Basketball (M)

Bradley Basketball Game Notes: UNI
Release: Friday 02/07/2013 


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UNI Panthers (13-11, 6-6 MVC)
Bradley Braves (14-10, 6-6 MVC)
Feb. 10, 2013 | 2 p.m.
Peoria, Ill. | Carver Arena (11,168)
WatchESPN:  ESPN3 | Tom Ackerman (pbp) and Kevin Lehman (analyst)
Radio:  1470 WMBD | Dave Snell (pbp), Chad Kleine (analyst) and Dan DiOrio (pregame)
Twitter:  @BPtheBrave | #BRADvUNI
Tickets:  $8, $14, $20 based on location | Renaissance Coliseum Box Office (309-677-2625), Carver Arena Box Office or online at
Promotions:  Go Pink, Go Bradley Coach’s Challenge signups at the Bradley merchandise stand and postgame autographs with Mason Alwan, Jalen Crawford, Will Egolf and Darrion Harris


•   Two of the teams part of the logjam for fourth place in the Missouri Valley Conference standings will battle Sunday afternoon when Bradley hosts Northern Iowa at Carver Arena.
   The Braves will try to even the season series against a team that dealt Bradley a 31-point defeat, 84-53, Jan. 12 in Cedar Falls.
   Only twice in its 109-year history has Bradley defeated a team that it lost to by at least 30 points in the season’s first meeting:  most recently, the Braves rebounded from a 64-30 loss at Oklahoma State Jan. 10, 1949 with a 35-31 win against the Cowboys Feb. 28, 1949.
   Sunday’s game will be the 49th meeting in the all-time series and the 48th meeting since UNI joined The Valley for the 1991-92 season.
   Though Bradley still owns a 27-21 lead in the all-time series, UNI has enjoyed the upper hand of late, winning 12 of the 16 meetings since 7th-year head coach Ben Jacobson took over the Panthers program for the 2006-07 season.


Second Year Strides
   In his second year as Bradley’s head coach, Geno Ford already has doubled the team’s victory total after enduring a 7-25 campaign in 2011-12.
   Ford is the fifth consecutive Bradley head coach to improve the team’s record from his first year to his second.
   Ford is the third Bradley head coach all-time to improve the team’s record by at least seven wins from Year 1 to Year 2.
•   List on Page 3 off the attached PDF document.


Bradley’s Blossoming STar
   Bradley junior guard Walt Lemon, Jr. is emerging as a 1st-Team All-Missouri Valley Conference caliber player.
   For the season, the 6-foot-3 point guard is averaging 14.9 ppg, 3.6 apg and 2.3 spg and is shooting 50.5 percent (112-222) from inside the 3-point arc.
   In the 12 Valley games, Lemon’s numbers are even better: 17.4 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 3.8 apg, 2.5 spg while shooting 37.5 percent from 3-point range and 50.9 percent from inside the arc.


Last Time Out
at Bradley 76, Evansville 70 | Feb. 5, 2013 | Carver Arena
   Tyshon Pickett proved to be the difference by scoring 18 points, grabbing a team-high eight rebounds and blocking two shots. 
   Dyricus Simms-Edwards scored a team high 21 points while Walt-Lemon Jr. added 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and two steals.
   Lemon Jr. split two free throws with 1:16 remaining to give the Braves the lead for good, 71-70.
   Evansville’s Colt Ryan scored a game-high 27 points, highlighted by a 4-minute, 26-second stretch when he scored 17 points on 7-for-7 shooting from the field.
   Bradley made 5-of-6 free throw attempts in the final minute, while Evansville missed its final five field goals attempts.


Series History
49th Meeting | Bradley leads 27-21
   Sunday’s game will be the 49th meeting in the all-time series between Bradley and Northern Iowa and the 48th meeting since the Panthers joined The Valley for the 1991-92 season.
   Bradley is 17-5 at home against the Panthers and has won two of its last three home games in the series at Carver Arena.
   Despite Bradley’s overall series lead, UNI has had the upper hand of late, winning 12 of the last 16 meetings since 7th-year head coach Ben Jacobson took over the program to start the 2006-07 season.


Recapping the First Meeting
at UNI 84, Bradley 53 | Jan. 12, 2013 | Cedar Falls, Iowa
   UNI opened the game on a 22-2 outburst and the Panthers never looked back in an 84-53 win Jan. 12 at the McLeod Center.
   Bradley came into the game leading the MVC in 3-point field goal percentage defense through the first four rounds of league play, limiting its opponents to just 4.0 treys per game on 25.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc, but the Panthers made 15-of-26 (.577) 3-point tries.
   UNI guard Marc Sonnen scored a game-high 21 points by draining 7-of-9 3-point tries.
   Bradley reserve guard Jalen Crawford led the Braves with a career-best 13 points.


Historic Bounce Backs
   In the 109-year history of Bradley Basketball, the Braves have five times lost to a team by at least 30 points and faced that team again later in the same season.
   During the 1917-18 season, Bradley suffered a 56-24 home loss to Eureka, then after closing the gap slightly to 42-17 in the season’s second meeting, the Braves earned a 19-18 win on a neutral floor during the Illinois Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Tournament.
   In Bradley’s first MVC season, the Braves suffered a 64-30 defeat at Oklahoma State Jan. 10, 1949, but bounced back for a 35-31 win against the #3 Cowboys Feb. 28, 1949 at the Peoria Armory.
   In the two other recent occurrences, Bradley narrowly missed the complete bounceback, suffering a 63-61 loss to Southern Illinois in the 1993 MVC Tournament after suffering a 77-42 loss in Carbondale, as well as a 54-53 home loss to Illinois State in the 2011-12  regular-season finale after its 78-48 loss at Redbird Arena.

The Bounce Backs
Date       Opponent           W/L  Score  +/-
1917-18    ^Eureka             L   24-56  -32
1917-18    ^at Eureka          L   17-42  -25
1917-18    $vs. Eureka         W   19-18  +1
1917-18    $vs. Eureka         L   12-35  -23 

1-10-1949  *at Oklahoma State  L   30-64  -34
2-28-1949  *#3 Oklahoma St.    W   35-31  +4


Positive Swings
   The Braves suffered an 84-53 (-31) loss Jan. 12 at UNI.
   If Bradley manages a win Sunday, it would represent the 18th time in Bradley Basketball history the Braves would have enjoyed a positive point swing of at least 32 points against the same opponent in a season in program history.
   Bradley’s largest scoring swing against the same opponent in one season came against UNI in 1999-2000, when the Braves answered a 50-46 (-4) loss at UNI with an 80-39 (+41) win at Carver Arena.

Positive Score Swings
+/-  Date       Opponent           W/L Score
+45  1-12-2000  *at UNI             L  46-50
     2-5-2000   *UNI                W  80-39

+39  Twice most-recently
     1-24-1914  ^at Augustana       L  16-20
     2-14-1914  ^Augustana          W  44-9

+38  1-10-1949  *at Oklahoma St.    L  30-64
     2-28-49    *Oklahoma St.       W  35-31

+37  1-9-2010   *at Missouri State  L  69-88
     1-16-2010  *Missouri State     W  74-56

+36  Twice most-recently
     1-4-2007   *at Wichita State   L  63-84
     1-20-2007  *Wichita State      W  78-63

+35  2-10-1951  *at Saint Louis     L  69-72
     2-20-1951  *Saint Louis        W  97-65

+34  Four times, most-recently
     2-7-1994   *at UNI             L  72-92
     2-26-1994  *UNI                W  68-54

+33  Twice most-recently
     1917-18    ^Eureka             L  24-56
     1917-18    %IIAC Tourney       W  19-18

+32  Four times, most-recently
     1-7-2011   *at Drake           L  58-64
     2-26-2011  *Drake              W  90-64


   After five teams finished tied for third with 9-9 league records in the 2011-12 Missouri Valley Conference standings, another logjam in the middle of the 2012-13 league is developing.
   Sunday’s game features two of the three teams that enter the weekend tied for fourth in the league standings.
   Three more teams are tied for seventh, just one game behind the fourth-place trio.
   Though Bradley and UNI are tied with Evansville for fourth place in the MVC standings, they are closer to being the ninth seed for the MVC Tournament than being the third seed.
   In the best-case scenario, the Bradley-UNI winner could exit the weekend alone in fourth place, just one-game out of a tie for second.
   In a worst-case scenario, the Bradley-UNI loser could be involved in a five-way tie for fifth (tie-break loser would be the No. 9 seed) and three games behind a three-way tie for first.


Regular-Season Home Wins
   Bradley brings an 11-2 home record into Sunday’s game and the Braves are 11-0 at home this year against teams that are not ranked in the top 25 of the current USA Today Coaches Poll.
   With three regular-season home games remaining, Bradley has a chance to equal the most regular-season home wins in its 31-year Carver Arena era.
   Bradley has not won more than 14 regular-season home games since 1967-68 (15-0).
   Bradley has not won as many as 12 regular-season home games since 2006-07 (13-3).


Shooting for Five
   For the second time this season, Bradley has won four consecutive home games.
   The Braves are shooting for a fifth consecutive home win for the first time in Geno Ford’s 2-year tenure as head coach.
   Bradley has not won five straight home gams since a 6-game streak from Feb. 13, 2010 through Nov. 17, 2010.
   The Braves have not won five consecutive Valley home games since a 5-game streak from Jan. 19-Feb. 16, 2008.


Turnaround Among Nation’s Best
   After going six years without improving its win total from one year to the next, Bradley’s current 7-win improvement over last year equals the sixth-best in the nation through games of Feb. 6:

Team            2011-12  2012-13  +W’s
Bryant            2-28   15-6     +13
Canisius          5-25   15-8     +10
Towson            1-31   13-12    +12
Santa Clara       8-22   17-7     +9
Arizona State    10-21   17-5     +7
Bradley           7-25   14-10    +7
Illinois-Chicago  8-22   14-10    +6
Loyola (Ill.)     7-23   13-10    +6


Dynamic Duo
   Not only do Bradley guards Walt Lemon, Jr. and Dyricus Simms-Edwards combine for the highest scoring backcourt duo (27.1 ppg) in The Valley, they also lead the league and rank second nationally for steals (5.2 spg) by a pair of teammates.
   In the chart on Page 7 of the attached PDF, the Valley backcourts (top two guards by minutes played for each team) are comparatively ranked by combined points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocked shots per game, then listed in rank order according to the average of their combined rankings.


1,000-Point Club
   Senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards is Bradley’s active career scoring and now ranks 34th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,116 career points.
   Junior guard Walt Lemon, Jr. enters Sunday’s game 51st on the school’s all-time scoring list with 959 career points.
   Currently averaging a team-best 14.9 ppg, Lemon is on pace to join the 1,000-Point Club Saturday versus Indiana State.


Record Steals Pace
   Through Feb. 6, Bradley ranked seventh nationally by averaging 10.08 steals per game.
   The Braves are on pace to break the school single-season steals record, though they have fallen off the pace to break Tulsa’s 1983-84 MVC record (345) without playing at least a couple of games deep into the postseason.


Clean steals
   Not only does Dyricus Simms-Edwards rank third nationally with 70 steals, but he has been harassing without fouling.
   At 2.06 steals per personal foul, Simms-Edwards is the only player in the country averaging more than 1.55 steals per foul (Miami’s Shane Larkin is second with 1.55 steals for every personal foul).
   Simms-Edwards has been whistled for just 34 fouls in 24 games, 1.4 per game, helping him remain on the floor for 34.4 minutes per game.


Steals Per Turnover
   Through Wednesday’s action, Bradley ranked third nationally with a 0.83 steals/turnover ratio.
   Bradley has committed fewer than 10 turnovers eight times this season, including four times in the first 12 Valley games.
   While Dyricus Simms-Edwards ranks third nationally with 70 steals, he ranks second by averaging 2.06 steals per turnover.
   Simms-Edwards boasts 70 steals against just 34 turnovers, easily the best ratio among Bradley players since steal and turnover records were routinely kept starting in 1980-81.
   The last Brave to play at least 10 minutes per game with more steals than turnovers was Chris Roberts in 2009-10 (47 steals, 44 turnovers).


Points Off Turnovers
   The Braves lead The Valley with a +3.71 turnover margin and share the league lead by forcing 15.8 turnovers per game.
   Though being outrebounded by nearly 3.0 boards per game, Bradley has attempted 81 more field goals than the opposition (1357-1276) this season.
   Bradley is averaging 16.9 points per game off turnovers and 13.5 points per game in transition.


Battle of the Paint
   Through the season’s first 24 games, Bradley has outscored the opposition by 7.4 points per game in the paint.
   Bradley is 13-1 when it outscores the opposition in the paint and 1-9 when the opponents own the paint scoring advantage.


Big Media Numbers
   Dave Snell is in his 34th season as the radio Voice of the Braves and has participated in 1,039 Bradley Basketball game broadcasts, all in succession, on 1470 WMBD since taking over play-by-play duties for the 1979-80 season.
   Peoria Journal Star beat writer Dave Reynolds has covered 702 consecutive Bradley games since taking over the beat for the start of the 1990-91 season.
   In addition, public address announcer Paul Herzog has announced 538 Bradley Basketball home games.


Looking Ahead
   Following Sunday’s game, Bradley will play four of its final six regular-season games on the road.
   The Braves will face The Valley’s two ISU’s next week, visiting Illinois State Wednesday night and hosting Indiana State Feb. 16 in the annual Hall of Fame Game and inaugural “Go Pink, Go Bradley” Game (information below).
   The Bradley Athletics Hall of Fame Class of 2013 will include soccer All-American Gavin Glinton, volleyball star Samantha Hardwick, running innovator Philip Lockwood and international figure skater Matt Savoie.
   The Hall of Famers will be the featured speakers at the Braves Club Gameday Luncheon, presented by Herget Bank, Feb. 15 at the Renaissance Coliseum Basketball Performance Center.


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