Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Peak of Valley: Siuc vs. N. Iowa Salukis Put Bradley in Tank

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Peak of Valley: Siuc vs. N. Iowa Salukis Put Bradley in Tank

Article excerpt

Officer, we'd like to file a missing persons report.

Name of the missing? Deon Jackson and Billy Wright. Roger Suchy and Anthony Parker. Just put down: Bradley Braves.

Description? Last seen wearing red and white. Baggy shorts. Nice sneakers. They were young, athletic, well-coached.

Last seen? Raining 3s upon the Southern Illinois Salukis in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at The Arena.

The Bradley Braves made eight 3s in the first half. They made only seven baskets in the second half. That ultra-cold spell allowed Southern Illinois University-Carbondale to rally for a 72-59 victory Sunday before 10,077.

The third-seeded Salukis (22-6) play surprising Northern Iowa (16-12) at 8:35 tonight in the tournament championship. The winner earns the MVC's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament.

"We came out early in the second half and established the tone for the rest of the game," said SIUC guard Chris Carr, who led all scorers with 22 points. "We held them to two points in a total of 10 minutes, and that really helped us out a lot."

After gunning its way to a 38-29 halftime lead, Bradley was outscored 19-2 at the start of the second half. The Braves got a basket from David Winslow three minutes into the second half but failed to score again until just 10 minutes 15 seconds remained in the game. By that time, they trailed 48-40.

SIUC, with its Iron Five starting lineup scoring 67 of its 72 points, led by as many as 16 in the second half. "I don't think I've ever had a team play a better 10-12 minutes of defense," SIUC coach Rich Herrin said. "The defense is what won the game."

The Salukis' aggressive play on defense carried over to every aspect of their game. They pounded Bradley on the boards 27-12 in the second half. And they pounded the ball inside.

"I think we got scared," SIUC's Paul Lusk said. …

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