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Bradley gets back in the win column in a grind it out victory over Loyola-Chicago

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Tatum Koenig

PEORIA (HOI) -- It didn't take long for the Bradley Women's Basketball team to wipe the stench of a loss from their mouths. After a disappointing 71-66 loss on Friday to Loyola-Chicago, the Braves (10-5, 6-2) bounced back with a 57-55 win over the Ramblers (5-4, 3-2) on Saturday, earning a series split.

For just the third time this season, Bradley was held below 60 points, the other two were both losses. Defense was the key for both teams, neither side shooting better than 36% from the field. Bradley's defense changed the game in the third quarter, limiting the Ramblers to just 2-13 shooting in the quarter.

"That was the toughest defense [we've faced], they really worked to take our strengths away. It was every basket we got we had to earn, again just an extremely physical game. Typical Missouri Valley slugfest today, it's going to make us better. Just proud of us and happy we could get the win today," said Bradley Head Coach Andrea Gorski.

Junior guard Tatum Koenig was the star of the Bradley offense, leading the team with 16 points (5-7 FG, 5-6 3PT). Senior forward Nyjah White had a solid performance with 13 points (5-16 FG), 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 4 steals. Senior guard Gabi Haack added in 10 points (4-12, 1-6 3PT), 9 rebounds, and 2 blocks. Gorski said Loyola-Chicago really focused on slowing down Haack and junior guard Lasha Petree, who finished with just 9 points (2-11 FG), but did end up with 7 rebounds, 6 blocks, and 2 steals. It was the first time this season Petree was unable to reach double-digits in scoring.

The victory gives Bradley sole possession of second in the MVC standings and makes them the first team in the conference to reach the 10-win mark.

Loyola-Chicago did snap Bradley's five-game winning streak on Friday, but now the Braves will try to start a new streak, carrying this victory into the I-74 rivalry against Illinois State (8-3, 5-3) on Wednesday at 6 p.m. on ESPN+.

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Holden Krusemark

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