BY MATTHEW GOGERTY PHOTO KATIE KURKA
Drake Men’s Basketball got a taste of what was in store for it’s season in an exhibition match this past weekend against Concordia University. The Bulldogs came away with a win over the Golden Bears, 81-75.
The Bulldogs were unrelenting in a game that featured six lead changes and seven ties.
Junior guard Reed Timmer got out to a good start, for his first game with the Bulldogs this season he added 20 points to the game. Timmer led Drake in scoring last year and was third in the Missouri Valley Conference, averaging 16.8 points per game.
The Bulldogs had a turbulent season last year, finishing 7-24 overall with one losing streaks that lasted nine games.
But, with younger players looking to fill bigger roles and the departure of guard Karl Madison, Drake’s dynamic has been tampered with.
With the addition of transfer students, junior guard De’ Antae McMurray and junior forward T.J. Thomas, the Bulldogs seem to have filled the void left by Madison. McMurray got on the board with nine points of his own, while Thomas added eight.
Sophomore forward Billy Wampler added 22 points against concordia. After averaging 3.8 points per game last season it would seem that Wampler may be called upon to do more damage from the field this upcoming season.
“Defensively, we need to be better, but take nothing away from Concordia-St. Paul,” said Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti at the press conference. “We had to make some adjustments and T.J. Thomas did a good job switching those ball screens for us.”
The first half was a one sided show for the Bulldogs who led by as much as 12. At the end of the firsthalf the Bulldogs led by five.
Concordia tied it up in the first minute of the game, but a quick three point shot by Wampler put the Bulldogs back in the lead.
The Golden Bears led in the second half by as much as four with eight minutes left in the game, but it would be short lived.
A pair of free throws by sophomore forward Nick McGlynn and a layup by Timmer tied it back up at 65-65 with seven minutes left of play.
Thereafter, the Golden Bears were unable to tie it up again. The Bulldogs would go on to lead by as much as seven and eventually finished the game with a six point lead.
The Bulldogs shot 81.8 percent from the free-throw line on 33 attempts and shot 25 percent from three-point range.
“We got a lot out of this and I’m glad it went down the way it did,” Giacoletti added at the press conference. “We needed to be able to function and play in a close basketball game. We made four out of five stops to end the game and stepped up and made our free throws. Those are the things that will help us down the road.”
Regular season play opens up on Nov. 11 for the Bulldogs against South Dakota State at the Knapp Center.