PEORIA, Ill. -- Walt Lemon, Jr. hit his first field goal with less than 10 minutes to play and scored 16 of his 20 points down the stretch as Bradley broke away late in the game to defeat Illinois State 64-45 on Wednesday night.
Lemon was 0-for-5 from the field when his 3-pointer with 9:36 remaining broke open a one-point game for the Braves (9-13, 4-5 Missouri Valley Conference). Bradley launched a 12-0 run to make what had been a close game (six ties, five lead changes) look lopsided by the end.
Illinois State (11-10, 4-5) was harried by 19 turnovers, including 11 Bradley steals -- Lemon had four. The Redbirds also shot a cold 32 percent from the field with Daishon Knight and Paris Lee each scoring eight points.
Northwestern has never made the NCAA tournament, but the Wildcats' upward trajectory suggests 2016-17 could finally be the season it happens.
Dillon Brooks, who led Oregon with 16.7 points per game last season, will opt out of the NBA draft process and return to the Ducks, a source told ESPN.
Mississippi State freshman guard Malik Newman will withdraw from the NBA draft, but sources told ESPN he might explore other opportunities besides returning to Mississippi State.