ARTICLE BY ADAM ROGAN
The Bulldogs remained winless in the Missouri Valley Conference this season after a rough second half at Illinois State.
Drake managed to shrink a 10-point deficit down to three in the closing minutes of the first half and the start of the second, but that was as close the score would get. The Redbirds responded with 17 unanswered points in under five minutes.
Drake again closed the gap to within three possessions at the 9:19 mark behind another strong performance from sophomore guard Reed Timmer (19 points, four assists, four rebounds). Still, that wouldn’t be enough as the Illinois State offense lit up the scoreboard on the way to a 64-76 victory.
Drake’s shooting was solid, 24-of-44 from the field, but Illinois State’s 15 threes on 28 attempts is what doomed the Bulldogs. That, and Drake’s inability to hold onto the ball.
The Bulldogs committed 21 turnovers while their defense only generated nine takeaways. Illinois State used that to its advantage and outscored Drake 13-2 in points off turnovers.
Drake sophomore Ore Arogundade shined coming off of the bench, pulling down a game-high and personal season-high eight rebounds, scoring nine and not committing a single turnover in 29 minutes.
The Bulldogs will return to the Knapp Center this Saturday to host Bradley for a 2 p.m. matchup in which Drake will aim to prevent losing its 10th straight game. Bradley and Drake are currently ranked ninth and 10th in the MVC, so the game is sure to be a close one.