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I-74 Rivalry Round One
Release: Saturday 01/28/2013 
by BradleyBraves.com


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Illinois State (12-9, 3-6) at Bradley (12-9, 4-5)

Jan. 29, 2013 – 7:07 p.m.

Peoria, Ill. – Carver Arena Arena (11,168)

TV:  MVC-TV | John Rooney (pbp) and Rich Zvosec (analyst)

Radio:  1470 WMBD | Dave Snell (pbp), Chad Kleine (analyst) and Dan DiOrio (pregame)

Twitter:  @BPtheBrave | #BRADvILS
Tickets:  $8, $15, $22 based on location | Renaissance Coliseum Box Office (309-677-2625), Carver Arena Box Office, all TicketMaster outlets or online at BradleyBraves.com

 

TIP-OFF
•   Interstate 74 rivals Bradley and Illinois State will meet for the 115th time Tuesday night when the Redbirds visit Carver Arena for the first of the two games in the annual series.
•   Bradley owns a 61-53 all-time series lead, including a 40-18 home record against the Redbirds, but Illinois State has won seven straight in the series and three in a row at Carver Arena.
•   Illinois State’s current 7-game winning streak against Bradley equals the longest for either team in the rivalry, as does the 3-game road winning streak in the series by the Redbirds.
•   Bradley has drawn 3,990,591 fans in 31 seasons playing its home games at Carver Arena and is preparing to welcome the 4 Millionth Fan, either Tuesday night against the Redbirds or Feb. 5 versus Evansville.
•   Bradley (9-2) will be shooting for its 10th home win for the first time since 2009-10 (10-5).

 

LAST TIME OUT
at #20 Wichita State 73, Bradley 39 | Jan. 26, 2013 | Wichita, Kan.
•   Bradley took an 18-16 lead on Dyricus Simms-Edwards’ only basket of the game with 8:33 left in the first half and the Braves were still tied, 18-18, with less than five minutes left in the half.
•   Wichita State closed the half on a 16-5 run and outscored the Braves, 41-14, during a 14-minute stretch that spanned both halves to blow the game open.
•   Bradley’s 39 points were the fewest since a 51-37 loss at Missouri State Jan. 27, 1992.
•   Among the other dubious notes from Saturday night:  Bradley’s -23 rebound deficit (44-21) was the second-largest on record in program history, Simms-Edwards did not record a steal for the first time this season, team rebounding leader Tyshon Pickett did not grab a rebound and senior swingman Jake Eastman committed four turnovers for the first time in his 104-game college career.

 

4 MILLIONTH FAN PROMOTION
•   In its 31st season playing home games at Carver Arena, Bradley has attracted 3,990,591 fans to the Peoria Civic Center facility.
•   Bradley will select the 4 Millionth Fan through a social media contest: enter by liking Bradley Athletics on Facebook or following @bradleybraves on Twitter.
•   The honorary 4 Millionth Fan will be selected Monday and will receive an extensive prize package to include:  Four tickets to both Tuesday’s game versus Illinois State and the next home game Feb. 5 versus Evansville; Four 2013-14 season tickets in Section 4; A $44 gift certificate to be used at the Bradley Team Shop at Carver Arena; A certificate for one hotel night, courtesy of the Hotels at Grand Prairie; Four breakfast buffets courtesy of the Par-A-Dice Hotel Casino; Coupons for a year’s supply of milk (52 gallons) courtesy of Prairie Farms; And a Taco Bar for 10 people by Qdoba Mexican Grill.      

 

SERIES HISTORY
115th Meeting | Bradley leads 61-53
•   The Braves and Redbirds will meet for the 115th time Tuesday night when Illinois State visits Carver Arena.
•   Bradley owns a 61-53 overall series lead, including a 40-18 home advantage and a 21-10 edge in games played at Carver Arena.
•   Illinois State’s current 7-game winning streak against Bradley equals the longest for either team in the rivalry, as does the 3-game road winning streak in the series by the Redbirds.
•   Second-year Bradley head coach Geno Ford is 0-2 against the rival Redbirds, while first-year Illinois State head coach Dan Muller makes his I-74 Rivalry coaching debut Tuesday.
•   Muller was 5-3 against Bradley during his ISU playing career from 1994-98.
•   Sixth-year Bradley center Will Egolf is the only player from either team that has experienced a Bradley victory in the series, though Egolf has not played in a Braves win against Illinois State.

 

IRONIC TWIST
•   Of all of this year’s participants, Illinois State assistant coach Rob Judson has “enjoyed” the most Bradley victories in the I-74 Rivalry series.
•   Judson was an assistant coach at Bradley from 1991-96 and helped the Braves to four wins against Illinois State.
•   Judson has participated in 20 I-74 Rivalry games overall and owns a personal 12-8 series record, 4-6 at Bradley (1991-96) and 8-2 at Illinois State (2007-12).

 

THE SALUKI SWEEP FACTOR
•   Though there likely is not a direct correlation, Bradley’s 2012-13 series sweep against Southern Illinois could be significant in this year’s series against its other in-state Valley rival, Illinois State.
•   Bradley now has swept the regular-season series against Southern Illinois 12 times, including the only meeting of the 1927-28 season.
•   In the 11 previous years Bradley has swept the Salukis, the Braves boast an overall 19-5 combined record against the Redbirds, including a 10-2 home mark.
•   Bradley has won a home game against Illinois State in all 10 previous years it hosted the Redbirds in the same season it swept SIU (ISU did not visit Peoria in 1980-81).

Saluki Sweeps Impact I-74 Rivalry
Season   vs. ISU  Home         Road
1927-28    2-0    W, 47-16     W, 42-26
1979-80    1-0    W, 62-57     N/A
1980-81    1-0    N/A          W, 72-70
1981-82    2-1    W, 72-58     W, 48-47
                  L, 50-55*
1984-85    1-1    W, 82-69     L, 55-65
1985-86    3-0    W, 67-63 OT  W, 74-67
1986-87    2-0    W, 93-81     W, 73-65
1987-88    2-1    L, 74-85     W, 78-71 OT
                  W, 83-59*
1995-96    1-1    W, 65-64     L, 72-77
1998-99    2-0    W, 74-70 OT  W, 69-68
2000-01    2-1    W, 64-52     L, 62-81
* MVC Tournament games

 

TURNAROUND AMONG NATION’S BEST
•   After going six years without improving its win total from one year to the next, Bradley’s current 5-win improvement over last year equals the sixth-best in the nation through games of Jan. 26:

Team                2011-12  2012-13  +W’s
Bryant               2-28     13-6    +11
Towson               1-31     10-12    +9
Canisius             5-25     13-7     +8
Santa Clara          8-22     16-6     +8
Arizona State       10-21     16-4     +6
Bradley              7-25     12-9     +5
Illinois-Chicago     8-22     13-8     +5
Loyola-Chicago       7-23     12-8     +5
Fairleigh Dickinson  3-26      7-14    +4
Navy                 3-26      7-14    +4
Radford              6-26     10-11    +4

 

HEAVY MINUTES
•   Three Bradley starters -- Dyricus Simms-Edwards (34.0), Walt Lemon Jr. (32.8) and Jake Eastman (30.7) are averaging better than 30 minutes per game.
•   Simms-Edwards ranks third in The Valley for minutes played, while Lemon is fourth.

 

TOUGH FINISHES
•   The heavy minutes by Bradley’s backcourt trio may be a contributing factor in the team’s struggles to close out games.
•   Through the first 32 minutes of Bradley’s first nine league games, the Braves have either led or been within one possession of the lead with eight minutes remaining seven times.
•   In the final eight minutes of the first nine Valley games, the Braves have been outscored seven times by a 139-95 cumulative total for an average of 4.9 points.
•   While the Braves were never in the game Jan. 12 at UNI or Saturday at Wichita State, they had their shot in the other three league losses.
•   In the 69-63 home loss Jan. 6 to the Shockers, Bradley led, 60-59, with 3:57 left and had a go-ahead 3-pointer in the air with 35 seconds to go.
•   Bradley trailed just 48-45 at the media timeout with 7:43 remaining Jan. 9 at Indiana State and managed only one field goal the rest of the game in a 68-53 loss.
•   Similarly, the Braves pulled to within 51-50 of Evansville with 8:01 left Wednesday night, but managed only two more field goals the rest of the way in a 66-56 loss.

 

DOUBLE TROUBLE
•   The Bradley backcourt combo of Dyricus Simms-Edwards (3.00) and Walt Lemon, Jr. (2.24) ranks second nationally by combining to average 5.24 steals per game.
•   Simms-Edwards and Lemon combine to average more steals per game than 37 teams, including Valley rivals Indiana State (5.15 spg) and Missouri State (4.90).

 

1,000-POINT CLUB
•   Senior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards is Bradley’s active career scoring and now ranks 38th on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,062 career points.
•   Junior guard Walt Lemon, Jr. enters Tuesday’s game with 899 career points.
•   Currently averaging a team-best 14.2 ppg, Lemon is on pace to join the 1,000-Point Club Feb. 23 during the BracketBusters game.

 

BATTLE OF THE PAINT
   Through the season’s first 21 games, Bradley has outscored the opposition by 7.0 points per game in the paint.
   Bradley is 11-1 when it outscores the opposition in the paint and 1-8 when the opponents own the paint scoring advantage.


MEDIA MILESTONE
•   While Bradley is trying to attract its 4 millionth Carver Arena fan to Tuesday’s home game against Illinois State, another milestone will be achieved Tuesday night.
•   Peoria Journal Star beat writer Dave Reynolds figures to cover his 700th consecutive Bradley men’s basketball game Tuesday night.
•   Reynolds has covered every game the Braves have played since assuming the Bradley beat to start the 1990-91 season.


LOOKING AHEAD
   Bradley is 9-2 at home this season and starts a stretch of 3-of-4 games at Carver Arena Tuesday night.
   The Braves will visit #17 Creighton Saturday afternoon, before returning home for a pair of games next week:  Feb. 5 vs. Evansville and Feb. 10 against Northern Iowa.
   Building momentum in this home stretch will be important, as the Braves will play just two of their final six regular-season games at home.

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