CARBONDALE — Bradley’s men’s basketball team became the third straight team to shoot 50 percent or better against SIU on Wednesday night.
The Braves made 24-of-48 from the field in their 66-60 win at SIU Arena, sinking 13-of-22 in the second half (59.1 percent).
The Salukis played their first of what may be at least four to five games with only one true post player, but may have to look at their guard play as being one of the chief culprits of their three-game losing streak.
Miscommunication on the perimeter allowed Bradley’s Dyricus Simms-Edwards to make a wide-open 3-pointer in the second half and the Braves (10-4, 2-0 Missouri Valley Conference) to score 32 points in the paint.
SIU (7-6, 0-2 MVC) trailed most of the game with an eight-man rotation, and may have to go with the same crew on Saturday at Evansville (8-6, 1-1 MVC).
“It’s tough, especially with our depth. We’re not very deep as you can tell, and big man wise, we only have one real big man, and he’s 50 percent right now,” SIU guard Jeff Early said. “He’s just out there playing, and giving all he got, and then we had (Josh) Swan. We’re just battling with the big men. That takes a lot out of us, fighting them, them fighting back. We just have to work with what we have, trust in what we got, and keep playing.”
SIU’s starting forward, Dantiel Daniels, missed the game because of a sprained ankle he suffered at Missouri State on Sunday.
The Salukis lost sophomore forward Antonio Bryer last week, when he left the team for personal reasons.
Bradley’s Walt Lemon Jr. scored a game-high 20 points, including six in the final four minutes. Simms-Edwards added 11 points and seven rebounds.
Opponents have had a guard score at least 10 points in nine of SIU’s 13 games this season.
SIU got 15 points and nine rebounds from guard Desmar Jackson and 11 points and seven rebounds from Early, but dropped its seventh straight league game dating back to last season. Freshman guard Anthony Beane Jr. scored 10 points in 33 minutes.
The Salukis have beaten Evansville in eight of their 11 meetings, but have dropped their last two in Evansville.
On Twitter: @Todd_Hefferman