When you think of the Bradley and Illinois State rivalry, what names come to mind? Hatfields and the McCoys? Duke and UNC? Red Sox and Yankees? Probably not (at least to the student body).
Even though it might not feel like it on Bradley’s campus during a down year such as this, the two games in the War on I-74 rivalry are a big deal to players.
“[The game] means a lot to me,” Simms-Edwards said. ”I’m upset I have to wait until next year, unless we get to play them in the tournament, to get a crack at them.”
In the second installment of the War on I-74 Rivalry this year, ISU emerged victorious from a frantic final 30-plus seconds of the game, 51-50.
“As a team, we just wanted to keep our composure and try not to get caught up in the moment too much,” sophomore guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards said. “I feel like down the stretch, we executed the play we wanted to. They just made one more play then us.”
Simms-Edwards led the Braves with 15 points.
“I’ve just been taking my time more,” he said. “Earlier in the season, I was pressing because I wanted to make plays so bad. But now I’m getting in the flow of the game and doing what I do best, being aggressive.”
ISU’s Jackie Carmichael came off the bench for a second time against the Braves to lead the Redbirds in scoring and rebounding, with 19 and 13 respectively.
“He’s a very athletic big guy,” Simms-Edwards said. “Our big guys gave a valiant effort. That team, the way they shoot the ball, it comes off the rim long. There’s nothing you can do when the ball goes over your head.”
Missouri Valley Conference leading scorer senior Andrew Warren was held to 10 points.
Freshman Jordan Prosser led the Braves in rebounding with 10 rebounds.
Bradley wraps up the season on Saturday at home against Drake.
“I’m looking forward to playing Saturday’s game but it is bittersweet because it’s my last game,” senior Dodie Dunson said.