BRADLEY 69, LOUISVILLE 59
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - Junior Raisa Taylor scored 18 second-half points to help power Bradley to a 69-59 victory over Louisville in the opening round of the Women's Basketball Invitational (WBI) Wednesday at Freedom Hall. The Braves (17-13) will face College of Charleston Sunday at 1 p.m. in the WBI quarterfinals in Charleston, S.C.
Freshman Katie Yohn scored eight of Bradley's first 10 points and helped Bradley build a nine-point halftime lead, but Taylor took over in the second half to help Bradley to a victory in the first postseason contest in program history. The game was the final contest for Louisville at historic Freedom Hall and dropped the Cardinals to 129-23 at the facility since the start of the 1998-99 season.
Yohn helped the Braves jump out to an early 10-4 lead. Bradley went scoreless for nearly nine minutes, but Louisville only managed seven points during that same stretch and the Cardinals took an 11-10 lead with 9:21 to play.
The score was tied 15-15 with 5:55 to play when Taylor sparked an 11-2 Bradley run to close the half as the Braves took a 26-17 lead into the break. The Braves limited the Cardinals to 21.9 percent shooting in the first half and forced 14 first-half UL turnovers.
Louisville (14-18) hit a bucket on opening possession of the second half, but Bradley responded with a 10-0 run highlighted by back-to-back three-pointers by senior Renee Frericks as the Braves pushed the advantage to 36-19. Bradley led by as many as 20 points (47-27 with 11:17 to play), but the Cardinals later used an 11-1 run to pull to within nine (50-41 with 6:18 remaining).
Louisville eventually trimmed BU's advantage to seven points (59-52) with under three minutes on the clock, before a Sonya Harris layup pushed the lead to nine. Harris followed a Cardinal free throw with another layup and a pair of Taylor free throws after a Louisville miss pushed the lead to 12. Frericks knocked down her third three-pointer of the game with 30 seconds to give Bradley a 69-55 advantage as the Braves improved to 3-1 all-time against Louisville with the 69-59 victory.
Taylor matched a season-best with 21 points and added 10 rebounds for her third double-double of the year. She also had six assists, three blocks and two steals. Yohn added 14 points, while Harris had nine points and 15 rebounds. Harris broke the Bradley season rebounding record, surpassing Carrie Coffman's season mark of 302 boards and also climbed into sixth on Bradley's career rebounding list.
Bradley held Louisville to 31.4 percent shooting, including 1-of-17 shooting from beyond the arc. The Braves owned a 49-42 rebounding advantage and shot 41.1 percent from the field, which included 48.3 percent in the second half.
Monique Reid paced all scorers with 27 points on 9-of-16 shooting to lead the Cardinals. Keshia Hines led Louisville in rebounding with 10 boards and also added eight points.
The Braves will face College of Charleston Sunday at 1 p.m. in Charleston, S.C. in the WBI quarterfinals.
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