2
points per game on 44.1 percent shooting. Defensively the Braves surrendered
63.7 points per game on 42.4 percent shooting.
Evansville failed to hold on in the second half against Indiana State. The
Purple Aces got out to a 32-26 lead at halftime after shooting 54.2 percent in
the first half. However in the second period they were only able to hit on
28.6 percent of their field goal attempts while being outscored 15-3 from
beyond the arc.
In the loss, scoring machine Colt Ryan (17.1 ppg) continued his assault by
tying for a game-high 19 points. The 6-foot guard is third in the conference
in scoring at 19 points per game which was actually his lowest point total in
the last five games. Ryan had scored at least 20 points in each of the
previous four games as well as in eight games overall this season. Ned Cox
(10.8 ppg) is the only other player scoring in double figures for the Purple
Aces although Troy Taylor (6.5 ppg) has had at least 10 points four of the
last five contests. Evansville compares favorably to Bradley on both ends of
the floor. The Purple Aces are scoring 69.2 points per game while hitting 44
percent of their shots from the field. On defense, Evansville lets up 65.5
points per game while teams connect on 46 percent of their field goal
In a game between two squads that are relatively evenly matched the Purple
Aces' homecourt advantage along with Ryan's ability to take over a game on the
offensive end should prove decisive.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Evansville 70, Bradley 66
01/23 10:42:55 ET
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