Story by Ashley Beall
Photos by Jeremy Leong
Junior Kyndal Clark led the Bulldogs with a career-high 41 points and was followed by freshman Lizzy Wendell who scored a career-best 35 points. Wendell stepped up for the Bulldogs as she hit the 3-pointer that tied up the game, sending it into overtime.
The Bulldogs came off to a sluggish start as UNI went on a 9-0 run.
It wasn’t until sophomore Ashley Bartow hit a jump shot that the Bulldogs got onto the scoreboard.
This was the spark that the Bulldogs needed as they went on a 12-2 scoring run, leading UNI 12-11.
“The fans got to see two really good basketball teams today,” said Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk. “It’s too bad we didn’t start off a little better because we dug ourselves a bit of a hole.”
“A better start would have helped, but hats off to UNI. They are a very good basketball team, and Brittni Donaldson and Jen Keitel came to play today, doing a phenomenal job. We made some big shots too, but they ended up pulling out a hard-fought game.”
Jen Keitel also stepped up for UNI, as she had a double-double, scoring 28 points and grabbing 13 rebounds.
It was a continuous fight between the Panthers and the Bulldogs, but it wasn’t until the second half that the Bulldogs really came alive.
“We needed to rebound. They owned the boards and, in a sense, they should have since they were so much taller than us, but we can’t let that be such a big factor, and it led to so many things offensively and defensively,” Clark said.
“We crashed on our offense in spurts, but we need to be more consistent in that. As far as defense, we have to grab those boards because that led to second-chance points. More than anything, even though we’re undersized we need to focus on rebounding.”
The Bulldogs came out attacking in the second half, but it was not consistent enough to push them ahead. Wendell’s 3-pointer with two seconds left pushed Drake into overtime, but the Bulldogs failed to pull everything together.
“Both teams came ready to play. It took us a little bit but we fought back and it was a game of runs,” Clark said. “They would make a run and then we could catch up. We need to be the one making that first run then pushing ahead when we do make those runs and just keep punching. UNI’s a great team, and I have a lot of respect for them. I wish we could have won, but we made some good plays and we grew. We stuck with it, and I’m proud of our team for that.”
The Bulldogs next face Indiana state tonight at the Knapp Center at 7:05 p.m.