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Rapid Recap: Draper and the Braves fall on the road at Missouri State

Abbie Draper shoots against Northern Illinois. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics.

The Bradley women’s basketball team fell to Missouri State on the road Thursday night, 66-46 – the team’s twelfth straight loss. 

WHAT: Early on, it looked like there may have been an upset brewingwith Bradley leading 13-9 after the first quarter, but a strong second half by Missouri State ended the Braves’ chances of pulling off the win. 

The loss is Bradley’s sixth straight conference game to start the season, staying at the bottom of the Missouri Valley Conference standings. 

WHO: Senior guard Tatum Koenig led the Braves in scoring with 12 points, shooting 4-7 from the field and dropping in two 3-pointers. 

The story of the night for the Braves was getting 30 points off the bench. Freshman forward Abbie Draper and sophomore forward Daija Powell both scored 10 points to help the Braves bench produce on offense. Draper added seven rebounds and four blocks to her stat totals for the night, the latter of which was a career-high.

It was all Abigayle Jackson for the Bears in the second half, as she poured in 22 points on the night. Jackson recorded a double-double as she battled for 10 reboundsas well. Sydney Wilson added 15 points and nine rebounds to help the Bears in the win. 

The Bradley defense held the Bears to 31.9% shooting, but free throws  helped the Bears extend their lead in the second half. Missouri State was 15-22 at the free-throw line. 

WHEN: After Bradley led after one-quarter of play, it was all Missouri State from there. The Bears held the Braves to only four points in the second quarter, on 2-12 shooting.

Missouri State outscored Bradley 12-4 in the second quarter. At the half, Bradley only trailed by four 21-17. 

Missouri State started to push the lead out of the gate after halftime, as the Bears came out hot on an 8-0 run before Bradley head coach Andrea Gorski called a timeout. Abbie Draper ended the run with a basket at 6:25 in the third quarter. 

After Draper’s basket, the next seven points would be scored by Missouri State from the foul line. Missouri State pushed the lead to 17 by the end of the third quarter. 

WHERE: The Braves are familiar with JQH Arena, as this was the fifth time in the last six games between the two teams that the Braves had played at Missouri State. JQH Arena has been a  tough place to play, as the Bears have now won their last 19 home conference games. 

WHY: “Tatum played tough, shooting 4 of 7. She’s starting to shoot the ball better for us, thankfully. It was a good thing to see,” Gorski said about Koenig’s shooting performance. 

“Abbie is lengthy, skinny, and she’s tough. She can get hit and take it, she is tougher than she looks. She plays multiple positions for us and her defense is much improved… offensively she is not shy at all, 2 of 4 from the three-point line, she can take it to the rim, and offensively she is just going to get better and better,” Gorski on Draper’s progression throughout the season. 

“Without Gabi, we are not going to be the quick-firing team that we used to be, and I think some of it was because they are very physical and we couldn’t get out on screens. We have to do a better job of fighting back on physicality,” Gorski on the defense played by Missouri State.  

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