Dec. 23, 2006
PEORIA, Ill. - Bradley's Jeremy Crouch finished with 25 points and Will Franklin added 22 points to lead the Braves to an 83-73 victory over Southern Miss, tonight, at Carver Arena in front of 10,080 in attendance.
"I was proud of our effort tonight," said Southern Miss Head Basketball Coach Larry Eustachy. "We battled them all the way but couldn't fight through the fatigue factor, not the physical fatigue, but the mental fatigue. Down the stretch, we kept breaking down and that hurt us. I am extremely pleased with our effort, because we competed and worked very hard.
"This was a terrific game for us, and it will go a long way in helping us as a team. There were a lot of positives to take from the game. Our guys are not happy with just competing with them tonight. We are inching closer and closer and our guys are learning what it takes to win games like this."
Jarvis Hill led Southern Miss (8-2) with 19 points off the bench, on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor, including 2-of-5 from three-point land and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe. Jeremy Wise finished with 16 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor and 6-of-6 from the free throw line, and Courtney Beasley added 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting and 3-of-7 from the line. Andre Stephens finished with nine points and had a game-high eight rebounds, and DeWayne Green finished with a team-high four steals.
Down by as much as 14 points (31-17) with 5:56 left in the first half, the Golden Eagles went on an 18-4 run to pull within in four points at the half, 39-35. Coming out of half, Southern Miss scored the first four points and tied the game at 39-39 after Andre Stephens connected on two free throws.
Bradley (9-3) then went on a 8-0 run to take a 47-39 lead with 16:30 left in the game, keyed by Crouch and Franklin, who each hit a three-pointer during that stretch. The Braves pushed their lead to nine points, 50-41, with 15:19 left, before Southern Miss went on an 11-4 run to cut the lead to two, 54-52, with 12:08 left in the game.
The teams battled back and forth from that point with Bradley holding no more than a three-point lead until Daniel Ruffin's lay-up with 7:15 gave the Braves a five-point lead, 67-62. Bradley's Jeremy Crouch's three-pointer with 4:22 left and two free throws by Matt Salley gave the Braves a 10-point lead with 3:44 left in the game. The Golden Eagles pulled within eight points with 1:38 left in the game but couldn't pull any closer.
Bradley's Daniel Ruffin finished with 16 points, and Zach Andrews chipped in 11 points.
Southern Miss takes its Christmas break until they host McNeese State on Dec. 28 at 7:30 p.m., at Reed Green Coliseum. For ticket information, call the Southern Miss Ticket Office at 1-800-844-TICK or 601-266-5418. Tickets also can be purchased online by logging on to www.SouthernMiss.com.
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