Drake beats Bradley 81-66 in MVC tournamentDrake forwards Jeremy Jeffers (10) and Ben Simons (34) team up to block a shot by Bradley's Jake Eastman during the first half of their NCAA college basketball game in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament, Thursday, March 7, 2013, in St. Louis, Mo. (AP Photo/St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Chris Lee)
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Chris Hines scored 16 points and Drake defeated Bradley 81-66 Thursday in the opener of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament.
The ninth-seeded Bulldogs (15-16) earned a quarterfinal game against regular-season champion Creighton on Friday.
Joey King scored 15 and Gary Ricks added 14 points for Drake. The Bulldogs led by as many as 17 points in the first half, though the Braves scored the last eight of the half to cut Drake's lead at the break to 41-32.
Bradley (16-16) got within three with 6 1/2 minutes left, but Drake went on a 13-0 run to put it out of reach.
Jake Eastman had 15 points and eight rebounds for the eighth-seeded Braves. Will Egolf also scored 15 points, Walt Lemon Jr. scored 14 and Tyshon Pickett added 11 for Bradley, which improved nine games from last season's 7-25 finish.