Braves 9-1 at ICC in first season away from Robertson Memorial Field House, on pace for record season
Some teams would struggle after being displaced without a true home court, but the women’s basketball team may go on to have the best season in program history.
After the demolition of Robertson Memorial Field House, Bradley was forced to play its home games away from campus.
The Braves found a temporary home at Illinois Central College where they have gone 8-1 so far this year and added another “home” win at Richwoods High School to extend their home record to 9-1.
Coach Paula Buscher said she knew where Bradley’s new facilities were going, and it would lead to the displacement of her team.
“We knew it was going to happen, so none of this has surprised us,” she said. “With this team chemistry, it doesn’t really matter where we play. Let’s just go play the game. And I think they’ve kept that attitude which has helped.”
Kelley Krumwiede, the team’s only four-year senior; admits to missing the fieldhouse, but she said she feels comfortable at her new home as well.
“Our fans are great, the band has been a huge part of our success, and the cheerleaders,” she said. “It’s basically a home away from home for us.”
After the realization the Braves would not be able to play at the fieldhouse this season, Bradley began the search for a temporary place to play.
ICC Athletics Director Sue Sinclair received a call from Bradley’s Director of Athletics Ken Kavanagh about the possibility of playing at ICC’s Lorene Ramsey Gymnasium.
Sinclair said she had no problems with the idea.
“Everybody is about higher education,” she said. “Whether it’s on the court or in the classroom, people just need to partner in the community.”
So at the start of this season, Bradley began playing its home games at ICC, where the Braves have lost just once this season.
Buscher said she thinks ICC was the best possible option.
“It’s convenient, it’s easy to park, it’s a tight court atmosphere, the fans are right on top of you,” she said. “And it’s a college-size court, and that was obviously one of the important factors as well.”
Dating back to last season, Bradley continued a home winning-streak that reached nine games. The Braves played those games at the fieldhouse (2), ICC (6) and Richwoods High School (1).
The winning streak was Bradley’s longest since the 1981-82 season when the team won 10 consecutive home games.
The Braves are sitting on 17 wins overall and were scheduled to play another game on Thursday.
The women’s basketball team has never won more than 17 games playing a full NCAA Div. I schedule and has never finished with more than 19 wins.
With six regular season games remaining, and the MVC tournament still looming, the Braves will have a chance to make history.