Category: Illini

Junior Michelle Young scored a game and career-high 32 points to pace five Bradley University women’s basketball players in double figures as the Braves topped Illinois 98-92 Friday afternoon at Renaissance Coliseum. The crowd of 2,402 fans, which ranks as the fourth-best attendance total in school history and largest for a women’s basketball game at Renaissance Coliseum, left entertained as Bradley’s 98 points surpassed the previous arena mark of 96 points in a win against Iowa on Dec. 17, 2001 and the teams combined for a Renaissance Coliseum record 190 points. Bradley (1-0 overall) improved to 3-1 in its last four contests against Big Ten Conference foes and the Braves are now 3-2 in the last five matchups with the Illini. The game marked the first season opener against the BCS Conference foe for Bradley since the 1999-2000 season and the Braves topped a BCS Conference opponent to open a season for the first time since 1998-99. Young scored 19 of her career-best 32 points in the first half, including 13 points in a seven-minute span, and made 11-of-19 field goal attempts on the afternoon.  Her 32 points are tied for the eighth most in school history and were the most by a Bradley player in a home game since Genny Mueller had 33 points against Indiana State on March 6, 2004. Young’s point total also ranks as the most points scored by a Bradley individual in a season opener. All four Bradley seniors finished in double figures, Kelsey Budd added 23 points, seven assists and a career-best eight steals. The eight steals are the most by a Brave since Skye Johnson had eight takeways against Creighton on Feb. 23, 2008.

-Bob

I made the trip east on I-74 to Rantoul, IL Wednesday afternoon, to take advantage of the beautiful weather in central Illinois and grab some action photo’s at the Fighting Illini’s football practice. Second year head coach Tim Beckman ran a fast moving practice that lasted less than two hours. The offense was moving the ball easily on the defense with a lot of passes mixed in with a few running plays. A couple of key players were rested with slight injuries, senior QB Nathan Scheelhaase and LB Jonathan Brown. The Illini move back home to Champaign this weekend and open the season August 31st against Southern Illinois University at Memorial Stadium.

-Bob

Bradley got off to a hot start, shooting 62.1 percent in the first half; including 7-of-8 on three-point attempts to jump out to an early lead, and never trailed in an 83-77 victory at Illinois Thursday at Assembly Hall. Five Bradley players scored in double figures, paced by Catie O’Leary and Shronda Butts with 15 points each.  O’Leary matched a career-high with 12 rebounds for her first double-double of the year. Senior Katie Yohn went to the locker room with 9:42 remaining in the opening period after taking an elbow to the eye with BU holding a 23-19 advantage. Following the Yohn injury, Butts made three of four free throws on an Illinois intentional foul and subsequent technical foul to extend the lead to 26-19. The Braves pushed the lead to as many as many as eight points (29-21), before a 9-2 Illini spurt trimmed the advantage to 31-30 with just under five minutes.  Freshman Jenny Smith hit a pair of three-pointers down the stretch and Bradley took a 48-43 lead into the break. Karisma Penn led the Illini with 29 points and 16 rebounds, with Ivory Crawford making 9-of-17 shots and collecting 18 points.  Alexis Smith joined the duo in double figures with 10 points and a game-high eight assists.

Click here to view more game photo’s.

-Bob

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