PEORIA, Illinois — Paris Lee scored 16 points, including a 3-pointer to give Illinois State an eight-point lead with 3:37 left, and the Redbirds held on Wednesday night to beat Bradley 55-52 despite missing four free throws in the final 1:17.
DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell added 15 points and Deontae Hawkins grabbed 15 rebounds to help Illinois State (10-10, 4-3 Missouri Valley) snap a three-game losing streak.
Tony Wills missed the front-end of a one-and-one for the Redbirds, who led 52-48 with 1:17 left. Bradley (3-17, 1-6) got as close as 54-52 and had a chance to tie on a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.
The Redbirds led by four at halftime and stretched it to 41-27 with a 14-4 run to open the second.
Ronnie Suggs had 16 points and eight rebounds and Donte Thomas scored 12 to lead the Braves.