GAME NOTES: The CollegeInsider.com Postseason Tournament soldiers on to the second round on Saturday night, as the Tulane Green Wave travel to Peoria for a matchup with the Bradley Braves at the Renaissance Coliseum.
Tulane (20-14) enjoyed a first-round victory earlier in the week, taking down South Alabama, 84-73, to give the team its first postseason win since 1996 and its first 20-win season since the 1999-2000 campaign. Josh Davis was the difference-maker in the opening game, tallying 26 points and 12 rebounds for his 19th double-double of the season. While neither Kendall Timmons (3-of-9) nor Ricky Tarrant (4-of-12) were efficient from the field, both finished with 13 points, with Tarrant adding four steals for good measure.
Bradley (17-16) also opened up tournament play with a win, staking claim to a 75-69 decision over Green Bay on Wednesday, coming from 11 points down early in the second half to pull out the victory. Although it was outshot from the field, 44.3 percent to 40 percent, it made its mark at the foul line, shooting 23-of-31 from the stripe, while the Phoenix were just 11-of-14. Will Egolf scored 22 points on 7-of-9 from the field and 6-of-6 from the foul line, while Walt Lemon, Jr. stuffed the stat sheet with 21 points, nine rebounds, seven assists, two blocks and two steals. Dyricus Simms-Edwards scored 17 points, while Jake Eastman pulled down 13 rebounds. The triumph for the Braves allowed them to improve to 4-1 all-time in the CIT.
Bradley has beaten Tulane in two of the three all-time meetings between the programs. The two teams haven't met up since December of 1984, with the Green Wave coming away with a 65-56 home win.
On the season, the Green Wave actually get outshot from the field by their opponents, 45.5 percent to 41.7 ppg, but they are still able to boast a +4.2 scoring margin by doing positive work both on the glass (+4.3 rebounding margin) and in the turnover battle (+1.2 turnover margin). Davis has proven himself to be one of the best forwards in the nation with 17.9 ppg (on nearly 50 percent from the field) to go with 10.5 rpg and nearly a block and a steal per contest. Tarrant (15.9 ppg, 3.5 apg) is dangerous on the perimeter but doesn't sport a strong field-goal percentage (.370). Jordan Callahan (10.8 ppg) is a long-range sniper, making 79 3-pointers at a 38-percent clip.
As for the Braves, they have found themselves with a rather mediocre record this season due to their average statistical performance, as they score almost as many points (67.2 ppg) as they allow (67.7 ppg). They do however, benefit greatly from a strong turnover margin (+2.8). Lemon is the go-to guy offensively, scoring 15.6 ppg on 45.3 percent from the field, while also adding 3.7 apg and 2.2 spg. Simms-Edwards nets 12.3 ppg and is also a menace in the passing lanes with 2.6 spg. Rounding out the double-digit scorers is Tyshon Picket, who adds 10.7 ppg.
Tulane clearly has the advantage in the paint with Davis, but Bradley should be able to neutralize Tarrant and Callahan with its strong defensive duo of Lemon and Simms-Edwards. The deciding edge goes to the Braves, who have gone 13-4 in Peoria this season.
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