PEORIA, Ill., - The FGCU men’s basketball team’s upset bid at Bradley fell short as Adam Liddell (Auburn, Ind.) poured in a career-high 25 points in the 82-74 loss on Tuesday night.
Bradley was on fire early, connecting on their first four shots including a pair of three’s from Jeremy Crouch to take a 10-5 lead. Bradley added another three and a jumper by Will Egolf to take a 15-5 lead with 14:11 to play in the first half. FGCU cut the lead to 15-8 on a put-back dunk by Terieke Barrowes (Pompano Beach, Fla.) with 12:49 to go. From that point, the Braves seemed to take control, going on a 13-0 run to take a commanding 28-8 lead.
From that point, the Eagles began to claw their way back. FGCU connected on four of the next five shots to cut the lead to 31-17 with 7:04 left in the first half. Casey Pond, (Guernee, Ill.) the only Eagle from Illinois, scored five points during the stretch. FGCU trimmed the lead to 10, after a pair of free-throw’s by Casey Wohlleb (Boca Raton, Fla.) before going to the break, down 44-32.
After struggling to find his range in the first half (2-for-7) Adam Liddell put the Eagles on his back, scoring seven of FGCU’s first 11 in the second half, cutting the lead to 50-41 with 16:45 to play. Delvin Franklin followed with a bucket and Landon Adler (Decatur, Ind.) was fouled on a three-point attempt, and sunk the three free-throw’s, to cut the lead to 50-46 with just over 15 minutes to play. Liddell drew the Eagles to within two at 53-51 with 13:22 to play.
Bradley’s Daniel Ruffin drained a couple of three’s to help the Braves regain a seven point lead with 11:58 to play. FGCU was able to cut the lead to three with 9:24 to go on a trey by Liddell. Turnovers on the next four possessions allowed the Braves to push the lead back to nine, 68-59, with 7:35 remaining. BU would go 7-for-8 from the charity stripe in the last 30 seconds to escape with the 82-74 win.
Ruffin led four Braves in double figures with 16 points. Jeremy Crouch, who had the hot hand early, finished with 13 as did Theron Wilson. Andrew Warren chipped in 11 for the hosts.
Liddell picked up a career-high 25 points on 10-for-17 shooting including a perfect night (2-for-2) from downtown. He added seven boards. Landon Adler picked up his first double-double of the year with 17 points and 11 boards. Casey Pond added a season-high six points in his return to his home state.
FGCU will face Austin Peay in the third game of the 2007 South Padre Island Invitational on Friday at 2:00pm. The game can be seen live or on-demand on www.southpadreinvitationaltv.com.