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Bradley Rambles On To Victory; Gargoyle Makes Debute
Bradley Men's Basketball on 1470WMBD. After Bradley's new gargoyle mascot, Kaboom!, was introduced as a sixth starter during a fireworks show in the pregame, Loyola Chicago may have felt it was playing against six defenders. The Braves used a season-best 14 steals to force 23 Loyola turnovers in a 55-38 victory Saturday night at Carver Arena.
Walt Lemon Jr. scored 16 points and the Brave's defense held Loyola of Chicago to just 27 percent shooting. Bradley (12-17, 7-9 Missouri Valley) managed just a 19-17 lead over Loyola (9-19, 4-12) at the break as tenacious defense controlled the pace.
The second period opened with Loyola's shooting accuracy still stymied by Bradley's defense, while the Braves raced to a 33-20 lead on a 14-3 run with 13:49 to play. The Bradley lead expanded to 20 points, 54-34, with 1:34 remaining.
The Ramblers scored just four points in the final 5 minutes and landed just 1 of 18 from 3-point range in its attempt to move out of the Missouri Valley cellar position.
Loyola, losers of four straight was led in scoring by Christian Thomas with 9 points.
Bradley's next game is Tuesday night, as Walt Lemon Jr. is one of four Bradley seniors who will play their final Bradley Basketball home game. The Braves host #3 Wichita State (29-0, 16-0) in a nationally-televised game at Carver Arena. The nation's lone unbeaten team, Wichita State is trying to unseat the 1985-86 Bradley Braves (16-0) as the last undefeated Valley regular-season champion.
Likely to be ranked #2 in the national polls, Wichita State will be the highest-ranked team to ever play at Carver Arena and the highest-ranked opponent to visit Peoria since the Shockers also carried a #2 ranking into the old Robertson Memorial Fieldhouse Jan. 9, 1982. The Braves won that game, 55-47, on the way to an eventual NIT championship.
Braves Plus will be 7:05pm Tuesday night on 1470 & 100.3 WMBD.