Women’s Basketball: Free throws sink Southern at Bradley

By Adam Warfel, Sports Editor

PEORIA – Southern (8-8, 1-2 MVC) fell to the Bradley Braves (13-4, 3-3 MVC) in overtime, 58-53, during today’s matchup at the Renaissance Coliseum, continuing the Salukis MVC losing streak.

Coming into the game, Southern had historically won eight straight over Bradley and are 15-1 against the Braves under head coach Cindy Stein.

The Braves jumped to a quick 7-0 lead over the Dawgs early in the first quarter, but sophomore guard Makenzie Silvey helped to put Southern on the board at the 5:52 mark.

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Bradley then went on an 8-2 run to close out the first quarter and the Braves were able to hold SIU to 11 percent in field goal shooting from the field during the first quarter, pulling out to an early 15-4 lead.

Three-pointers by junior guard Kristen Nelson and junior forward Lauren Hartman helped the Salukis to pull within five of the Braves.

After SIU pulled within five, Bradley went on a 7-0 run while neither team was able to score and two free throws by Bradley pulled them out to a 26-12 lead with three minutes left.

Southern went almost seven minutes without a score, but a layup by junior guard Brittney Patrick got the Salukis back on the board followed up by a rebound and three-pointer by Silvey to make it 28-19.

The first half was rough shooting for both teams as the Dawgs shot only 25 percent from the field and Bradley only 35 percent.

SIU got back down 12 early in the third quarter and 8-0 run by the Salukis pulled them within five led by five points from Silvey. Silvey finished with 14 points and six rebounds.

Bradley made one of their two free throws and a jumper to keep their lead at 36-28, as either team struggled to pull away in the third quarter.

The Braves scored once more off a free throw and the Salukis added a jumper in the third quarter, as SIU was limited to 27.8 percent shooting in the third quarter as Bradley led 37-30.

The Braves scored four straight to open the fourth quarter, yet two buckets by senior forward Celina VanHyfte kept the game within reach at 41-34.

Southern then scored six straight points while holding Bradley to just two to pull within three with senior forward Nicole Martin and Patrick leading the way for the Salukis with four points to make it 43-40.

A layup by Martin gave the Dawgs their first lead of the game with 2:39 left in the fourth quarter as they then lead 45-43.

After a three-pointer by Bradley put them ahead, Silvey made two free throws to tie the game at 47-47 with 29 seconds left in the game.

The Braves had the ball for the last possession of the fourth quarter, but a bad pass as time expired ended the fourth quarter in a 47-47 tie.

A Martin layup in overtime allowed for Southern to be first on the board, two free throws by Martin further padded the lead but Bradley answered with two made free throws as well to make it 51-49.

Two free throws and a three-pointer by the Braves pushed them back ahead in overtime 54-51 with 3:05 left in the game.

Shortly after, a layup by Martin pushed Southern back within one but Bradley answered with a jumper to keep their lead at 56-53. Martin lead the team in points with 16 and 11 rebounds to finish with a double-double for SIU.

The Braves made both of their free throws after a foul by Patrick to push their lead out to five with three seconds left in overtime. The free throws were enough late to sink the Salukis 58-53 as they suffered their fourth straight conference loss.

SIU will be back in action on Friday against Valparaiso at SIU Arena – tip off is set for 6 p.m.

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

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