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One-on-one: Best moment in Bradley sports this year

Graphic by Kyle St. John

Darius Hannah’s dunk vs. Oakland

By Brandon Younan – Contributor

Freshman forward Darius Hannah had the best moment in Bradley sports this year with his poster dunk over Oakland center Yusuf Jihad on Nov. 27. 

Bradley guard Sean East II made the pass to Hannah near the free-throw line, and Hannah hammered home a monstrous dunk late in the second half of the game. He also had an opportunity for a three-point play. The dunk happened when the Braves already boasted a 15-point lead and was the finishing touch in the Braves’ victory. 

The Bradley bench erupted after watching the freshman slam it home in a clogged lane. 

The dunk made it to number three on the SportsCenter Top 10 highlights that night and capped off a great game for Hannah in only his second appearance of the season. He finished with 12 points on six of seven field-goal attempts, grabbed eight rebounds and had one block and one steal in 19 minutes. 

Hannah’s play in the game was also a key component in the Braves’ 74-60 win over Oakland. That wasn’t the only time the freshman had a thunderous dunk that resulted in a poster. Hannah also had a very similar dunk in a late-season matchup against Missouri Valley Conference rival Drake that slammed the door shut on the Bulldogs’ comeback attempt. Hannah finished the season averaging 3.8 points per game and 3.5 rebounds per game while shooting 60 percent from the field in his first season with the Braves. 

Bradley women’s basketball winning the MVC Championship

By Colin Davern – Contributor

It’s been an odd year for Bradley Athletics, as it has for every school in the country. COVID-19 forced in-person spectators to stay away from games for most of the year, and it threw a wrench into the daily routines of every athlete.

So far, the highlight of the athletic program this year has been the women’s basketball team winning its first conference championship ever as well as playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in team history. 

They clinched the title with a 78-70 win over the Drake Bulldogs for the Missouri Valley Championship in the Quad Cities, but it came after a dramatic experience with COVID-19 the previous day. Missouri State pulled out of the tournament due to a positive test within the Bradley program, as a positive case would likely end their season at a time when they were a lock for the NCAA Tournament. Bradley’s opponent abruptly changed to Loyola, but the Braves didn’t appear to be shaken by it, as they still won by 14. 

The championship came during coach Andrea Gorski’s fifth season with the team, a good sign for the years ahead. Senior Gabi Haack won tournament MVP, scoring 22 points in the final, and was second in the conference during the season in scoring at 16.5 PPG, only behind junior teammate Lasha Petree. Both players made the all-MVC first team, while the latter also made the all-defense team.

While the Braves winning their first women’s conference championship is definitely the highlight of the year so far, a close second is probably the Texas Longhorns having a safe ride home after getting obliterated by 28 points at the hands of South Carolina in the Elite Eight. 

 

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