Bradbury Scores 2,000th Point in Taylor’s Semifinal Win at No. 15 IWU
MARION, Ind. – Junior Kendall Bradbury poured in a game-high 39 points to propel No. 18 Taylor to a 62-58 Crossroads League Semifinal win at No. 15 Indiana Wesleyan and become the third TU women’s basketball player to top 2,000 career points.
Taylor jumped in front quickly with a three-pointer from Cassidy Wyse on the first possession and led by two midway through the first quarter, before Bradbury scored eight-straight points to give the Trojans a 17-7 advantage. IWU (24-8) added two buckets to make it 17-11 at the end of the first quarter. Bradbury outscored the entire Wildcats’ squad, 12-11, by herself in the opening period.
Points were at a premium in the second quarter, as both squads scored just 10 points apiece in the stanza. Indiana Wesleyan scored 10 of the first 14 points of the period to knot the score at 21-21, but the Trojans recorded the final six points to go into halftime with a 27-21 lead.
TU continued its run after halftime, as Josie Cobb drained a three-pointer on the opening possession to push the lead to nine, and then Bradbury added a hoop-and-harm at the 8:05 mark to give Taylor a 33-21 lead.
IWU cut the lead to six at the three-minute mark, but the Purple and Gold scored six of the final seven points in the third quarter to hold a 43-32 lead going into the final 10 minutes.
Bradbury knocked down a triple with 8:58 remaining to open up a game-high 14-point spread. Indiana Wesleyan responded with an 11-4 run to make it a seven-point game, but then Bradbury answered with five points to boost the TU lead back to double-digits at 55-43 with 1:46 to go in the game.
The Wildcats would make a furious comeback, scoring 15 points in the final 91 seconds to make it a three-point game with four seconds left, but Becca Buchs calmly sank the game-sealing free throw amidst a frenzied crowd with three seconds left to secure the four-point victory for Taylor.
The Trojans withstood hot three-point shooting from the Wildcats in the win, as the hosts knocked down 10 threes at a 45.5-percent clip in the contest. TU was plus-10 in points in the paint, plus-five in points off turnovers and plus-three on second-chance points to counteract IWU’s long-range accuracy.
Bradbury’s 39 points came on 14-of-25 shooting from the floor, and the junior also led the team with 10 rebounds and four assists in the semifinal win. Her 2,000th point came on the second of two free throws with 1:46 left in the game, making her the fastest to 2,000 points in TU history, accomplishing the feat in just 94 games.
The Highlands Ranch, Colorado native joins Rachel Haley (1988-1992) and Liz Plass (2001-2005) as the only three players to eclipse 2,000 career points at Taylor. Bradbury also becomes the 11th women’s basketball player in Crossroads League history to reach the 2,000-point plateau.
Wyse added eight rebounds, seven points, three assists and two steals, while Aubrey Wright provided five rebounds, three assists and three steals for the victors.
With the win, Taylor advances to the Crossroads League Tournament Championship Game, visiting top-seeded Marian (30-2) on Monday night at 7:00 pm. MU defeated No. 4 seed Grace, 78-59, to reach the league championship game.
Marian won the Crossroads League regular season title to lock up one of the league’s two automatic bids to the NAIA Division II National Tournament. The Trojans will take the league’s second automatic bid to the national tournament due to reaching the Crossroads League Tournament Championship and facing Marian.