Seventh-seeded Bradley brought the tenth-seeded Loyola University Chicago women’s basketball team’s season to an end this evening as it picked up a 57-42 win in the opening round of the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament. With the win, the Braves improve to 12-18 on the year and book their ticket to Friday’s quarterfinals, while the Ramblers wrap up the 2016-17 campaign at 2-28.
How It Happened
Consecutive scores by Danielle Brewer and Alona Johnson sent Bradley out to a 4-0 lead with just under two minutes gone. A strong drive to the bucket by Tiara Wallace put Loyola on the board at the 8:01 mark and trimmed the Braves lead to 4-2. Following a Chelsea Brackmann post score that stretched the margin to 15-6, Citiana Negatu knocked down a corner three that would help the Ramblers close to within four, 15-11, but Leti Lerma knocked down a contested jumper that gave the Braves a 17-11 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Wallace connected on her first three of the night with 6:28 to play in the second quarter as Loyola trimmed the Bradley advantage to 21-17. Anneke Schlueter responded with a trey of her own on the Braves’ next possession to ignite an 8-0 run that saw the Braves stretch their lead to 29-17 en route to a 29-19 halftime advantage.
Loyola battled back to within single digits, 33-24, following another Wallace trey and a score in the paint from Negatu. The Ramblers were able to stay within 9-12 points before Bradley closed the frame with a 5-0 spurt to open up a 43-28 edge heading to the fourth quarter.
Wallace nailed another shot from beyond the three-point arc to open the final 10 minutes to bring the Maroon & Gold back to within 43-31. Lee Williams converted in the post off of an impressive find by Wallace to cut the deficit down to 50-39 but that proved to be the end of Loyola’s comeback charge as Bradley closed out a 57-42 triumph.
Inside The Box Score
- Wallace was fantastic tonight as she led the Ramblers with a career-high 19 points to go along with five rebounds and six assists. The Berkeley, Ill. native finished the season with a flourish, scoring in double figures in each of Loyola’s last four games.
- Williams provided Loyola with a spark off the bench as she tied her season-high with 10 points. The Ajax, Ontario, Canada product also ripped down six rebounds and came away with three steals.
- First Team All-MVC selection Leti Lerma paced the Bradley attack with 14 points and a game-high 14 rebounds.