Playing without injured scoring leader Taylor Brown, Bradley (7-22) could not come up with enough offense to overcome Loyola-Chicago (7-19) Saturday night in the Sears BracketBusters contest, dropping a 56-44 decision at Carver Arena before 7,680 loyal fans. Junior forward Ben Averkamp put up a double-double by leading all players with 19 points and 10 rebounds to pace the Ramblers, who earned just their fifth road win in 25 tries at Bradley. Freshman guard Jalen Crawford led the Braves with 12 points and sophomore guard Walt Lemon, Jr. added 11 points off the bench. Final Stats and Game Box Score.
Sophomore midfielder Keegan Balle cleaned up a loose ball in the box, netting the game-winner in the 86th minute, lifting #22 Bradley (15-5-2) to a 2-1 win against Loyola-Chicago (7-12-2) in the first round of the NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship. The Braves advance to a second-round match against 2010 national runner-up Louisville. The 12th-seeded Cardinals (12-6-2) will host the second-round match Sunday at 6 p.m. (CT) at Cardinal Park. Playing in its sixth NCAA Tournament, Bradley earned its first postseason win since 2007 and improved to 3-5-1 all-time in the NCAA Tournament. After the first half ended with six shots for each team, Bradley turned up the pressure in the second half, outshooting the Ramblers 14-5 in the half to finish with a 20-11 advantage.