Finally … Bradley earns first conference victory of the season

If a win falls into Bradley’s lap and no one is there to see it, does it happen?

In front of less than 1,000 people, the Braves battled echoes, silence and a gametime shift to secure their first victory in twelve tries in Missouri Valley Conference play over Creighton, 69-61.

“It’s been tough,” senior Andrew Warren said. “A lot of people don’t understand coming to practice and working hard every day just to figure out a way to win.”

Sophomore Dyricus Simms-Edwards and Warren paced the Braves on both sides of the floor. Edwards had a career-high 22 points, Warren had a game-high 23 and both had a game-high three steals.

“The last few days I’ve been on Dyricus and maybe the hardest on him,” coach Jim Les said. “Just because he’s got more to give, and not just in points but his all around game.”

Creighton’s super freshman Doug McDermott led the Bluejays with 19 points and 17 rebounds.

Bradley started the game off with a 10-2 run lead by Edwards’s defensive pressure.

“We didn’t start the game well,” Creighton coach Greg McDermott said. “We scored on three of our first fourteen possessions and let them get out to that 10-2 lead. I never felt we totally recovered.”

At the end of the first half, both teams combined for only four fouls and went into the break tied at 25.

“Usually we’re scrambling to plug some holes because [senior Will Egolf and freshman Jordan Prosser] have some foul trouble,” Les said. “They defended early, they were physical and they worked awfully hard to keep the ball out of the post.”

Just like the beginning of the game, Bradley started the second half off on the right foot with a quick 6-0 run.

“Our guys were ready to play,” Les said. “I was a little nervous driving over here. But after they came into the locker room, after their warm-up, I had a good vibe.”

Creighton fought back to tie the score up at 48 in the final 10 minutes and the game remained close until Warren stole the ball at half court and finished with a lay-in to close the door on the Bluejays.

“[The Braves] made all the plays down the stretch; the hustle plays, the 50-50 balls and when we needed to make a shot,” Les said. “They made shots and stepped up to the free throw line and finished the game off.”