Off to an 11-2 start for the first time since 2008-09, the Bradley Braves added two one-sided Missouri Valley Conference wins to its season resume with victories over Evansville and Indiana State last week.
Bradley defeated Evansville 82-51 on Jan. 3 and Indiana State, 91-75 on Sunday to keep pace with Missouri State atop the MVC standings at 2-0. In extending its home win streak to 12 consecutive games, the 2019-20 Braves were able to match the longest home win streak in program history.
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In the win over Evansville, Bradley won a conference opener at home for the first time since the 1996-97 campaign as sophomore Lasha Petree scored a game-high 24 points and all 11 Braves saw action in the contest, with seven players collecting six or more points. Petree was the only Brave to reach double figures, scoring 15 of her game-high 24 points between the second and third quarters. Petree pushed her career scoring total over 600 as she became just the sixth player in program history to reach 600 career points in 42 games or less.
Petree picked up where she left off on Sunday against Indiana State, scoring a career-best 36 points to help highlight the 16-point win over the Sycamores. She was one of three Braves to score at least 16 points as she helped the Braves to the seventh 2-0 start to league play in program history. Her 36 points are the most points by a Bradley player since Michelle Young tied the school's single-game scoring record of 38 points in a game at Columbia in November 2014 and ranks fourth among single-game scoring marks at Bradley. Junior Gabi Haack connected on her first six shots from the field, including a trio of three-pointers, and finished with 17 points. Fellow junior Nyjah White was 7-of-10 shooting and closed the day with a season-best 16 points. Bradley shot a season-best 57.6 percent from the floor in the win.
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The MVC regular season title could come down to Bradley’s games with Missouri State, which currently stands 12-2 overall and 2-0 in MVC play after the first week of conference play and is ranked No. 20 in the latest Associated Press top-25 poll. Bradley plays at Missouri State on Jan. 31, before hosting the Lady Bears on March 1 in Peoria, Ill.
Bradley closes out a season-long, three-game home stand this Friday, Jan. 10, hosting I-74 rival Illinois State, which will also come into the game with a 2-0 record in MVC play.