It’s about time for Arch Madness! Follow along with all the action right here for the opening round…
10:52 – This one’s over. Bradley will face Wichita State at 6pm tomorrow after a 67-58 win over the Bulldogs. Braves’ Donte Thomas lead all scorers with 17 points on 8-of-9 shooting while pulling down nine rebounds. Drake was paced by De’Antae McMurray with 13 in the losing effort.
10:48 – Bradley still filling it up on the offensive end and Drake forced to foul. Under a minute left and Bradley up eight. Shocker fans are getting up to leave.
10:36 – Drake just doesn’t have an answer on the defensive end for the Braves. Ally-oop just flushed by Koch Bar to stretch the lead to 60-52 for Bradley with 3:35 left. The winner gets to play nationally ranked Wichita State (#21) tomorrow at 6pm and neither team has a chance against the Shockers if they continue to play like this. Nobody could hit a shot in the first half, now everyone forgot how to play defense in the 2nd… big bucket from Drake cuts their deficit to six points, three minutes left.
10:21 – Bradley still clinging to a small lead as both teams have found their shooting touch in the second half as they’re a combined 14-of-31 from the floor. And the officials are letting the play, just nine total fouls with 9:05 left. Bradley up 51-45.
10:04 – Here comes Drake! Bulldogs hit just 2-of-12 from distance in the first half but connect on their first two attempts in the second and an 8-0 run has closed this game to a two point differential. Bradley hanging on to a 37-35 lead, 16:22 left.
9:58 – Time for the second half. Let’s hope these teams can find a little offense as both shot just over 30% in the first frame.
9:41 – Finally at halftime. A combined 23 personal fouls called on both teams really kept any sort of momentum from being established by either team. Give some credit to Drake down the stretch of that half as Bradley didn’t hit a shot from the floor in the final 3:25 allowing Drake to finish on a 7-1 run to cut the Braves’ lead to 31-26 despite nine turnover in the half by the Bulldogs.
9:31 – Bradley starting to take control. That’s a 15-2 run for the Braves as they stretch their lead to 30-19 with 3:21 left in the half. Drake takes a timeout to talk about it, but their defense has been a sore spot all season and they’re not shooting well tonight. This may get out of hand if the Bulldogs don’t put something together in the final minutes of the half.
9:21 – It’s 9:21 and this game might not be over until midnight with this crew. Already 17 team fouls as both teams are in the bonus and there’s still 7:17 left in the half.
9:15 – Just a bit over halfway done with the first half and it’s clear the winner is playing for the right to get blown out tomorrow by Wichita State (6pm tip). Neither Drake or Bradley can shoot it, both playing sloppy on the defensive end as well.
9:03 – Bradley and Drake both having trouble hitting the open shots. Not a lot of flow in this game so far. Teams are a combined 5-of-21 from the floor.
8:55 – Drake doesn’t look like a team that is 17-37 all time at Arch Madness to start things off tonight. Game just getting underway but the Bulldogs hitting a three to get things going and are battling on the offensive glass. We’re tied at 5-5 at the under 16 media timeout.
8:35 – We’re about eight minutes away from tip-off as Bradley (12-19, 7-11) takes on Drake (7-23, 5-13), a team that the Braves never trailed against in two games this season. Bradley has the 3rd youngest team in the NCAA and looks to win their 4th straight vs. and MVC opponent for the first time since the 08-09 season. The Bulldogs, who rank 3rd in The Valley scoring 71.6 points per game, will look to end a 9-game losing streak tonight during which they’ve allowed an average of 79.7 points per game.
…End Game One…
8:15 – This one is over as the Aces hang on for a 83-72 win over Indiana State. Big second half comeback for Sycamores falls just short as Evansville bares down from the line and snags a couple late steals to finish it off. Bradley/Drake coming up next.
8:07 – Sycamores down just seven points now… 1:01 left. Aces hitting their free throws now.
8:00 – They don’t call this “madness” for nothing. Sycamores are shooting it now and have closed within 10 points with 2:31 left in the game. Aces are going to have to seal this game at the free throw line where they’re just 15-of-30 tonight.
7:43 – Even the Evansville fans are hitting shots as someone just won $600 in gas money by tossing a bag onto some squares. This one is over (unofficially). Evansville will play top-seed Illinois State tomorrow at noon. 1-2 seeds are a combined 51-1 in their opening games and the Redbirds won by double digits over the Aces both times this season.
7:30 – Just flat out more effort for Evansville tonight. They’re gonna blow out ISU for the second straight tournament. Leading 59-37 now with 12:08 left. That’ll be three-straight tournament sh
7:23 – 6-2 run for Evansville to start the half. Frankly hard to see how these teams split the regular season. At the under 16 media timeout and the in-arena dance cam might be more entertaining in this one!
7:01 – It’s halftime of game one and the Aces dominated the Sycamores, leading 44-25. ISU held to 21% shooting (7-33) in the first half including just 3-of-13 from outside as Evansville ripped off a 53% shooting half (3-of-6 from distance) and dominated the paint by grabbing a 24-17 rebounding margin and outscoring the Sycamores 16-8 inside. The Aces’ Jaylon Brown is leading the way with 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting. Niels Bunschoten and Brenton Scott each have five points for ISU.
6:53 – Sycamores trying to chip away at this Aces lead but Evansville keeps hitting shots, 55% from the floor so far as they hold a 42-23 lead. Sycamores hitting the glass and getting some looks now but the defense has been solid for UE, holding ISU to under 20% shooting so far.
6:35 – All Evansville so far, up 28-15 with 7:45 left. Aces coach Marty Simmons talking about playing better defense during the media timeout. Indiana State on a little 6-3 run here with a couple easy buckets.
6:24 – Holy smokes, Aces on a roll now. 12-3 run and they’re up 20-9 now. Jaylon Brown filling it up with seven points so far. Aces winning the boards 12-2 and the defense has been stifling… Brown just drilled another from outside… 10pts now and aces up 25-9. I can’t type fast enough!
6:15 – At the under 16 media timeout and the Aces are off to a great start, leading ISU 13-6. Later arriving crowd but Scottrade is filling up for the opening round.
6:04 – National anthem has been sung, teams about to be introduced as we get started a little late tonight. It’s Evansville (15-16) vs. Indiana State (11-19). These teams split the season series with each team winning on their home floor by a single point. Keep an eye on Jaylon Brown. Leading scorer in The Valley this season can flat out fill it up having scored 20+ in four-straight games coming in, including the clutch free throws last Saturday as the Aces knocked off the Sycamores 65-63 on Senior night.