Bradley sinks 16-straight free throws as Southern falls 74-66

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Jared Treece | @Bisalo

Freashmen Lance Jones moves the basketball around the court during SIU’s loss to Bradley during Arch Madness on Friday, Mar. 6, 2020 at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis.

Bradley made 16-straight free throws and only missed one of their 21 attempts as they beat the SIU men’s basketball team 74-66.

“Give them credit, we gotta do a better job executing from that part,” Saluki head coach Bryan Mullins said.

Southern (8-7, 2-7 MVC) opened the first four minutes of the game having made only one shot in 10 tries with a 3-pointer from sophomore guard Lance Jones as they trailed Bradley 8-3.

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The Salukis continued to struggle shooting the ball as the Braves (10-10, 4-7 MVC) pulled out to a nine-point lead, but a tip-in layup by freshman center Kyler Filewich and a three-pointer by senior forward Anthony D’Avanzo pulled SIU within four, 20-16 at the 7:56 mark.

After sophomore guard Trent Brown made one of his two free throws, SIU pulled out a 21-20 lead after trailing for 13 minutes.

Freshman forward Rienk Mast made a three-point basket for the Braves, but Jones answered with a three of his own to knot the score up at 25-25 with 3:23 left in the half.

Bradley scored five-straight points but a last minute three-pointer by Jones pulled Southern within one at the half at 32-31.

SIU shot 50 percent from behind the three-point line, but the Braves had made all 11 of their free throws in the first half, while Southern went three-for-seven behind the line.

The Braves opened the second half making five of their first six shots pushing them out to a 47-39 after a layup by junior guard Terry Nolan Jr.

“Second half, I thought they came out ready to play,” Mullins said. “I think we got off to a slow start in the second half.”

After being outscored 15-3 with Filewich on the bench with three fouls, Filewich came back in and SIU knocked down a three-point basket by sophomore guard Steven Verplancken Jr. to cut the Bradley lead to four.

“Bradley has a couple good bigs, obviously Childs [is a] multi-year all-league guy,” Mullins said. “We gotta do a better job, the other four guys, of helping Kyler.”

Sophomore guard Ben Harvey scored six points to push Southern within one at 57-56 at the 7:56 mark of the second half.

Bradley had made 16 straight-free throws, but senior forward Elijah Childs missed the 17 attempt as SIU trailed by six.

The Salukis made three of six free throw attempts, by Filewich, Jones and Verplancken but the Braves led 70-66 with 2:03 left in the game.

“Stephen’s been working hard every single day in practice,” Mullins said. “He’s gotta continue to put the work in, but he’s giving us great minutes.”

With 17 seconds left junior guard Kevin McAdoo made two free throws to give Bradley a 72-66 lead.

Bradley made four more free throws to end the game as they closed the game with a 74-66 win.

Southern will be back in action tomorrow with tip off set for 3 p.m. in Peoria.

Sports Reporter Adam Warfel can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @warfel_adam.

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