Bradley University pulled off a second half comeback over Southern Illinois University 64-59 to advance to the semifinals of Arch Madness — the Missouri Valley Conference men’s basketball tournament.
Senior guard Darrell Brown was the Braves’ leading scorer with 19 points on 7-for-13 shooting. Brown also dished out eight assists.
“We couldn’t get going offensively, but our defense and rebounding keeps you in the game,” Bradley head coach Brian Wardle said. “That’s what March is all about; survive and advance. You’ve got to have an identity that keeps you in the game when the offense isn’t going. We’ve proven we have that, and the guys believe in it.”
The Braves trailed by three points at halftime, and their deficit reached nine points with 15:11 remaining in the game. Overall, the Salukis led for over 28 minutes of the game, but they were unable to hold onto the lead down the stretch.
Wardle also praised the performance of Ville Tahvanainen off the bench. The first-year guard from Finland scored 12 points on 4-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc.
“Every year when a team wins this tournament, us last year, someone’s got to step up every game and make plays,” Wardle said. “Ville stepped up and made some big threes today for us.”
The Braves advance to play No. 8-seed Drake University in the Arch Madness semifinals March 7. Tip-off is set for 2:30 p.m. on CBS Sports Network.