PEORIA, Ill. - Bradley (1-0) closed the game on an 11-2 run to give head coach Geno Ford a win in his Braves debut, 68-58, against Missouri-Kansas City (0-2) in the opening game of the Chicago Invitational Challenge Sunday evening at Carver Arena.
Junior guard Dyricus Simms-Edwards scored a game-high 21 points, senior forward Taylor Brown added 20 in his return after missing the entire 2010-11 season for cardiac evaluation and sophomore center Jordan Prosser turned in his second career double-double by posting career-highs with 12 points and 17 rebounds. Bradley also got 12 points from junior reserve Jake Eastman.
UMKC was led by forward Trinity Hall's 14 points. Kirk Korver, the fourth Korver brother to play against Bradley in the last 13 years, scored 12 as the only other Kangaroo to reach double-figures. Guard Dustin Dibble led UMKC with 11 rebounds.
After Korver hit a 3-pointer at the end of the first half to force a 29-29 tie, Bradley scored the first five points of the second half and again led by five, 47-42, on a Prosser basket in the paint with 9:28 remaining.
UMKC responded with a 15-7 surge and took a 54-51 lead when Dibble scored in transition with 6:04 left. After Simms-Edwards split a pair of free throws on Bradley's ensuing possession, Eastman gave the lead back to Bradley, 55-54, by burying a corner 3-pointer with 5:03 left. Brown and Hall exchanged layups before the Braves finally pulled away.
Brown started the closing push by rolling home a short jumper in the paint with 2:38 left and Eastman increased the lead to 61-56 with a sweeping dash through the lane for a layup with 1:37 to go. From there, the Braves closed out the game at the free throw line as Simms-Edwards (4-4), Eastman (1-2) and Brown (2-2) combined to make 7-of-8 charity attempts in the final 53 seconds.
Bradley shot 44.9 percent (22-49) from the field and limited the Kangaroos to 36.7 percent (22-60) shooting. The Braves also had the advantage at the free throw line, sinking 22-of-33 attempts, compared to just 7-of-18 (.389) by UMKC.
Courtesy Bradley Sports Information