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Bradley pulls away from Drake in MVC opener

December 30, 2012
By TIMES-REPUBLICAN STAFF ( , Times-Republican

PEORIA, Ill. One of the nation's best 3-point shooting teams had an off night.

The Drake men's basketball team was just 5-of-27 from long range Saturday in the Missouri Valley Conference opener against Bradley and the Braves also converted 18 Drake turnovers into 23 points during a 67-57 at Carver Arena.

"They got 13 steals and 18 turnovers and that's really it," Drake coach Mark Phelps said. "We didn't shoot the ball well and turned the ball over. Give Bradley credit for that. That was really the game there - 23 points off our turnovers."

The Bulldogs have lived and died by the long ball all season and an off night evened Drake's overall record to 6-6. Bradley, which led by as many as 18 points, improved to 9-4 overall after the win.

Ben Simons had a double-double for Drake with 13 points and 10 rebounds but was just 4-for-18 from the floor and 1-of-8 from 3-point range.

Seth VanDeest added 10 points and seven rebounds, while Chris Hines finished with 11 points for the Bulldogs, who trailed by just two at the break. Drake did out-rebound Bradley 46-34 and scored 13 second-chance points while getting 20 points from its bench.

"We rebounded well, and that's a good sign," Phelps said. "Hopefully that continues to trend for us."

But poor shooting plagued the Bulldogs in the end. Drake made just 34 percent of its shots on the night.

Walt Lemon Jr. finished with 23 points, six rebound and four assists for the Braves, who dominated the paint with 26 points. Dyricus Simms-Edwards had 20 points in the win, while Tyshon Pickett added 10 points and eight rebounds.

The Bulldogs continue MVC play Wednesday when they host nationally ranked Wichita State at the Knapp Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.



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