BRADLEY 72, CREIGHTON 62
BU (13-10, 9-4 MVC); CU (15-8, 10-4 MVC)
EAST PEORIA, Ill. - Junior Sonya Harris had career highs of 23 points and six assists to go along with 14 rebounds and three blocks to help power Bradley to a 72-62 victory against Creighton Friday at Lorene Ramsey Gym. The Braves moved into a tie with Missouri State for third in the standings and swept the regular-season series from the Bluejays for the first time in program history.
Bradley (13-10, 9-4 MVC) held a 50-48 lead with 9:18 to play when Harris sparked a 13-2 Bradley run with four points and five offensive rebounds to help Bradley build a 63-50 lead with just over four minutes to play. Freshman Katie Yohn capped the spurt with one of her three three-pointers on the night.
Creighton (15-8, 10-4 MVC) pulled to within seven points with two minutes to play, but Harris pushed the lead to 66-58 with a free throw with 1:31 on the clock. The Braves held a 68-60 lead with under 30 seconds remaining when Harris helped seal the victory with a steal and put-back basket after a missed free throw as Bradley pulled to within a half-game of the second-place Bluejays with the 72-62 win.
Harris was impressive down the stretch, collecting 15 points, 10 rebounds (eight offensive), one assist, one block and one steal in the second half of play.
Creighton led 33-30 at the half thanks to a late push. Bradley shot 52 percent from the field in the first half, including 4-of-8 from beyond the three-point arc, but Creighton scored on five of its last six possessions to hold the lead at the intermission.
The Bluejays pushed the lead to 37-30 in the opening minutes of the second half, before Harris would take over the game. She scored back-to-back baskets to help spark a 15-2 BU spurt which put the Braves back in front at 45-39. Harris scored six points during the run and sophomore MacKenzie Westcott capped the spurt with a three-pointer from the corner with 14:51 to play.
Harris led all players with her career-high 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting. She also snared a career-best 10 offensive boards marking the most offensive rebounds by a Bradley player since Amy Fuller hauled down 10 against Missouri on Nov. 23, 2003. Harris also moved into 10th place on BU's career rebounding list, overtaking Connie Griffith (600 career rebounds).
Sophomore Hanna Muegge knocked down 4-of-5 three-point attempts and added 16 points, while Yohn finished with 11 points and three assists. Senior Jenny Van Kirk finished one point short of a double-double (nine points and 10 rebounds) and junior Raisa Taylor chipped in with nine points off the bench.
Preseason MVC Player of the Year Negan Neuvirth led Creighton with 20 points before fouling out and Chevelle Herring added 14 points to lead the Bluejays.
Bradley committed a season-low 15 turnovers and outrebounded Creighton 26-16 in the second half to hold a 40-33 edge on the glass. The Braves made 8-of-14 three-point attempts for a season-best 57.1 percentage from beyond the arc.
Bradley returns to action Sunday when the Braves play host to Drake at 2:05 p.m. at Lorene Ramsey Gym in East Peoria in the team's annual Pink Zone game.