Daily Egyptian

Salukis defeated by Bradley, 68-62

By Ryan Demer

The Salukis fell to the Bradley Braves (13-5, 3-2), 68-62 on Tuesday in a Missouri Valley Conference showdown in Peoria, Illinois.

The game began with a scoring drought that spanned the first three minutes of the game until SIU’s junior guard Armon Fletcher slammed a dunk. Fletcher finished the game with 12 points, six rebounds and two steals.

Shortly after, Bradley strung together a 15-5 scoring run and claimed a 20-15 lead midway through the first half. From there, Bradley never surrendered its lead.

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After the Salukis brought the game within one point, the Braves held Southern scoreless for more than five minutes of play.

With the score at 27-21 with minutes left in the half,  junior center Kavion Pippen broke the scoring drought with a jumper. Pippen finished the game with 13 points and nine rebounds. He also added three assists and two steals.

Both teams battled in the second half as the Salukis and Braves consistently traded baskets. At four different times, Southern brought the game within one point, but each time Bradley refused to give up its lead.

With one minute remaining to play, Pippen scored in the post and made the score 61-60. Immediately after, Bradley senior forward Donte Thomas blew past Pippen and converted an and-one layup for his game-high 22nd point.

SIU was then forced to foul each possession, and the Braves converted each time at the free-throw line which sealed the victory.

In another matchup where SIU was shorthanded, four Salukis scored in double-figures.

Senior guard Tyler Smithpeters scored 13 points and had five rebounds. Senior guard Sean Lloyd scored a team-high 14 points, grabbed six rebounds and dished six assists without turning the ball over in the contest.

The Salukis will return to Carbondale on Saturday to face the Illinois State Redbirds. Tip-off is scheduled for 5 p.m.

Sports writer Ryan Demer can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @RyanDemer_DE 

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

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