Local Sports

Braves Fall to Xavier on Last-Second Shot

In a back-and-forth game, the Bradley men's basketball team lost on the road to Xavier, 51-50, thanks to a last-second field by the Musketeers. Bradley is now 1-1 after two games at the Xavier Invitational, while the hosts improve to 2-0.
Senior Elijah Childs led the Braves with 17 points, seven rebounds and four steals against the Big East foe. Sophomore Ville Tahvanainen also added 11 points for BU, making 3-of-5 from 3-point range in the contest.
The schools traded runs to begin before settling in for a tight contest the remainder of the game. Xavier opened a 12-4 lead just more than six minutes in before Bradley responded with a 10-0 run for its first lead of the game, 14-12. The lead would change three additional times in the opening 20 minutes of action before the Musketeers headed into the locker room with a two-point edge, 22-20.
Xavier quickly stretched its lead to eight points early in the second half, 31-23, but the Braves were unfazed and immediately answered with a 7-0 spurt for to pull back within one, 31-30. BU then grabbed its first advantage of the period when Childs connected on a jumper for a 34-33 edge with 12:57 remaining in the game.
The teams would trade the advantage a total of 10 times in the final 13 minutes of action in a tight contest throughout. Neither team led by more than four points the rest of the game and the Braves found themselves ahead by one, 45-44, with 3:33 left in the game after Tahvanainen was fouled while shooting a jumper. Xavier, however, answered with a 3-pointer on the other end before Bradley connected on two free throws for a 47-47 deadlock with 2:34 left.
The Musketeers went back ahead, 49-47, with 1:59 remaining, taking advantage of a couple of offensive rebounds. The Bradley defense then kept the team in the game by forcing three-straight misses by Xavier to give Bradley the ball down two with under 30 seconds remaining. For the second-straight day, Terry Nolan Jr. connected on a go-ahead shot with less than 20 seconds remaining, burying a contested 3-pointer from the corner for a 50-49 lead with just 12.5 ticks remaining. On this day, however, Xavier answered with a layup with 3.8 seconds left for a one-point edge and Bradley missed the front end of a 1-and-1 with 0.4 seconds remaining as Xavier secured its second-straight victory to open the season.
Both defenses played a strong game on the day as Bradley shot 33.3 percent and held the Musketeers to 33.9 percent shooting. The Braves converted 6-of-16 from 3-point range, however, while holding the Musketeers to 5-of-20 but Xavier held a 47-40 edge on the glass.

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