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Braves suffer another major injury

Originally published December 3, 2010

Just hours before extending its losing skid on Tuesday, Bradley announced the loss of another key player to health issues this season.

Joining junior Taylor Brown on the bench will be senior Sam Maniscalco, who will sit out the season and seek a medical redshirt because he hasn’t been able to fully recover from off-season ankle surgery.

“It’s going to be tough, but at the same time I know I still have a role on this team,” Maniscalco said. “I’m the leader on this team and obviously in a different way now because I’m not out there with the guys. But it’s definitely going to be tough not being able to battle with them.”

Maniscalco has played 111 games as a member of the Braves and averaged almost 10 points in the first six games of this season.

“[The pain] has been up and down this year,” he said. “Before preseason, it wasn’t very good. I couldn’t really do much. I really didn’t practice until a couple of days before the Texas A&M-Kingsville game.”

His coach knows it will be tough on his point guard to sit out the rest of the season.

“Sam is a warrior and he wants to be on the floor for his teammates,” Jim Les said. “He has given it his best effort, but we feel it is in his best interests to allow his ankle to recover completely so that he can enjoy the senior season he deserves.”

Maniscalco was named to the second team All-MVC last season and was named first team in the preseason for his senior year.

“I don’t want to look too far ahead but now [my goal] is just to be healthy,” Maniscalco said. “I just want to get back to 100 percent and get prepared for next season.”

Senior Dodie Dunson and sophomore Dyricus Simms-Edwards will likely pick up Maniscalco’s minutes.

“With my situation and Taylor’s, guys have to step up and roles are going to change and guys might have to do a little more,” Maniscalco said. “It’s a tough group of guys, and I have no doubt the rest of the guys will pick it up.”

On the heels of this announcement, the Braves traveled to Western Carolina to take on the Catamounts and came away with another tough loss, 66-65.

Bradley opened up the first half with a double-digit lead before Western Carolina could score and took a lead into the half at 38-34.

Once again, the Braves roared into the second half and went on a 14-0 run early and had a 12-point lead about halfway through the second half.

But the Braves had a tough time finding the bottom of the basket and didn’t make a field goal for more than nine minutes. The Catamounts outscored the Braves 18-3 over that stretch.

Senior Andrew Warren led the Braves with 22 points, eight boards, four assists and two steals.

Dunson was the only other member of the Braves to reach double digits with 14 points.

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