PEORIA, Ill. - Bradley senior forward Taylor Brown (Atlanta, Ga./Dunwoody H.S.), who missed the entire 2010-11 season due to cardiac evaluation, led all players with 25 points and eight rebounds and helped the Braves (1-0 preseason) to an 87-77 exhibition men's basketball victory versus NCAA Division II Wisconsin-Parkside (0-1 preseason) Tuesday night at Renaissance Coliseum.
The exhibition against the Rangers also was the first game against outside competition as Bradley's head coach for Geno Ford, who was the Mid-American Conference Coach of the Year the last two seasons at Kent State. In another debut performance, freshman guard Donivine Stewart (Peoria, Ill./Limestone H.S.) came of the bench to contribute 12 points on 5-for-5 shooting from the field, while dishing out a game-high six assists against no turnovers, and pulling down four rebounds.
Jeremy Saffold led three Wisconsin-Parkside players in double-figures with 19 points. Jordan Mach added 12 and Conrad Krutwig chipped in with 10 points. In addition to Brown and Stewart, Bradley received 13 points each from junior guard Jake Eastman and sophomore guard Walt Lemon, Jr. Eastman's effort matched his career-high and he shared game-high rebounding honors with Brown.
Bradley struggled to gain any separation against its visitor until holding the Rangers scoreless for nearly three minutes down the stretch. The Braves took the lead for good, 68-65, on a Stewart 3-pointer with 9:42 left, but still led by just an 80-75 margin with 3:43 remaining. Brown scored the game's next six points on four free throws and a tip-in and sophomore guard Walt Lemon, Jr. added a fifth free throw with 43 seconds remaining to cap a 7-0 Bradley run for an 87-75 advantage.
Bradley shot 52.5 percent (31-59) from the field and turned 16 offensive rebounds into 24 second-chance points. The Braves also forced 19 turnovers and turned the UW-Parkside miscues into 26 points.
Bradley will play a second exhibition game Nov. 8 versus NCAA Division III College of Wooster. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. at Carver Arena and is included in the Carver Arena season-ticket plan. Individual game tickets are on sale, prices ranging from $8-20, at the Renaissance Coliseum Box Office, Carver Arena Box Office, all TicketMaster outlets and online at www.BradleyBraves.com.