Bradley drops two home games

It’s that time of the year where teams look to hit their strides right before their conference tournament. However, the Bradley women’s basketball team is running in the wrong direction with two home losses last weekend.

Sunday, on Senior Day, the Braves fell 68-59 to the Creighton Blue Jays, and dropped to 14-14 and 5-11 in Missouri Valley Conference play.

“Well to put it concisely, it sucks,” senior Mackenzie Westcott said. “It’s great to play in an arena like this and have fans, the community and family able to come and see us, but obviously it’s not how we envisioned going out.”

Bradley entered last weekend on a four-game home winning streak before losing to Drake last Friday, 77-65, and Creighton Sunday.

“It’s unfortunate but it happens,” coach Paula Buscher said. “We’ve got two road games left and then we got the conference tournament. Anything can happen in the tournament, that’s what everyone talks about and you just have to keep believing, so we’re going to keep pushing.”

Sophomore Catie O’Leary led the game Sunday with 18 points, while Westcott added a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. However, the Blue Jays used 11 3-pointers, while also shooting 49 percent from the field to pull ahead of the Braves.

“I thought [O’Leary] did a good job of getting to the basket,” Buscher said. “I know she hit a few threes but she set that part of her game up by attacking so well, and I think she is playing with a lot of confidence right now.”

O’Leary also led Bradley with 18 points against Drake last Friday. Freshman Shronda Butts added 15 points and senior Leah Kassing had 11.

“We’ve got five great seniors that I think have done and will continue to do great things for Bradley,” Buscher said. “Obviously, as a Bradley student, I think Bradley has done great things for them as well.  I think we will all be ready to go. I know our players are disappointed and a little bit down with things, but we’ll fight back.”

Bradley closes out its regular season on the road Saturday against Missouri State at 7 p.m. The State Farm MVC Tournament will follow starting the following Thursday in St. Charles, Mo.

“Hopefully we can keep things going longer than people think we should,” Westcott said. “I’m hoping we will continue to fight and have that Bradley pride.”