PEORIA, Ill. -- Bradley shot a season-low 29.2 percent and the team’s top four scorers entering Saturday’s game against Loyola combined for just 17 points, but the Braves held the Ramblers to 32.2 percent shooting to grind out a 54-49 win to open a season-long, three-game home stand.
Loyola (9-15 overall, 5-7 MVC) led 46-43 with 5:12 to play after a Bailey Farley three-pointer, before Bradley (6-17 overall, 3-19 MVC) ended the game with an 11-3 run to take the contest 54-49. Farley’s three was the only Loyola basket in the final eight minutes of the game for the Ramblers as the Braves limited Loyola to 0-for-6 shooting with three turnovers in the final five minutes of play.
Junior Michelle Young (Woodbury, Minn./Woodbury) started Bradley’s decisive closing run with a steal and breakaway layup to pull the Braves within one at 46-45. Young rebounded a Loyola miss on the next play and hit a pull-up jumper in the lane to put Bradley in front 47-46 nearing the four-minute mark.
A pair of Young free throws with 3:06 left gave the Braves a 49-46 advantage and senior Alyson Spinas-Valainis (Davenport, Iowa/Assumption) followed a Loyola free throw with a shot over several Ramblers in the lane to make it a two possession game at 51-47 with 2:28 to play.