The Bradley women’s basketball team put on a tremendous defensive effort on Senior Day to beat I-74 rival Illinois State 52-38 at home this afternoon.
The Braves were lead by sophomore Anneke Schlueter’s career-high 22 points, but it was the defense which was key in Bradley’s Sunday win. The Braves defense forced ISU into 17 turnovers and held them to an unbelievable 8 of 52 shooting from the floor.
The Braves were able to attack the basket early on, which set the tone for the game and allowed them to open up an early lead.
“Our key to success is when we get points when we get post touches, go inside-out, good things happen for us,” head coach Michael Brooks said. “Our good high-lows were able to open up our offense on the perimeter.”
The only reason the Redbirds were even in the game was they drew 21 personal fouls and shot 20-29 from the charity stripe. The Braves didn’t allow them to score a single basket from the field in the third quarter.
“Defense is our calling card this year, we’ve been very stout on defense,” Brooks said. “They attack the rim hard, but we were able to keep them on the perimeter and make them take tough shots. The only time they had succcess was when we fouled them.”
Despite poor free throw shooting down the stretch, the Braves defense proved to be impenetrable as they held off the Redbirds in the end.
The combined total of 90 points from both teams was the lowest scoring game ever at Renaissance Coliseum, which isn’t that unusual because the record has been broken three previous times this year already.
This win puts the Braves a half game out of seventh (behind ISU) in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 4-11 record. They also improve to 8-18 overall.
Bradley has won three out of their last six games and will head out on the road next weekend to face Northern Iowa on Friday at 7 p.m.