Sweet Celebration for Bradley Over DePaul

It was a night where the Bradley Braves hoisted a banner to celebrate the team's appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16 last March. After the pre-game ceremony, the Braves proceeded to go out and continue their celebration with a 78-58 trouncing of the visiting DePaul Blue Demons.

It seemed as though the Bradley Braves could do no wrong as they dropped an arena record 13 three pointers on the DePaul Blue Demons. Overall the Braves basketball team shot 52% from three point land against DePaul's matchup zone defense.

Jeremy Crouch led the way for Bradley scoring 22 points on six of nine shooting from beyond the arc. Four Braves finished in double figures as point guard Daniel Ruffin and Zach Andrews each scored 12, while Will Franklin contributed with 11 points.

For the Blue Demons senior Sammy Mejia led the team with 18 points. Sophomore Wilson Chandler scored 12, most of which came in the second half as Chandler spent most of the first half on the bench in foul trouble.

Turnovers hurt the Blue Demons as they turned it over 18 times to Bradley's 11. But what really caused pain for DePaul was Bradley's red hot three point shooting against their zone. "We weren't expecting them to play as much zone as they did," said Braves guard Crouch.

Bradley head coach Jim Les also appeared surprised that DePaul came out in a zone. "Yes, a little bit," said Les "We had prepared against zone the last week or 10 days. We were ready to attack it."

While the Braves set a Carver Arena record tonight with the 13 trifectas, Les feels as though the record won't stand for long this season. "That thing's gonna take a hit a couple more times this year," said Jim.

"We're a little bit shorthanded right now," said DePaul coach Jerry Wainwright. "I thought that in this environment tonight especially on a night like tonight, that maybe we could shorten the game a little bit to tell you the truth. I felt that if we could avoid foul trouble early, we would be pretty good in the second half once we got our legs. I thought we had great position. They had no fast break points in the first half."

"Our wings played well," Jerry remarked. "Sammy, Karron Clarke, and Wilson Chandler played well. Until we establish an inside game we're going to struggle."

DePaul will not have much time to regroup as they have to make the trip to nearby Evanston on Tuesday night to take on the Northwestern Wildcats.

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