The women’s basketball team came home winless from its three-game conference road trip after starting this season 13-2 overall and 4-0 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Bradley capped off its skid with a 61-46 loss at Creighton (11-8 overall, 6-2 MVC), which proved to be the worst offensive performance of the season for the Braves, who connected on just 30.6 percent from the field on the way to a season-low in the points column.
“We obviously weren’t knocking down our shots the way we normally do,” coach Paula Buscher said. “But even beyond that, we turned the ball over too many times, and the combination of those two things can be deadly.”
Although the Bluejays only allow 57.7 points per game to begin with, Bradley turned the ball over 19 times and was also out-rebounded 44-36 in the loss.
Junior Renee Frericks led the way for the Braves, collecting a season-high 16 points off the bench, including hitting four 3-pointers.
Creighton’s Chevelle Herring led all scorers with 20 points in the Bluejay victory, while Kelsey Woodard added 14.
Despite the Braves’ offensive woes, they found themselves down only 19-18 with 2:52 remaining in the first half, before a 10:21 field goal drought struck.
Herring did a good portion of her damage in the second half of the final period, scoring eight straight points, leading to an 11-1 Creighton run which put the Braves down 54-37.
Junior Skye Johnson tried to rally Bradley back with a 3-ball at the other end, but was answered by Herring’s fourth 3-pointer of the half, locking the game away for the Bluejays.
Aside from the Creighton loss, the Braves also fell to host Drake 71-51 and Northern Iowa 92-76.
Sonya Harris led the way with a career-high 19 points against Drake, but there was no way Bradley could overcome its 27 turnovers and the Bulldogs walked away with the comfortable win.
Senior Monica Rogers collected her sixth double-double of the year in the UNI loss, putting up a season-high 26 points and grabbing 11 boards, but the sharp-shooting Panthers hit 58 percent from the field and 6-of-11 from downtown in the first half to jump out to a big lead.
“I felt that Northern Iowa played real well against us, but the Drake game was especially frustrating because it was a four or five point ball game the whole way through and we just let it slip away,” Buscher said. “It’s tough sometimes to be on the road that long, but we are looking forward to coming back home and seeing what we can get done.”
After the three-game slide, Bradley has dropped into a tie for fifth in the MVC but has a perfect opportunity to get things back on the right track tonight, as they host conference rival Illinois State at Illinois Central College’s Lorene Ramsey Gymnasium at 7:05 p.m. The Braves are undefeated at “home” this season.
“ISU is always a fun game for us,” Buscher said. “It’s such a great rivalry that fans and players both get fired up to another level.”
The Redbirds come into the contest 15-4 overall and boast a 6-1 conference record, which is good enough for a first-place tie with Indiana State.
Buscher added that she believes the Braves have the right personnel to compete with ISU and her team is looking forward to hosting the No. 1 team in the conference.
“We can’t wait to get them on our court and see what we can do against them,” she said. “A win against a team like ISU would be so great for our confidence after the struggles we’ve had lately.”