BY JOE MILLER
The Drake women’s basketball team picked up a couple of wins this past weekend, keeping their perfect conference record and extending its winning streak to 16 games, matching Drake’s all-time record.
The team took two road games against Indiana State and Loyola.
The Bulldogs’ road trip got a hot start, as they began their contest against Indiana State on a 10-0 run.
Drake would finish the quarter with an eight-point lead, but would only extend it by two heading into the half, 32-22.
The deep Bulldog bench helped the team hit its stride in the second half, outscoring the Sycamores 20-9 in the third quarter to push the lead to 21 points.
Despite a slow day offensively, the Drake defense stepped up and delivered its second best performance of the year, holding Indiana State to just 45 points. The Bulldogs also forced 21 turnovers on the way to their 64‑45 win.
Freshman Brenni Rose led Drake in scoring with 14 and added two assists.
Becca Hittner and Becca Jonas each added 10 of their own. Jonas also had seven boards.
The Bulldog bench contributed 26 points overall.
Drake looked to keep the momentum heading into its matchup against Loyola, a team the Bulldogs took down 89-46 earlier this season.
Perhaps harnessing untapped energy from their earlier game, the Bulldogs scored 25 points in the first quarter, grabbing an early 15-point lead heading into the second frame.
Drake’s defense did not lose a step, holding the Ramblers to just two points in the second quarter. Adding 21 more points, Drake had a 34-point lead at halftime.
The second half saw a bit more competition, but Drake remained in control and would take the game, 86-42.
Drake’s interior played a crucial role, as the Bulldogs outscored their opponents 52-10 in the paint.
Drake also notched 14 more second-chance points than Loyola, in addition to having 45 total rebounds.
Drake’s attack was led by senior Lizzy Wendell, who put up 19 points, seven assists and four rebounds.
Sammie Bachrodt added 17 of her own as well as a pair of assists and three rebounds.
Becca Hittner recorded a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Every eligible Drake player scored in the 86-point effort.
Drake’s win ties the record for most consecutive wins in team history, as well as padding their already record best start in Missouri Valley Conference history.
Drake’s wins have also gained national attention. The Bulldogs climbed to no. 21 in the AP Women’s Basketball poll, their best ranking since 1982.
The Bulldogs will be put to the test this Friday at the Knapp Center as they square off against Northern Iowa, currently ranked second in the conference.
A win against the Panthers will secure the MVC regular season title.