Bradley (6-11) at (5) Wichita State (17-0)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, January 14, 8 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Charles Koch Arena (10,300) -- Wichita, Kansas.
Television: KS22, ESPN3.com. Home Record: Bradley 6-4, WSU 10-0. Away Record:
Bradley 0-5, WSU 5-0. Neutral Record: Bradley 0-2, WSU 2-0. Conference Record:
Bradley 1-3, WSU 4-0. Series Record: Bradley leads, 71-62.
GAME NOTES: As one of the last undefeated teams in the nation, the fifth-
ranked Wichita State Shockers are set to entertain the visiting Bradley Braves
in Missouri Valley Conference action at Koch Arena on Tuesday night.
Along with Arizona, Syracuse and Wisconsin, the top three teams in Division I,
the Shockers have yet to come out on the losing side of a decision in 2013-14.
However, Wichita State was put to the test by Missouri State this past
Saturday night as the Bears took their meeting to overtime before the Shockers
claimed the 72-69 triumph.
Needless to say, with an unblemished record overall on the campaign, Wichita
State is also at the top of the Missouri Valley Conference standings at 4-0,
but the team has to share the honor with Indiana State for the time being.
While WSU enjoys the spoils of a successful first half of the season, the
Braves find themselves near the bottom of the MVC standings with just one win
in four chances. Bradley did start off the campaign with four straight
victories, but since then the team has posted a mark of only 2-11. On
Saturday, the team was taken out by the aforementioned Sycamores in an 62-59
final on the road, which means the Braves are now 0-7 away from home overall.
Bradley actually leads the all-time series with the Shockers by a count of
71-62, although Wichita State has won seven in a row. The Braves are set to
close out their regular season home schedule against WSU on Feb. 25.
Even after shooting only 34.9 percent from the field the Braves had a chance
to upset one of the better teams in the MVC on Saturday, but the visitors came
up just short in the three-point final versus Indiana State. Walt Lemon scored
a game-high 22 points, grabbed six rebounds, handed out six assists and made
four steals, but he ended up shooting only 8-of-22 from the field and was
charged with five of the team's nine turnovers. Omari Grier pitched in with 12
points and Tyshon Pickett came up a point shy of a double-double as he grabbed
The only player to start every game for Bradley, Lemon has used his
opportunities to generate a team-best 17.1 ppg and distribute 66 assists, the
latter number being three times more than any of his teammates. Pickett (12.2
ppg) is the top rebounder for the group with 7.6 rpg, which should be more
than enough reason for him to pass up any shot attempts he may have behind the
3-point line where he is only 2-of-16. Perimeter accuracy has eluded the
Braves through 17 games, the squad knocking down only 29.1 percent.
Trailing by 19 points at the 11:48 mark of the second half, by all accounts
the Shockers should have suffered their first loss of the season on Saturday,
but they responded with a frenetic comeback bid that eventually paid off.
Cleanthony Early posted a double-double with 22 points and 14 rebounds,
although he did shoot just 4-of-14 from the floor, including 1-of-7 behind the
3-point line. Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker contributed 16 and 15 points,
Clearly the Shockers are vulnerable, as Missouri State showed, but what is
difficult to quantify is the team's resilience. Sure, Early leads the program
with 16.6 ppg and is also tops with 6.9 rpg, but those are qualities that can
be recorded, while effort is much more subjective. Baker adds 13.1 ppg and
VanVleet 12.2 ppg for a group scoring 76.1 ppg, but giving up a mere 61.4 ppg.
In addition to beating opponents on the glass by almost eight rebounds per
contest, the Shockers have also outscored teams by 123 points at the free-
Just 2-13 all-time in road games versus top-five opponents, the Braves have
not defeated such a foe since turning the trick against fifth-ranked Oklahoma
State back in 1954. Expecting Bradley to make it happen now almost 60 years
later is asking a lot of the visitors.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Wichita State 81, Bradley 64
01/14 10:33:02 ET
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