ST. LOIUS (WMBD/WYZZ) — Missouri Valley Conference player of the year Tucker DeVries scored 22 points to lead Drake past Bradley, 77-51, in the title game of the MVC Tournament on Sunday at Enterprise Center.
Bradley, the top-seed in the tournament after winning the conference regular season, hit just two of its first 13 shots, fell behind early and never recovered. Second-seeded Drake (27-7), which lost at Bradley last Sunday in the regular season finale, led 41-21 at halftime and kept the Braves at arm’s length the rest of the game to earn the MVC’s automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The Braves, who had won 12 in a row, were led by senior Ja’Shon Henry’s ten points.
Bradley coach Brian Wardle said Drake’s experience was a huge factor. The Bulldogs were making their third consecutive appearance in the Valley Tournament title game.
“They’ve been in this moment. And we’ve only had one player on our roster who and that’s Ja’Shon Henry and he looked the most comfortable on our team out there,” Wardle said.
Wardle says he doesn’t expect BU to receive an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament. As the MVC regular season champ, Bradley (25-9) will receive a bid to the National Invitation Tournament.