Cultra and Beck Pace the Falcons in Loss at Bradley
Dec. 28, 2008
PEORIA, Ill. - Senior Brooke Cultra and sophomore Raimee Beck combined for 46 points, but the Air Force women's basketball team dropped an 81-65 decision to Bradley on Sunday, Dec. 28, in Peoria, Ill. The duo posted 23 points apiece, but was unable to help the Falcons overcome five double-digit scoring Braves. Bradley improved to 9-2 on the season, while Air Force fell to 3-8.
Senior Kim Kreke added 13 points and a team-high three steals. Both Kreke and Cultra neared double-doubles, as they led the team with eight rebounds apiece. Sophomore Stevie Puentes led the team with six assists.
Jenny Van Kirk and Sonya Harris led Bradley with 16 points apiece. They were two of five Braves' starters to account for double-digit points. The Falcons shot 42 percent from the floor, while Bradley scored at a 47-percent clip. Although the turnover ratio was close (Air Force 18, Bradley 16), the Braves scored 21 points off of the Falcons' turnovers, while Air Force accounted for 10 from Bradley's miscues.
The Braves rolled out to an early 14-8 lead, but Cultra caught fire for the Falcons. The senior scored the next seven points, while the team held Bradley scoreless for nearly five minutes. With a layup at the 12:50 mark, Cultra gave Air Force the 15-14 lead. Beck's three-point shot extended the Falcons' lead to four. Bradley retook the lead at the 21-19 mark and quickly extended their lead to 31-22. Puentes sank two free throws and Beck added a pair of baskets, but the Falcons entered the locker room at halftime down 42-29.
Coming out of the break, Cultra added a basket and Kreke put in a pair of free throws. The Braves extended their advantage to 19, but Air Force continued to fight. Beck scored the Falcons' next eight points, including a pair of shots from beyond the arc. Cultra cut the lead to 10 with a basket, but Bradley slowly edged away again. Cultra and Beck continued to add points, but the final buzzer sounded with Bradley holding the 81-65 advantage.
With all but one of the starting lineup hailing from the state of Illinois, the Falcons had a lot of fans in the stands of Rickwoods High School Gym, where the game was played due to ongoing renovations at Bradley's home court.
Air Force continues its Illinois road swing on Tuesday, Dec. 30, when it travels to Chicago, Ill., to take on Chicago State at 7 p.m.