Home Basketball MVC Arch Madness Game 5 – Bradley 72, UNI 66

MVC Arch Madness Game 5 – Bradley 72, UNI 66

by Mike Kern

MVC TOURNAMENT NOTES — This marked the first time in tournament history there were two 30-plus point scorers in same game: Bowen Born, UNI  and Rienk Mast, Bradley,

BRADLEY NOTES  — The Braves extend their season winning-streak to 11 games, while  improving  their season record to 24-8. Bradley is  3-0 against the Panthers this season, and 4-3 against UNI in MVC Tourney history. Bradley is 39-39 in MVC Tournament history, including a 12-3 record as a No. 1 seed and a a 7-1 mark against No. 8 seeds.. Bradley’s Mast and Leons combined for 40 of the team’s 72 points. Coming into today’s action, the two players had combined for 32% of BU’s points. The last two times Bradley has made it to the semifinals, they won the championship.

BRADLEY PLAYER PLAUDITS  — Junior forward Rienk Mast scored a career-high 30 points, including 20 in the first half. It was his second 20-plus scoring game of the year. He reached the double-figure mark in points in 25 of his 26 games played this season with his team-high 30 points today, including 20 in the first half. He also had a game-high nine rebounds, missing his ninth double-double by one board. Senior forward Malevy Leons reached double digits in points for the 19th time this season, scoring 10 points with five rebounds. He also had three blocks in the game, pushing him to 52 on the season. He’s the first player in MVC history to have 50 blocks and 50 steals in the same season. Graduate guard Ja’Shon Henry added 12 points, reaching double digits in points for the 15th time this season. He also added eight rebounds, just one shy of his season-high. He is now 7-0 as a player in Arch Madness.

UNI NOTES — Northern Iowa closed the season with a 14-18 record. UNI falls to 28-25 all-time in MVC Tournament action, 3-4 vs. Bradley and 11-12 all-time in quarterfinal action. The Panthers were attempting to knock off their third No. 1 seed in the MVC Tournament, having done so previously vs. Wichita State in 2016 and vs. Tulsa in 1994.  Northern Iowa suffered its third straight loss to Bradley this year, and trails the all-time series, 39-36. UNI fell to 4-14 this season when trailing at half.

UNI PLAYER PLAUDITS —Sophomore guard Bowen Born, a second team All-MVC selection, paced the Panthers with a career-high 34 points, including 27 in the second half … It marked his second straight 20+ point performance in the MVC Tournament, following a 23-point effort in the opening win against Illinois State … Born has 1,075 career points, which ranks No. 34 on school list.  …  It was Born’s 27th game this year in double figures. He has posted 20+ points in 14 games, and 30+ points in three games. … Born also matched a career high with five 3-pointers.  Michael Duax, named to the MVC All-Freshman team, added nine points before fouling out with 9.6 left.

FIRST HALF RECAP — Bradley opened the game making seven of its first 11 shots to build a 16-10 lead. Five straight points from James Betz pulled UNI with 16-15. But the Braves maintained the lead throughout the entire first half thanks to 20 points from forward Rienk Mast to enjoy a 34-28 halftime lead. Bradley closed out the first half, missing eight of its last nine shots… Forward Michael Duax topped Northern Iowa with eight points. Point guard Bowen Born added five points and three assists.

SECOND HALF RECAP — Bowen Born opened the second half scoring 11 of UNI’s  first 13 points pulling the Panthers within 42-41 following two free throws with 15:53 left. Trailing 42-33, UNI went on a 15-5 run with seven points to grab a 48-47 lead following two free throws by Tytan Anderson for its first lead since owning a 6-4 lead. UNI made four of its first six shots beyond the three-point arc to open the second half with Born making all three three-point attempts. Leons picked up his fourth foul with 9:09 left going to the bench. Ja’Shon Henry broke a 58-58 tie by sinking two free throws that gave Bradley a 60-58 lead it didn’t relinquish with 4:31 left. Two free throws by Born pulled UNI within 65-64 with 1:42 remaining. But Bradley sealed the game by making six free throws in the final 30 seconds.

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