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Second-half nightmare spells doom for Drake

Photo: Connor McCourtney

The Drake women’s basketball team tried to make a comeback after a lackluster first half against Wichita State but ended up with a 66-57 loss last Thursday. The Bulldogs suffered through a horrible second half in another hard loss against Missouri State (90-61) last Saturday.

“Just recently, the story of our team has been: Can we put two good halves together?” senior guard Kristin Turk said.

“We were able to put a good second half together against Wichita State and a good first half against Missouri State. Our team has hit a wall and now it’s just whether or not we can break through that wall soon.”

With the two recent losses, the Bulldogs fell to 3-6 in Missouri Valley play and 9-11 overall.

On Saturday against Missouri State, both teams played a very similar game in the first half, starting slow and eventually picking up their play until the half ended with Drake in the lead, 36-35. After carrying momentum into halftime, the Bulldogs did not make a second-half field goal until there were fewer than 17 minutes remaining in the game, trailing 47-38 at that point.

After Missouri State got out to a fast start in the second half and Drake’s offense wasn’t able to do much of anything, there was no looking back. Missouri State was able to easily ride out the remainder of the game, following the lead of guard Casey Garrison, who finished the game with 36 points.

“I don’t think any team in this league is 30 points better than us,” Turk said. “It’s on us. We need to pick our heads up and take responsibility and start playing as a team.”

Junior Rachael Hackbarth added that the team’s attitude needs to be changed when other teams make runs.

“I think if we see the game going well for us, that builds our confidence,” Hackbarth said. “But then if we come out in the second half and the other team makes a run, then we get hesitant. We need to be more resilient.”

Hackbarth had a game-high 17 points in the first half, but followed the lead of many of her teammates and had a much quieter second half, only scoring four points. She finished with 21 points and 11 rebounds, her seventh career double-double and fourth of the season.

“I know they changed their defense around in the second half,” Hackbarth said. “Our offense also had an easier time in the first half because their post players were getting into foul trouble and were on the bench.”

Drake head coach Amy Stephens was unhappy with the lack of resiliency after getting down early in the second half.

“I’m just disappointed in our lack of effort,” Stephens said. “If we compete and play hard and play as a team, the positives become a byproduct of how we play.”

The team will have a chance to put two good halves together this Thursday at the Knapp Center when it takes on Evansville at 7:05 p.m.


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