St. Louis, Mo – The 2016 Arch Madness Tournament kicked off Thursday night with the Bradley Braves (4-23, 2-12) facing the Loyola (Chicago) Ramblers (12-14, 5-9).
What was on the line for these two teams? The winner would advance to face #1 seed Wichita State Shockers, as well as keep their hopes alive for making the field of 68 in the 2016 NCAA March Madness Men’s Basketball Tournament.
14:15 first half:
The Braves came out early jumping out to a 13-7 lead. They would trade buckets throughout a sloppy beginning to the game. As missed free throws and poor field goal shots put the Ramblers in a bad spot early, Bradley was efficient shooting around 60% through out the half, while Loyola was shooting under 30% for most of the half. Including starting the game 1-6 from beyond the 3-point line and 3-6 from the free-throw line.
7:00 First Half:
However Loyola would turn it around as they went on a run to bring it withing a basket with a pair of free throws by Julius Rajala.
4:04 First Half:
For the first time since the 19:47 marker of the first half Loyola wasn’t trailing. A 3-point shot by Devon Turk tied the game at 22-22.
1:44 First Half:
Loyola takes the lead back after Jeff White hit a 3-pointer making it 27-25 in favor of the Ramblers over the Braves for the first time since the early seconds of the game.
0:00 First Half:
Bradley’s #23 Dwayne Lautier- Ogunleye hits a moon shot buzzer beater to tie it up 29-29!
Some of the interesting facts to take away from halftime:
All five of Bradley’s starters scored in the first half, they had zero points from their bench. Both Ka’Darryl Bell and Luuk Van Bree went 0-2 from the field, and 0-1 from the 3-point line. They also out rebounded Loyola 21-14 during the first half.
Unlike Bradley’s bench, Loyola saw contributions from two of it’s bench players in Julius Rajala and Jeff White, they combined to go 3-5 from the field, however two starters (Donte Ingram and Earl Peterson) we’re 0-5 from the field. Peterson also missed both of his free throws, while Ingram hit both of his.
Bradley has the youngest team in the conference with ten freshmen on their 14 man roster, in contrast, Loyola has one freshman on its 14 man roster.
17:44 Second Half:
Bradley breaks the tie ballgame with a set of free throws from Ronnie Suggs only to begin a string of traded buckets give small leads back and forth over the next few minutes.
14:00-12:00 Second Half:
The teams continue to trade leads while Bradley’s Donte Thomas was being attended to by the training staff in what appeared to be a lower leg injury, he would eventually return to the bench.
10:00 Second Half:
Loyola finally lights up the scoreboard taking a 51-43 lead into a timeout by Bradley thanks to a team effort led by Devon Turk.
7: 13 Second Half:
As hopes seemed lost, a quick layup by Lautier-Ogunleye, followed by a 3-point shot by Suggs would reduce the ten-point deficit to five-points making it 55-50 in favor of Loyola.
5:07 Second Half:
Loyola opens up its biggest lead of the evening going up 63-52. Bradley fans are starting to fall silent.
3:39 Second Half:
Lautier-Ogunleye hits a layup, gets a steal, then hits another layup to bring it within two baskets, 57-63 Loyola still holding on to the lead.
:52 Second Half:
Loyola clinches the game with a dagger of a 3-pointer by Earl Peterson making it 68-57.
Loyola wins the game 74-66 to move on in the Missouri Valley Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament. They will face #1 seed Wichita State next round. That game will be at Noon, Friday, March 4th. It will cast on the MVC TV Network.