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Rapid Recap: Turnovers and rebounds doom Braves against #22 LSU

Bradley’s Caroline Waite shoots against Wright St. earlier in the season. Photo courtesy of Bradley Athletics.

Bradley women’s basketball suffered their fifth straight loss at the hands of No. 22 LSU, who picked up their eighth straight win on Saturday, defeating the Braves 77-51,.

WHEN: The Braves committed 12 of their season-high 27 turnovers in the first quarter, allowing the Tigers to score 21 of their 28 first-quarter points off those turnovers. 

The Braves also shot just 20% from the field and 15% from three in the first half, where the 47-16 halftime deficit wastoo much to overcome.  

WHAT: Despite only making one of their 14 shots from behind the 3-point line, LSU found more sucess inside, outrebounding the Braves 53-36 and crashing the offensive glass for 21 rebounds compared to Bradley’s 11. The Tigers also garnered 44 points in the paint to Bradley’s 16.

The Braves outscored the Tigers in the second half behind a career high 10 rebounds from freshman center Callie Ziebell and seven points and five assists from freshman guard Nika Dorsey. Bradley had 40 bench points compared to LSU’s 21. 

WHO: Usual sharpshooting fifth year guard Gabi Haack shot just 3-13 from the field and 2-11 from three, whereas freshman guard Caroline Waite put up 14 points in her return from illness to lead the Braves’ scoring.

LSU center Faustine Aifuwa dominated in the paint, racking up 14 points and 11 rebounds, her first double-double of the season.

Four of Bradley’s last nine games have been against Power 5 conference opponents, dating back to last year’s NCAA tournament loss against Texas. This is also the Braves’ first time playing three Power 5 schools in the same season since 2013-14.

WHERE: The game was Bradley’s fifth straight on the road, the longest they’ve ever been away from Renaissance Coliseum in the regular season. All five of Bradley’s losses this season have come on the road. 

It’s also their first game in 12 days, which could have been longer if this game was not added to the schedule on Wednesday night. After the game against Tulsa on Dec. 1 was cancelled due to multiple COVID-19 positive tests within Tulsa’s Tier 1 personnel, Tulane cancelled their Holiday Classic slated for Dec. 20-21 due to multiple COVID-19 cases within the Green Wave’s program. In an effort to replace those lost games, Bradley added LSU and Illinois-Springfield to the schedule, with the latter to be played Sundayat Renaissance Coliseum.

WHY: Gorski on the toughness that LSU brought: “I think they’re a lot bigger than us and they’re the No. 22 team in the country on their home floor. We weren’t ready for their quickness and size inside and I think once we got settled down we did some good things and we ended up winning the second half.”

Gorski on what could be improved upon: “Rebounding and not executing on offense. We’re just gonna keep working on that in practice.”

Gorski on the five straight losses: “We’ve played three Power 5 schools in those five losses. I’m really proud of our team and the schedule we’ve put together and I can’t wait to get home against UIS. I’m not sure anyone else has played a schedule like we have.”

Gorski on the addition of this game to the schedule: “We haven’t played a game since Dec. 6 so we were just glad that [LSU] called. The only other option was staying home and practicing and practicing and practicing. We’ve got a lot of young kids that need to get out and play some games. It’s a tough opponent but it’s better than not playing a game.”

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