Daily Egyptian

SIU loses to Bradley in first conference game of the season

Coach+Barry+Hinson+reacts+to+a+call+during+the+Salukis%27+85-81+loss+to+Wright+State+on+Friday%2C+Nov.+11%2C+2016%2C+at+SIU+Arena.+%28Sean+Carley+%7C+%40SCarleyDE%29+
Coach Barry Hinson reacts to a call during the Salukis' 85-81 loss to Wright State on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, at SIU Arena. (Sean Carley | @SCarleyDE)

Coach Barry Hinson reacts to a call during the Salukis' 85-81 loss to Wright State on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, at SIU Arena. (Sean Carley | @SCarleyDE)

Coach Barry Hinson reacts to a call during the Salukis' 85-81 loss to Wright State on Friday, Nov. 11, 2016, at SIU Arena. (Sean Carley | @SCarleyDE)

By Jonathan Thompson

Saluki men’s basketball lost its first game of the Missouri Valley Conference season, with a final score of 60-51 against the Bradley Braves.

The Dawgs had one of their worst shooting nights of the season Thursday at the Carver Arena in Peoria.

They posted a season low 27.3 field goal percentage and a 7.7 (2-26) 3-point percentage, while Bradley was scorching hot, shooting 47.6 from beyond the arc.

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After a made free throw by Saluki sophomore guard Armon Fletcher, SIU found itself down 48-46 with 3:06 left in the game.

Fletcher struggled for SIU, scoring only five points on 2-13 shooting. He also added four rebounds and an assist.

Bradley’s sophomore forward Luuk van Bree and freshman guard Nate Kennell proceeded to knock down back-to-back 3-pointers to give them a nine point lead — the largest of the game — with 1:52 left to play.

Bree scored nine points and grabbed five boards off the bench. Kennell had 10 points, four rebounds and two assists.

The Salukis could not take advantage of an opportunity at the beginning of the game. Bradley committed five turnovers in the first five minutes of the game.

SIU also grabbed six offensive rebounds in that time frame but only had a 5-2 lead to show for it.

Braves freshman guard Darell Brown led all scorers with 14 points, also adding three rebounds and four assists.

The score stayed close during the first half with the largest lead being four, and the teams went into the second half tied at 23.

Senior guard Leo Vincent and forward Sean O’Brien led the Salukis in points with 10 each. O’Brien also added 10 rebounds, giving him a double-double.

SIU will look for its first conference win at 4 p.m. on Jan. 1 against Drake at SIU Arena.

Staff writer Jonathan Thompson can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @TheReal_Jt3.

To stay up to date with all your SIU basketball news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.

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