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Rapid Recap: Bradley 96, Evansville 53

Photo courtesy Bradley Athletics and Josh Schwam.

Bradley pulled away from Evansville over the course of the second half to score a 96-53 win on Friday night. All but two of the 13 Braves who played scored points as the Braves improved to 4-1 in Missouri Valley Conference play.

Who: The Braves were led by the trio of Lasha Petree, Nyjah White and Gabi Haack who each tallied double figures. Petree, the reigning MVC Player of the Week, finished with 20 points, with White and Haack adding 17 and 13 points respectively. Junior Chloe Rice was close behind with 9 points, and Mahri Petree and Tatum Koenig each chipped in 8 points on a balanced scoresheet. 

Beyond the scoring column, five Braves snagged 5 or more rebounds: Haack and Koenig grabbed 6 boards, while Emily Marsh, Tete Danso and Isis Fitch recorded 5. 

What: The win moves the Braves into a tie with Drake atop the MVC at 4-1, excluding Missouri State’s 1-0 conference record. Drake, who split a series with Bradley to open the conference schedule for both teams, also won big tonight with a 90-40 triumph against Indiana State.

When: The Braves are starting to find their footing after some early inconsistencies to begin the season. Tonight’s win marks the team’s fourth in a row with favorable matchups against Evansville on Saturday and against Loyola-Chicago at home on Jan. 22 and 23. 

Where: Bradley scored its fourth consecutive win at Evansville’s Meeks Fieldhouse, one of the MVC’s quaintest venues. The win also improves the Braves’ conference road record to 2-1 following the split with Drake earlier in the season. 

Why: 

Bradley Head Coach Andrea Gorski on if the team is hitting its stride: “I like the depth of our team, in both the guard spots and in the post. I just think that we can still get a lot better, but I do like how they are really understanding how to make each other better out there. And I think that’s the difference, you know, is understanding … where does Nyjah like the ball on the side? Where does Lasha like it? How do we get it to Gabby, you know, and then I think we’re doing a little better job on the boards since conference started, really, and we’re gonna need to continue to do that.”

Gorski on sophomore Violeta Verano’s first-career start: “Tatum and Uche …  they weren’t feeling great. So just [out of an] abundance of caution we kept them back for extra testing yesterday so they didn’t practice or they didn’t get here till around noon or one so they missed shoot around and everything. But [Violeta] is quite capable and you know, especially against the zone, shoots the ball really well.”

Gorski on the team’s depth: “We have capable scorers coming off the bench, and I think every game is different, you know, it’s what are the matchups? How are they guarding certain people? And then, the coaches just getting used to what is the skill set from some of our bench players. How can we utilize them in those situations … We’re starting to just understand how to make each other better. We just have a lot of confidence in our 13 players.”

Next: Bradley will face Evansville at 6 p.m. on Saturday on ESPN3.

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