Bradley uses big second half to take down Salukis

By Brooke Buerck, Sports Reporter

Southern Illinois was up by three at the half, but couldn’t hold out against the Bradley Braves in a 67-48 loss at Peoria.

Bradley (12-5, 3-1 MVC) remains undefeated at home while Southern Illinois (8-9, 2-2 MVC) has lost all six true road games they have played so far. 

“We got off to a slow start in the second half and for whatever reason we came out flat,” Saluki head coach Bryan Mullins said. “I’ve got to do a better job at halftime to make sure the guys understand how important it is to start second halves off the right way. That kind of carried over throughout the rest of the half.”

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SIU’s seven-point run while keeping Bradley scoreless for over five minutes helped them maintain a 29-26 lead at halftime. 

Both the Salukis and the Braves finished the half shooting at 34% and were 4-for-14 from the three point line. 

Senior guard Darrell Brown had two of Bradley’s four 3-pointers in the half, while senior guard Eric McGill also had two of SIU’s four. 

Brown would lead the Braves with 21 points.

Bradley opened up the second half of play with a nine-point scoring run, giving them a 35-29 lead over Southern. 

Junior guard Lance Jones helped the Salukis get on the board in the half with two made free throws and an assist for a freshman guard Marcus Domask 3-pointer.

Bradley’s offense, however, would continue to push forward as SIU struggled to handle the ball.

“We had 10 turnovers in the second half I think, and we just can’t have those. On the road, with as young and inexperienced as we are, we have to value the ball better and get better shots,” Mullins said.

Domask would finish with a points-rebounds double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Graduate student Barret Benson also tallied 10 rebounds.

“We’re teaching these guys, and these guys are buying in and they’re practicing hard, [but] we’ve just got to do a better job of translating that to the games, especially on the road,” Mullins said.

SIU’s next matchup will be against Loyola on Jan. 16. Tipoff at Chicago is set for 7 p.m.

Sports reporter Brooke Buerck can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter at @bbuerck25.

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