Defense lifts Drake to first Valley road win

Story by Ashley Beall

The Bulldogs defeated the No. 5 UNI Panthers this past Saturday at the McLeod Center, 82-67. This is the second time Drake has beaten Northern Iowa this season.

The Bulldogs were on fire, and sophomore Kyndal Clark led the way with 23 points and six rebounds. Freshman Ashley Bartow continued her hot streak with 16 points and eight rebounds while Mary Pat Specht added 15 points. Sophomore Cara Lutes also added 10 points for the Bulldogs.

“I thought we played a great all-around team game today, and it was sparked by our defense especially in the second half,” said Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk said in a Drake athletics press release. “We did a great job pressuring the ball, and it really helped us setting up our offense and we were aggressive on the offensive end.”

Throughout the game, the largest lead for the Bulldogs was 24 points in the second half with 2:49 left. The Bulldogs shot 57.9 percent from the field and 56.5 percent from the 3-point line while the Panthers shot 21.7 percent from behind the arc.

Jacqui Kalin, who has scored in the double digits 24 times this season, finished with 25 points. The Panthers’ Hannah Schonhardt scored 14 points.

“We got great production from the bench today and you need that on the road especially in a tough conference like ours,” Baranczyk said. “UNI is a great team, and I think they took us off the dribble a little too much and we turned it over a few too many times. Jacqui Kalin is a great player who deserves to be in (MVC) Player of the Year discussions.”

The Panthers and the Bulldogs were evenly matched from the start of the game with a score of 8-8 at the first media timeout. However, the Bulldogs eventually pulled away with a 48-39 lead over the Panthers at the end of the first half.

From the start of the second half, the Bulldogs jumped the gun and started to pull away from the Panthers and went on a 23-6 scoring run. This win marks the first time the Bulldogs have swept the series against the Panthers throughout the season since their 2003-2004 season.

The Bulldogs are back in action against Valley rival Creighton in Omaha at 2:05 p.m. on Sunday.

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