WMBD/WYZZ-TV STAFF - CHICAGO, Ill. - Chicago native Walt Lemon, Jr. scored a game-high 22 points, but passed to Jake Eastman for the game-winning basket with nine-tenths of a second remaining, lifting Bradley (16-13) to a 63-62 win at UIC (15-13) Saturday afternoon at UIC Pavilion.
Just the fifth meeting in the all-time series between the in-state rivals, Saturday's game was created through participation in the Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters series and gave The Valley a 5-0 record on the day.
After Bradley opened with an 8-1 push, UIC went on a 19-3 run and led throughout most of the rest of the game. UIC led 41-35 when Lemon and backcourt mate Dyricus Simms-Edwards took over. The duo combined for 22 straight Bradley points and a second Simms-Edwards 3-point possession with 2:49 left pulled the Braves to within 58-57.
From there, Bradley forward Tyshon Pickett came up with two big offensive rebounds, converting the first for a 59-58 lead with 2:13 remaining and the second on two free throws for a 61-60 lead with 1:18 remaining.
The teams exchanged blocked shots before Gary Talton gave the lead back to UIC, 62-61, with 37.5 seconds remaining. Simms-Edwards took Bradley's first shot of the final possession, but Marc Brown rejected it back out to the Bradley perimeter, where the Braves regained possession. Lemon's drive with the clock winding down resulted in a missed shot, but Shayok Shayok dug the loose ball out of traffic in the lane. Shayok passed to Lemon, who again drove into the lane, but this time dished to Eastman for the winning layup.
Lemon ended the game with 22 points, five rebounds, four steals, three assists and two blocked shots. Simms-Edwards added 17 points and Pickett finished with 10 points, sharing game-high rebounding honors with Shayok. Daniel Barnes led UIC with 18 points and Brown chipped in 13.