MAIN STREET CLOSED, IN BOTH DIRECTIONS, BETWEEN UNIVERSITY AND ELMWOOD
That's A Winner! Braves Ice Northern Iowa
Walt Lemon, Jr. scored a game-high 28 points, including a go-ahead, spinning finger roll with 31 seconds remaining and two sealing free throws with 2.2 seconds left, lifting Bradley (8-12, 3-4 MVC) to a 69-65 Missouri Valley Conference win against visiting Northern Iowa (10-9, 4-3) Wednesday night at Carver Arena.
The result was a 38-point swing from the season's first meeting, an 80-46 Panthers victory Jan. 1 in Cedar Falls, as the Braves defeated an opponent it had lost to by at least 30 in a season's previous meeting for the first time in program history. The 38-point swing equalled the fifth-largest in Bradley's favor during a season series and was the largest since the Braves reversed a 50-46 loss at UNI with an 80-39 win in round two during the 1999-2000 season.
Perhaps the biggest sequence of the game came after UNI's Seth Tuttle forged a 46-46 tie on an inside bucket with 11:37 left. Bradley answered with a 9-0 run that was capped by a Lemon 6-point possession. The possession started with a Lemon steal and technical on UNI head coach Ben Jacobson. Lemon made the resulting free throws, then buried a wing jumper. UNI's Jeremy Morgan was whistled for a foul on the box out during Lemon's shot and the Bradley guard completed the possession with a driving baseline layup for a 55-46 advantage with 10:09 left.
UNI gradually worked its way back into the game and eventually pulled even, 61-61, on a Morgan transition 3-pointer with 1:44 left and again at 63-63 on two Tuttle free throws with 1:00 remaining.
After Lemon's go-ahead bucket, Chris Blake created a steal. Tyshon Pickett collected the loose ball and made two free throws with 12 seconds left for a 67-63 lead. Wes Washpun made two free throws with 10 seconds left, but after a wild inbounds sequence, Lemon completed the scoring with his two charity shots with 2.2 seconds left.
With his go-ahead bucket, Lemon tied Deon Jackson for 14th place on Bradley's all-time scoring list, then equalled Marcellus Sommerville for 13th with his final two free throws to give him 1,493 career points. He also moved past Bradley legend Mitchell Anderson in to sole possession of seventh place on Bradley's all-time steals list with his 185th career pick to trigger the 6-point possession.
Auston Barnes added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Braves. Tuttle led four Panthers in double-figures with 20 points. Washpun added 12, while Nate Buss chipped in with 11 points and a game-high eight rebounds and Morgan added 10 points off the bench.
Bradley will shoot for its third consecutive win Sunday afternoon when the Braves visit the Purple Aces of Evansville.
Braves plus starts at 12:05pm, and tip off with Dave Snell at 1pm on 1470 & 100.3 WMBD.