PEORIA, Ill. – Senior center Will Egolf (Juneau, Alaska/Douglas H.S.) made 4-of-5 3-point tries and paced for Bradley players in double-figures with 16 points, leading the Braves (1-0 preseason) to a 68-54 win versus NCAA Division II Upper Iowa (0-1 preseason) in their preseason opener Monday night at Renaissance Coliseum.
Egolf, a sixth-year senior who missed the entire 2011-12 season due to his second torn ACL injury, is 0-for-16 from 3-point range in his official career, but the 6-foot-9 center drained his first four tries from behind the arc Monday night.
It was back-to-back treys from well beyond the arc by senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards (Peoria, Ill./Washington H.S.) four minutes into the second half, though, that broke the game open for the Braves. Simms-Edwards, who finished 3-for-3 from 3-point land, hit consecutive triples from the right wing with 16:11 remaining and 15:25 left that stretched a 40-32 advantage to 46-32. The lead never dipped back into single digits the rest of the way.
Sparked by Egolf and Simms-Edwards, Bradley made 10-of-17 tries from 3-point range Monday night, a shooting display that helped cover up Upper Iowa’s 27-20 rebounding advantage.
Junior guard Walt Lemon, Jr. added 15 points and five assists for the Braves, while Simms-Edwards finished with 12 points and senior swingman Jake Eastman contributed 11 points, a game-high seven assists and three steals with no turnovers in his 36 minutes.
Tucker Wentzien led Upper Iowa with 16 points and five rebounds and Mike Lafrenz came off the bench to score 11 points for the Peacocks.
Bradley will close out its preseason schedule by hosting another NCAA Division II opponent, Wisconsin-Parkside, in a 1 p.m. exhibition Saturday at Carver Arena. Before Saturday’s game, though, the Bradley Athletics will host the annual Spaghetti Supper Thursday evening in the Renaissance Coliseum Basketball Performance Center. Tickets for both events are on sale at the Renaissance Coliseum Box Office and Thursday night’s dinner ticket ($12 adults, $6 12 and under and $30 Family Pack) will include admission to the women’s basketball exhibition game versus Lindenwood that night in the Renaissance Coliseum arena.