The scent of bacon could be smelled all throughout Renaissance Coliseum Tuesday night, due to a free bacon giveaway for the first 300 students.
On the court, the men’s basketball team had to rebound from a disappointing Thanksgiving break as they welcomed Central Michigan to the only on-campus game of the year.
During break, the Braves headed to Corpus Christi, Texas to participate in the 2014 Corpus Christi Coastal Classic as they played Texas Christian University (TCU) and St. Louis University (SLU).
The Braves dropped both of those contests by a combined score of 11 points after falling to TCU 57-49 and to SLU 60-57. In the matchups in Texas, the games were tales of 10 point leads.
During the match against TCU, the Braves came back to tie the game after being down by 10 points. In the game against SLU, the Braves would find a 10-point lead evaporate to the Billikens.
Entering Tuesday with a record of two games under .500 (2-4), and with the Braves playing their only on-campus game of the season, the team knew they had to have a special performance to please the Bradley faithful.
Boy, the Braves did not disappoint.
From the opening tip, the Braves controlled the tempo for the majority of the game as the Braves would go to defeat the Chippewas from Central Michigan 84-73 to now stand at 3-4 on the season.
Led by 33 points from Warren Jones, his career-high, head coach Geno Ford was all praise for the junior transfer from Southeastern Community College (Iowa).
“Warren was great,” Ford said. “He obviously shot the ball well, but I think the guys did a great job at moving and getting him the ball.”
Jones said that he felt he had a rough start after turning the ball over in the opening minutes, but he had faith in himself as a shooter.
“I kind of had a slow start,” Jones said. “I have confidence in myself that when I make one, I feel like I can make another. So once I start making them, I feel that I can get it going.”
The Braves and Chippewas were tied at 14 at the 10:01 mark of the first half when junior Ka’Darryl Bell found Jones open for a three pointer to put Bradley up 17-14. Bradley would not look back, as the Braves held the lead for the remainder of the game.
After having rebounding problems so far in the young season, the Braves clobbered the Chippewas on the glass 41-20, led by freshman Donte Thomas with eight rebounds.
Ford credited the Braves’ enthusiasm to the crowd of 4,204 people at Renaissance Coliseum, including this year’s season high of 351 students.
“I thought the atmosphere was huge,” Ford said. “To be honest and some people will be great with this and some people won’t, but we should be playing all of our games in [Renaissance Coliseum].”
The Braves now face their season’s toughest stretch of road games starting at 8:30 p.m. on Dec. 6 vs. Memphis and then at 7 p.m. on Dec. 9 vs. Kansas State. Both games will be televised nationally on the ESPN family of networks.