Greetings and salutations from Carver Arena, where we are 10 minutes from the tip off of tonight’s BracketBuster game between Bradley and Drexel. Already some big news stirring here, as I just received word the the Braves will be without sophomore Taylor Brown, who is suspended for violating team rules with some “extra-curricular activities” this week. For more on the susupension, click here.
This marks Brown’s third suspension of the year and fourth missed game as a result. But in other, more uplifting news, I just finished a delicious chicken finger basket from the Civic Center Concession stand.
My apologies for the brevity, but my entire pregame was erased earlier in a posting error. Kids and their technology…
Bradley enters tonight’s contest with a record of 13-13, 8-8 MVC, while Drexel (15-13, 10-6 CAA) is coming off a loss Tuesday to VCU. Judging by their warmups, the Dragons have a few big boys that are going to stretch our limited post resources and constantly remind us that TB is not in the lineup. Here’s hoping for a good shooting night.
Lineups and anthem upcoming… Should be interesting to see who takes Taylor’s spot.
TB is in the building tonight, but dressed in street clothes (see below)
Looks like it’s going to be freshman Dyricus Simms-Edward, joining usual starters Sam Maniscalco, Will Egolf, Chris Roberts, Andrew Warren. Starting for the Dragons will be Gerald Colds, Jamie Harris, Derrick Thomas (not the former Kansas City Chiefs linebacker) Daryl McCoy and Samme Givens. Nice to see DSE get a good response when he was announced. The Washington H.S. grad has been one of the few consistent bright spots this season.
Bradley wins the tip and we’re off…
Bradley turns it over and Givens makes them pay with an And-1 on the Drexel end. DSE draws some contact, loses it and gets his own rebound before going up strong for Bradley’s first two points.
Chris Roberts drops a 3 from Maniscalco and the Dragons throw it away on their end. Into the game, 6th-year senior Sam Singh, replacing Egolf. Roberts misses a pair of free throws, but the Dragons cough it up again. Warren misses his third three of the night, but Drexel’s woes continue. At the 15:23 timeout, it’s Bradley 7, Drexel 3.
Sam Singh goes up strong, but misses out of the timeout. Harris draws a shooting foul off the rebound and hits both freebies. Warren misses again and Givens gets two more for the Dragons. Maniscalco answers with a Bradley jumper. Drexel travel, Warren travel. DSE is whistled for a foul, signaling the 11:57 timeout. Bradley 9, Drexel 9. Not too pretty so far.
Warren connects on his first basket of the night, a high kiss off the glass and freshman Milos Knezevic checks in, replacing DSE. Milso hasn’t played much since the beginning of the season and frankly, it’s great to see him getting some PT.
Chris Fouch drops a 3-ball for Drexel and Egolf slashes to the lane to erase part of it for Bradley. Sheesh. Fouch knocks down another trey, this one well beyond NBA range.
Warren with a steal, but the Braves travel it away in transition. Maniscalco misses a 3, but Singh is there to clean up the rebound. At the 7:46 break, it’s all square at 15.
Warren spins and drives for two to break the tie and Roberts adds to more on a drive of his own. DSE makes it a 9-0 run for Bradley with a 3-ball. Timeout Drexel with 5:36 to play, it’s Bradley 22, Dragons 15.
Thomas completes an And-1 for the Dragons, hitting the free throw, but picks up his second foul on the following BU possession. DSE hangs, but can’t finish. Roberts tries to save on the other end, but throws it right to a waiting Evan Neisler, who slams home the gimme. At the 3:50 timeout, it’s Bradley by a deuce, 22-20.
Roberts sinks a pair of free throws and Maniscalco grabs a steal on the other end and takes it coast-to-coast for two. Roberts skies for a block , but Egolf can’t convert for Bradley, leading to another Fouch 3-ball. Maniscalco hits Eastman, who drops a 3 of his own on the other end. Might be his first of the season, have to check. ANOTHER Fouch three, his fourth of the half in five attempts.
Note: That was Eastman’s second 3 of the year, his first coming in Bradley’s Jan. 6 win over Indiana State.
Warren penetrates and pulls up at the free throw line to sink a jumper. After a Drexel miss, Bradley calls timeout. With the clock winding down, Chris Roberts drives baseline and goes up and under a la Dr. J for a massive one-handed dunk to beat the buzzer.
At the break, it’s Bradley 33, Drexel 26.
Nifty rebound be DSE to start the second half, but Egolf with a bad travel on the other end. McCoy airballs, rebound Warren, Egolf misses a 15-footer.
Steal DSE, works it ahead to Maniscalco, who finishes for 3. Colds answers with an And-1, free throw not included. Warren moves to 0-for-5 from deep and Kevin Phillip sinks a jumper for the Dragons. Warren gets the monkey off his back with a trey on the next BU possession… And another on the next. He has 12 to lead Bradley.
Roberts and Warren are running and Andrew tries to dunk, but he’s hacked and can’t finish. Pretty bad no-call there.
At the 14:49 timeout, it’s Bradley 41, DU 32.
Roberts hits a pair of freebies out of the timeout to make it an 11-point lead. Spencer answers with a layup underneath. Surprised Drexel hasn’t gone to that more. They have a considerable size advantage down there.
Warren is starting to hit his stride, he backs down his defender and sinks a pretty little fadeaway jumper. Maniscalco feeds Egolf inside for a two-handed dunk and Leon Spencer is fouled on the following Drexel possession. He drops both freebies. DSE misses a lonng 3 and is informed about how ill-advised it was by Coach Buescher shortly following.
Spencer catches the inlet pass and goes up strong for a two-handed dunk. At the 11:52 timeout, it’s Bradley by nine — 47-38.
Sam Singh with a bucket out of the timeout, but he picks up his first foul on the following Drexel attack. Warren strokes another 3 and he has 17. Drexel continues to fire up 3s (I don’t get it) and Warren grabs their latest miss and outlets to Eastman, who takes it all the way for a double-pump layup. Timeout Drexel and it’s Bradley 54, Dragons 38 with 10:11 to play. As of know, Bradley is acutally winning the points in the paint battle, 24-18. Despite Samme Givens’ 25 boards, the rebounding batle is all square at 25.
Harris misses another Drexel 3 and here come the Braves. Dyricus can’t get a shot off and Fouch is fouled on the other end. He sinks both free throws.
9:09 to play; Bradley 54, Drexel 40.
Spencer grabs an offensive rebound and finishes inside and DSE throws it away for Bradley, leading to a Fouch layup. Egolf answers with an alley-oop layup from Roberts.
Roberts’ active defense forces a Harris turnover, but Bradley comes up empty. Colds with an And-1 for Drexel and he hits the free throw. Maniscalco with a jumper for Bradley, but Harris answers with a 3.
Spencer draws a foul and misses both free throws. Can’t do that down the stretch. Warren is called for an illegal screen on the next BU possession. Fouch misses a 3, but Spencer is there for the putback. Bradley by seven, 59-52.
Warren splits a pair for Bradley and Fouch throws it away for Drexel. Braves can’t capitalize. Fouch misses another trey and Maniscalco drops his patented penetrate, stop, turn and fade jumper.
P.S. Drexel coach “Bruiser” Flint just showed me how he earned his nickname with a full-fisted smash of the scorer’s table right in front of me. Better stay on his good side at the press conference after the game.
DSE sinks a big Bradley jumper with the shot clock running out and here come the Braves again after a Harris miss. At the 2:53 timeout, it’s Bradley 64, Drexel 52.
Deisler at the line for Drexel and he sinks ’em both. Dyricus and Egolf have a 2-on-1 off the press breaker, but Dyricus throws it away. Maybe trying to do a bit too much in TB’s absence?
Maniscalco is fouled and he sinks a pair. Harris sinks a 3 on the following Drexel possession. Bradley by 9. Should be on free-throw-driven auto-pilot for the final 1:23.
Roberts finishes the scoring for Bradley with a big one-handed dunk.
Final score: Bradley 76, Drexel 60.