The University of Evansville women's basketball dropped its second-straight Missouri Valley Conference game, as host Bradley shot 53.6 percent from the field and connected on 10 of its 16 shots from behind the arc for a 78-52 victory at the Renaissance Coliseum Thursday night in Peoria, Ill.
Senior Samantha Heck led Evansville (7-12, 5-3 MVC) with 12 points and a game-high seven rebounds. Fellow senior Taylor Ware also finished in double figures, going 3-for-4 from the floor and 5-for-5 at the line, for 11 points, while freshman Laura Friday notched a career-high with nine points.
Bradley (8-11, 2-6 MVC) darted out to an early 11-0 lead in the opening two minutes of the game, using its up-tempo offense and pressure defense to score all 11 points on five Evansville turnovers.
The Aces were able to respond by scoring five-straight points, cutting the Braves' lead to six at 11-5, but BU countered with five quick points of its own and led 16-5 with 15:17 remaining in the first half.
Friday buried a three from the top of the arc to trim Bradley's advantage to 18-12 with 13:17 to play in the opening half and Ware sank a pair of free throws to make it a one-possession game at 25-22 just over four minutes later.
Brooke Bisping and Shronda Butts made back-to-back threes on the next two BU possessions to push Bradley's lead to 31-22 at the 8:15 mark in the opening stanza.
The Braves began to pull away at the end of the half, as Katie Yohn, who finished the contest with a game-high 21 points, drilled one of seven first-half triples for BU just under a minute before the break to put Bradley in front 42-31.
Sophomore Juliann Miller would hit a pair of free throws to cap the scoring in the first period, as the Braves led 42-33 at the intermission.
BU's defensive, which forced 24 Evansville turnovers on the night, held UE without a basket for the first four minutes of the second half. Heck finally ended the drought for the Aces' with a baseline jumper that made the score 46-33 in favor of Bradley with 18:13 to play.
Yohn capped an 11-2 run by the Braves with a straight-away three that put the BU up, 53-35, with 14:12 remaining and Bradley slowly began to pull away, using a 10-3 run capped by a Michelle Young layup, to build a 65-40 advantage midway through the half.
Evansville would get no closer than 22 for the remainder of the game and trailed by as many as 31 late in game.
Bradley outrebounded the Aces, grabbing 27 boards, while holding UE to a season-low 25. In addition, the Braves scored 18 points in transition and posted a 59.1 percent field goal percentage over the final 20 minutes.
Evansville shot just 39.1 percent from the field, including a 30.8 percent clip (8-for-26) in the second half and made only four of its 12 shots from long range (33.3%).
The Aces will look to rebound Saturday in Cedar Falls, Iowa, when they take on Northern Iowa at 7 p.m. at the McLeod Center.
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