PEORIA, Ill. - Bradley never trailed in the second-half but needed a pair of put-back baskets from sophomore Will Egolf to edge Drake 67-65 Tuesday at Carver Arena. Egolf scored on a tip-in off a miss with 32.2 seconds to give Bradley a 65-62 lead and answered a Drake three-pointer with an offensive board and fade-away jumper with 1.8 seconds to play to close out the win for the Braves who evened their record at 11-11 overall and 6-6 in Missouri Valley Conference play.
The first half featured 10 lead changes, but Bradley held the lead nearly the entire second half before Drake's Adam Templeton knotted the game for the first time all night at 65-65 with a three-pointer from the corner with 18.8 seconds left to play. Templeton's three followed a tip-in bucket by Egolf, who had been scoreless in the second half before hit basket with 32.2 to play. Egolf followed up Templeton's game-tying trey with an offensive rebound and fade-away basket with 1.8 seconds remaining to close out the 67-65 win.
Drake (11-13 overall, 6-6 MVC) led 33-32 with 2:25 to play in the first half, when sophomore Sam Maniscalco (Chicago, Ill./St. Patrick) knocked a pair of three-pointers and dished out an assist to highlight a 10-2 BU spurt to close the half and give Bradley a 42-35 lead at the break. The Braves shot 55.2 percent from the field in the first half and also connected on 5-of-9 three-point attempts in the first 20 minutes of action.
Maniscalco scored 12 first-half points and also dished out five assists before halftime. His three-pointer with just under one minute remaining in the opening half pushed his career total over 1,000 career points as he became the 43rd player in program history to reach the 1,000-point mark.
Drake's Josh Young moved into third-place on Drake's career scoring list with five first-half points, passing Willie McCarter who scored 1,626 career points from 1966-69.
The Bulldogs scored the first six points of the second half to pull to within one point at 42-41 before a pair of Taylor Brown free throws put BU back in front by three (44-41).
Bradley led 47-45 when Maniscalco followed a steal with a breakaway layup to give Bradley a 49-45 edge and he later found Chris Roberts for a three-pointer to highlight a seven-point BU spurt as the Braves took their biggest lead of the night at 54-45 with just under 12 minutes to play.
Drake would later trim the deficit to two points (55-53) on a Young three-pointer as the Bulldogs held Bradley to just one point over a near six-minute stretch.
The Braves pushed the lead back to six points (61-55) with 4:12 remaining after a Maniscalco jumper in the lane and free throws by Brown following an Andrew Warren steal. Young was 4-for-4 from the line on Drake's next three possessions to pull Drake to within two points (61-59) with 2:02 left on the clock.
Maniscalco answered with a jumper near the 1:30 mark with the shot clock winding down to give BU a four-point cushion (63-59). Young made a pair of free throws with 1:19 on the clock to keep Drake within striking distance at 63-61 and Seth VanDeest split a pair of free throws after a Bradley miss to trim the Braves' advantage to 63-62 with 1:03 remaining to set up Egolf's late-game heroics.
Maniscalco scored a game-high 21 points to lead the Braves, while Brown added 14 points and eight rebounds. Senior Sam Singh hauled down a career-best nine rebounds to help Bradley to a 39-29 rebounding advantage.
Drake's Ryan Wedel scored 15 points in the first 11 minutes of the game, but was held scoreless the remainder of the contest as he finished with 15 points. Young scored 14 of his team-leading 19 points in the second half, while Templeton collected a double-double (13 points & 13 rebounds) to help pace the Bulldogs.
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