Men split opening weekend games

Despite an opening night win, the men’s basketball team dropped its second game of the year Sunday to bring the 2016-2017 season 1-1.

Bradley struggled in the early goings of its debut against Illinois-Springfield, but the Braves soon found their touch in the first half. The men entered halftime with a 37-24 lead, and though they never truly pulled away, they retained a comfortable lead throughout the rest of the evening, cruising to a 70-55 victory.

Sophomore guard Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye led the Braves in scoring with 12 points, finishing 4-5 from the floor with a pair of threes and free throws. Freshman Koch Bar recorded six rebounds in his Bradley debut while sophomore Antoine Pittman paced the team with four assists.

The Braves clearly had command of the game but struggled mightily in the free throw department. Bradley was 9-19 from the stripe as they left plenty of points on the table. However, those lost points didn’t end up biting the men in the win.

But, the free throw woes would haunt the Braves in the first half of Sunday’s 63-49 loss to Delaware. Bradley shot 5-12 from the line in the first half and 5-20 from the field to produce only 15 points. The Braves were up against the ropes after facing a 19-point deficit at halftime, and despite outscoring Delaware in the second half, it wasn’t enough to come back.

Junior Alex Foster was the Braves’ leading scorer with 12 points on 5-6 field goals and a pair of free throws. Lautier-Ogunleye had five boards while sophomore Luuk van Bree had three assists.

Bradley will look for its second win at 7 p.m. tonight at Carver Arena against Southeast Missouri State.