This week, we decided to ask all of our sports staff at The Scout what the top 10 best Bradley sports moments of the 2021-22 season were. Each member made their selections and ranked them from 1 to 10, and they have been compiled to represent the best of the best. Without further ado, here are the Scout’s top 10 Bradley sports moments from the 2021-22 season.
#1: Gabi Haack becomes Bradley’s all-time leading women’s basketball scorer
In a career that has taken Bradley women’s basketball to new heights, Gabi Haack’s 24 points in a win against Wisconsin on November 19 vaulted her to become the program’s all-time leading scorer – breaking a 39-year record.
Haack was honored with a ceremony during a timeout, where she received a standing ovation from Brave and Badger fans alike. Haack would have her season cut short due to an injury at Illinois State, but her 1,811 points sit atop the program record book and will for years to come.
#2: Men’s basketball takes down Loyola at home
There were plenty of memorable moments from this year’s edition of men’s basketball, but there was arguably none better than the gritty win versus Bradley’s rival Loyola-Chicago on Feb. 9.
The buildup before this game set the stage for Loyola’s last conference game at Carver Arena. Along with the school announcing a move to the Atlantic 10 Conference in the fall of 2022, it was the Braves who led by 16 in the second half down in Chicago before eventually bowing out to the Ramblers in overtime. The 68-61 win this time around excited the home crowd of 4,450 and set up the beginning of a successful homestand.
#3: Hannah Thompson becomes the first player in the nation since 2003 to record 1,300 career kills and 1,900 career digs
Hannah Thompson’s career was nothing short of achievements, but what may be one of her most noteworthy records came in her final year on the Hilltop.
Along with setting numerous program and MVC records, Thompson became the third player in MVC history to record 1,300 career kills and 1,900 career digs. While this was already a milestone achievement, it became even larger when it was announced that she was the first player in the NCAA since 2003 to accomplish this feat.
#4: Terry Roberts finishes layup to take down Northern Iowa in closing seconds
Throughout the year, Terry Roberts made highlight play after highlight play, but his magical layup in the closing seconds versus Northern Iowa may be one of his more clutch moments.
With an early start to the MVC season, the Panthers and Braves went blow for blow on Dec. 1, but with Roberts getting the ball with under 10 seconds to go, a coast-to-coast move in the lane caught Panthers star AJ Green off-guard, allowing Roberts to finish at the rim and give Bradley the 71-69 win.
#5: Baseball takes series over nationally ranked Dallas Baptist
Avid college baseball fans will know the success of the MVC in recent years, especially from perennial power Dallas Baptist. A Bradley series win over the No. 16-ranked Patriots was not only eye-opening, but a momentum builder for the team.
Going into the series at 9-17 compared to the Patriots 22-10, the Braves looked to be in a David and Goliath situation, but a newfound success on the mound allowed the Braves to take the first two in the three-game series, shocking all but themselves.
#6: Caroline Waite beats the buzzer with one hand
It’s not everyday that a Bradley athlete makes SportsCenter’s Top 10, but on Feb. 7, Caroline Waite did just that.
The day before, Bradley women’s basketball had welcomed Evansville to town, and while the Braves snapped a 16-game losing skid, one of the bigger moments from the game came midway through the third quarter.
With the shot clock expiring, Waite, a right-handed shooter, threw up a prayer from behind the arc with her left hand and got nothing but net. It was a truly bizarre moment that received national attention.
#7: Ja’Shon Henry is treated to emotional senior day, returns to court for first time despite injury
After suffering a head injury in the final seconds versus Saint Joseph’s, Ja’Shon Henry would spend the rest of the 2021-22 season on the sideline minus a short stint on the road at Illinois State.
This nagging injury, and the journey Braves fans have followed since he joined the team in 2018, created an emotional environment on Senior Day. With the final seconds closing out a Bradley win over Valparaiso, head coach Brian Wardle and Beacons head coach Matt Lottich negotiated on the sideline and, after a brief exchange, Henry stepped on the court for a few seconds, receiving a standing ovation.
Henry announced after the season that he would return for a final year on the Hilltop.
#8 Caroline Waite claims MVC Women’s Basketball Freshman of the Year
While women’s basketball didn’t exactly have the season they envisioned, there were a few moments where the stars aligned, and Caroline Waite claiming the MVC Women’s Basketball Freshman of the Year was one of those instances.
With prominent injuries and COVID-19 precautions weaving in and out of the lineup, it allowed not only more playing time for Waite, but it allowed her to have a breakout campaign in her first year on campus.
Averaging 13 points per game, and leading all MVC players by averaging just under three 3-pointers per game, Waite was relied on time and time again by now-retired head coach Andrea Gorski.
#9: Nicola Jansen wins MVC Cross Country Freshman of the Year
The success that cross country has had as Bradley continues to reload each year is unmatched, and Nicola Jansen was the latest to make a mark on the team.
The freshman from South Africa turned heads all season, as her 16th place finish at the NCAA Midwest Regional was the best race by a Bradley rookie in school history.
In addition, Jansen’s third-place finish at the MVC Championship helped lead the Braves to second in the MVC. After the season, Jansen was honored by the MVC as the Cross Country Freshman of the Year.
#10: Grace French throws no-hitter versus St. Thomas
In game one of a doubleheader at the Mizzou Classic on March 6, senior Grace French pitched five no-hit innings versus St. Thomas to complete the first Bradley softball no-hitter since 2007.
It was the Braves third time seeing the Tommies this season, and in the final matchup, St. Thomas was dashed by the senior French. It was just another highlight of an already remarkable career, and the Braves celebrated this one no differently.