Thursday, November 8, 2018

Bradley Men's Basketball starts season with win over Wisconsin-Parkside

The Bradley Braves warm up prior to Wednesday's season opener against Wisconsin-Parkside. The Braves went on to win the game, 74-58. PHOTO / ALEX STAAB
Peoria, Ill. - They call it "The Arrival". It officially arrived on Wednesday night in Carver Arena, as the Bradley Men's Basketball team (1-0) played host to the Rangers from Wisconsin-Parkside to officially tip off a new season.

For those that aren't familiar, the Bradley fans remain standing until the opponent scores their first points. They had to wait awhile.

The Braves started out hot, going on a 12-0 run until the 14:39 mark of the first half, when Parkside's Brandon Trimble made a jumper and the crowd sat.

After that, however, the visiting Rangers gradually got back into the game. In fact, about six minutes later, Wisconsin-Parkside had actually out-scored Bradley, 12-11.

Bradley would manage to open the gap slightly, but not enough. The Rangers would get the deficit down to one possession on multiple occasions.

In the end, Bradley was able to get back to where it was, with a jumper from Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye pushing the lead back to double figures. A free throw from Koch Bar with three seconds left set the halftime score of 40-28, in favor of the Braves. The free throw capped a solid first half for Bar, who finished the first 20 minutes with 16 points.

When it came to the second half, it was another similar situation, just not as much standing. The Braves were able to hold Wisconsin-Parkside scoreless for the first four and a half minutes. Darrell Brown nailed a couple of shots, plus two free throws from Elijah Childs to propel Bradley to a 8-0 run to start.

After the Rangers scored their first basket at the 15:27 mark, Bradley made sure that what happened in the first half would not happen again.

Brown continued his scoring run with another set of jumpers, and just like that, the game went from one that was within a score to an 18-point lead for Bradley. The best part for Braves fans would be that they weren't done yet.

Another player that had a quality game in the opener, Childs made a jumper roughly midway through the half to push the Bradley lead to 20.

After a three from Metamora alum Nate Kennell and a jumper from Lautier-Ogunleye, Childs would go on a brief scoring run of his own, scoring four straight Bradley points off a layup and free throws.

A few minutes later, it'd be Kennell again, this time hitting a jumper to put Bradley ahead by what would end up being their largest lead of the game, 27 points.

Parkside was certainly going to try and knife their way back into the game, with a pair of threes from Cameron Myre and Adam Bonk respectively cutting it back down to 69-48. But the Braves were too far ahead at that point.

Chavares Flanigan converted a three-point play with 2:11 to go to make it 72-55, but that would be the closest the Rangers would get the rest of the way.

It was Ja'Shon Henry that would get the last make of the game for Bradley with just over a minute to go.

Parkside was able to get one last three, this one coming from Jonah Matulle. That would set the final score and give Bradley the win on opening night, 74-58.

Bradley Scoring: Koch Bar (19), Elijah Childs (17), Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye (12), Darrell Brown (10), Ja'Shon Henry (7), Nate Kennell (5), Antoine Pittman (4)

Bradley Team Stats: 30-63 FGs (47.6%), 3-13 3's (23.1%), 11-15 FTs (73.3%), 43 rebounds, 13 assists, 17 turnovers, 4 blocks, 13 steals

Bradley Statistical Leaders:
Field Goals | Koch Bar (7)
Threes | Elijah Childs/Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye/Nate Kennell (1 each)
Free Throws | Koch Bar (5-7)
Rebounds | Elijah Childs/Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye (8)
Assists | Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye (4)
Blocks | Koch Bar (2)
Steals | Elijah Childs/Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye (4 each)

- Koch Bar's 19 points are a career high
- November 7th is the earliest date for an official season opener in program history
- Parkside is  in its first year outside of the Great Lakes Valley Conference (Illinois-Springfield, Lewis, etc.)
- Attendance was called at 4,610
- Parkside's bench out-scored Bradley, 30-11.
- Darrell Brown played the most minutes among the Braves, logging 28 minutes

Next Up:
vs. Southeast Missouri State
Saturday, November 10th
1:00 pm tipoff
Watch | ESPN3
Listen | 1470/100.3 WMBD (Dave Snell & Chad Kleine)

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