Despite dealing with four injuries, Bradley women’s basketball broke their recent slump and defeated the Lindenwood Lions 63-56.
The Braves tamed the Lions with senior Alex Rouse leading the charge, scoring 15 points. While the Lions were on the hunt for their first win of the season, Bradley picked up their third at Renaissance Coliseum on Saturday night.
Leaving an impact
Coming off the bench, freshmen Armoni Strozer made an impact on defense, bringing the Braves 12 rebounds in her 23 minutes of play. She also went 3-4 from the field and came close to a double double with nine points. Alongside Strozer, senior Isis Fitch came up big on the defensive end with nine rebounds of her own.
Leading offensive production were Rouse and senior Ruba Abo Hashesh, who put up 15 and 13 points, respectively. Abo Hashesh was pivotal on the offensive and defensive ends as she filled up her stat column with four assists and two steals. Freshman Halli Poock started her second consecutive game and provided the Braves with 11 points, four assists and three steals.
As the Braves attacked the right side of the court, the Lions chose to inflict damage through the middle, constantly attacking the middle third. Bradley started finding solutions for the constant attack with Strozer on defense, providing the needed length for the Braves.
On the hunt
It took Bradley a couple of minutes to find their groove, as they committed five turnovers in the first four minutes of the first quarter. As the game went on, the Braves were dominant with their 23 rebounds in the first two periods, while Lindenwood couldn’t take advantage of the Braves’ 15 turnovers in the first pair of quarters.
After trading buckets on multiple possessions, Lions’ Ellie Brueggemann found time and space to bury a jumper for Lindenwood’s first lead of the game at 9-8 with 3:37 left in the first. Brueggemann cut deep for the Braves throughout the game as she left Peoria with 20 points in her 35 minutes.
The second quarter mimicked the first, with neither team carving out a lead. The Lions leveled the game after a Kaylen Evans pull up jumper with just two seconds on the shot clock. However, the Braves left for the locker room with a four-point advantage, leading the Lions 30-26.
The Lions continued their hunt for the lead and eventually found it in the fourth minute of the third quarter. After swapping layups, Lindenwood’s Kaliyah Sain buried a jumper after backing up to the basket, giving the Lions a 36-35 lead with 4:12 left in the frame. A 9-0 run defined the final minutes of the Braves’ third quarter, and they headed into the final frame up 44-36.
That eight point advantage quickly dissolved as the Lions went on a 7-0 run, ending with Gracie Kelsey taking advantage of a rebound. Kelsey was the second highest points scorer with 15 and four rebounds. With the clock running out, there was more full court pressure from Lindenwood which allowed them to recover possession on multiple plays.
The final minutes of the frame moved slowly as both teams used their timeouts and Bradley took the game 63-56. The Braves face Eastern Illinois in Peoria today at 6 p.m.