Memphis 90, Ball State 67
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) _ Keldrick Bradford scored a career-high 27 points and Omar Sneed added 25 points and 17 rebounds Wednesday night as Memphis topped Ball State 90-67 in the opening round of the NIT.
Bradford’s points came on 10-of-17 shooting from the field and 7-of-8 from the line. But his biggest contribution could have been his defense against the Cardinals’ leading scorer Bonzi Wells.
Wells managed only nine points, well under the senior’s 23.3-point average. The total was a season low for the Mid-American Conference’s all-time leading scorer.
The Tigers (17-11) led by as many as 26 in the second half and held at least a 20-point advantage during the final 12:36.
Duane Clemens and Mitch Hankins led the Cardinals (21-8) with 10 points each.
Memphis led 37-28 at the half behind the play of Bradford, who scored 14 in the period. In addition to his offense, Bradford held Wells to seven points in the first 20 minutes.
Ball State scored eight consecutive points and tied the game 21-21 on a Wells 3-pointer from the top of the key mid-way through the half.
Memphis answered with an 8-point run of its own, the last four on Bradford free throws when Wells was called for a foul then drew a technical for arguing the call.
The Cardinals were never closer than eight points in the second half.