Daily Egyptian

Salukis beat out Bradley Braves, 74-57

Junior+guard+Sean+Lloyd+Jr.%2C+far+right%2C+picks+up+the+ball+after+Sophomore+guard+Aaron+Cook+and+Bradley+forward+Elijah+Childs+collide+Sunday%2C+Feb.+11%2C+2018%2C+during+the+Salukis%27+74-57+win+against+the+Bradley+Braves+at+SIU+Arena.+The+Salukis+are+now+the+lone+second+place+team+in+the+Missouri+Valley+Conference.+%28Brian+Munoz+%7C+%40BrianMMunoz%29
Junior guard Sean Lloyd Jr., far right, picks up the ball after Sophomore guard Aaron Cook and Bradley forward Elijah Childs collide Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, during the Salukis' 74-57 win against the Bradley Braves at SIU Arena. The Salukis are now the lone second place team in the Missouri Valley Conference. (Brian Munoz | @BrianMMunoz)

Junior guard Sean Lloyd Jr., far right, picks up the ball after Sophomore guard Aaron Cook and Bradley forward Elijah Childs collide Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, during the Salukis' 74-57 win against the Bradley Braves at SIU Arena. The Salukis are now the lone second place team in the Missouri Valley Conference. (Brian Munoz | @BrianMMunoz)

Brian Munoz

Brian Munoz

Junior guard Sean Lloyd Jr., far right, picks up the ball after Sophomore guard Aaron Cook and Bradley forward Elijah Childs collide Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, during the Salukis' 74-57 win against the Bradley Braves at SIU Arena. The Salukis are now the lone second place team in the Missouri Valley Conference. (Brian Munoz | @BrianMMunoz)

By Ryan Demer

The Salukis defeated MVC rival Bradley Braves 74-57 Sunday afternoon at SIU Arena, which brings the all-time series record to 48-46, still in Bradley’s favor.

“Our defense was horrendous in the second half,” Bradley head coach Brian Wardle said. “We have to give southern Illinois some credit, they hit some tough threes down the stretch.”

Southern held Bradley to a 38.2 field goal percentage and out-rebounded them 32-28. Senior forward Jonathan Wiley returned today, playing through an ACL, PCL and MCL tear.

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Wiley finished with 4 points and 4 rebounds in 13 minutes of play.

“Jon’s a warrior, I was happy for him,” senior guard Sean Lloyd said. “He brings back a lot of stuff we need, he can play the five and he can play small with other people.”

Lloyd scored 12 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in the game.

Bradley jumped to an early lead, but the Salukis continued to rally back. It wasn’t until the five-minute mark of the first half for SIU to tie the game at 21-21 after junior center Kavion Pippen put a Bradley defender on a poster with a ferocious dunk.

While battling sickness, Pippen dropped 21 points with 8 rebounds and 4 blocks in 27 minutes of action. Despite Southern’s efforts to build a lead, the game was tied at 29-29 heading into halftime.

Brian Munoz
Bradley center Koch Bar goes for a basket Sunday, Feb. 11, 2018, during the Salukis' 74-57 win against the Bradley Braves at SIU Arena. The Salukis are now the lone second place team in the Missouri Valley Conference. (Brian Munoz | @BrianMMunoz)

After Bradley came out of the locker room ready to execute, SIU saw themselves with another deficit.

But the Salukis responded with two consecutive 3-pointers by sophomore guard Aaron Cook to take the 39-36 lead and forcing a Bradley timeout.

Southern turned Cook’s points into a 19-4 scoring run for nearly 5 minutes to build a double-digit lead.

“It was the kerosene,” Saluki head coach Barry Hinson said. “The shots were the igniting that we needed after they came out and hit a three right out the bat.”

Cook finished with 12 points, dishing 2 assists and recording 2 steals.

“I came out in the second half ready to shoot,” Cook said. “My teammates swung me the ball, and whenever I got it I was ready to shoot.

The Braves continued to hang around after the run, however, as the score was only 62-55 in the Salukis favor after a 3-pointer with 6 minutes remaining in the game.

SIU rallied, going on a 12-2 scoring run to close out the game and seal the victory.

The Salukis continue action this Wednesday night at SIU Arena to face the Missouri State Bears. Tip-off is scheduled for 7 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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