Led by junior Leti Lerma’s 16 points and seven rebounds, the Bradley women’s basketball team snapped a four game losing streak with a 66-52 win over the University of Evansville Friday.
The Braves (6-15, 2-8) had three players in double figures on a night where two runs put away the last place Aces (3-18, 1-9).
However, the game got off to a rocky start as Bradley and head coach Michael Brooks found the team down 16-4 early on.
“I was just so proud of how hard we played, even when they got off to a little run,” Brooks said. “They ran a five out that we knew they might, but we got in a chase mood a little bit and worked solid.”
The Braves answered with a 12-0 run which tied the game at 16 late in the first quarter. Bradley turned on the heat from there, as a 12-0 run evolved into a 21-2 outburst as the Braves took a 28-25 lead into halftime.
Sophomore Anneke Schlueter keyed the run with eight points, as the Braves played some of the most disciplined basketball they’ve played all season.
“We just continued to attack and stay disciplined in our actions,” Brooks said. “If we can stay disciplined then there are good things on the horizon for us.”
Evansville tied the game early in the third quarter at 29, but that didn’t last very long as the Braves used a 11-2 run to regain the lead.
Bradley forced Evansville into eight third quarter turnovers, including three steals by Schlueter as the Braves pulled away for good.
“We wanted to make them go east to west, force them to make tough passes,” Brooks said. “What was great for us was we were reading eyes. We were on our P’s and Q’s on where we needed to be.”
Brooks’s defense held Evansville’s Sara Dickey, the Missouri Valley Conference’s (MVC) third leading scorer, to 13 points on the night and forced 27 turnovers in the win.
Bradley finishes their four-game homestand Sunday, when they play Southern Illinois at 2 p.m.