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Bulldogs’ upset bid falls short at Missouri State

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Photo: Connor McCourtney

The Drake women’s basketball team fell to 8-8 in the Missouri Valley Conference after its 92-82 loss to Missouri State last Friday in the conference’s highest scoring game of the 2010-11 season. The Bulldogs maintained their fifth-place standing despite the loss.

The Bulldogs kept close with the Bears throughout the entire game, tying the score a total of seven times and with the lead changing hands eight times throughout the game.

The game opened with quick back-and-forth play with a significant amount of points scored by both teams. Junior Rachael Hackbarth played one of her best games scoring eight of Drake’s first points of the game, 17 points in the first half and 27 points total. Hackbarth went 10-of-17 from the floor, 7-of-8 from the free throw line and had 11 rebounds.

“She kept us in it early,” head coach Amy Stephens said in a postgame press release. “Her effort was great. She gave a tremendous performance.”

At halftime, the Bulldogs trailed by just two points, but Missouri State came back strong in the second half scoring 11-straight points, including back-to-back treys by junior Jaleshia Roberson. With 12:28 left in the game, the Bears had increased their lead to 15 points.

“We like to fight; we were down and we came back, and were right back in the game down the stretch,” assistant coach Todd Voss said. “There were lots of positives to take away.”

Drake played hard and stayed in the game, keeping the score relatively close despite Missouri State’s burst of energy in the second half. Solid play by the Bulldogs, including 3-point shots by sophomore Kayla Person and junior Amber Wollschlager, pushed Drake to within single digits with nine minutes left in the game.

“We hung around,” Stephens said in the same press release. “We showed great composure. I like the fight of this team. They didn’t go away.”

Yesterday, Drake continued its road trip to face Wichita State in the Shockers’ final home game of the season. Going into the game, Wichita State was 7-8 and tied for sixth in the MVC. The Bulldogs were half a game ahead of the Shockers prior to Sunday’s game and were 12-4 against them under Stephens.

“We have to do a better job defensively,” Voss said. “[Missouri State] did a good job of driving and getting into the lane. They scored too many points in the paint.”

The Bulldogs will play their final home game of the season this Saturday against Creighton at 2:05 p.m. Following next Saturday’s game, the team will look forward to the State Farm MVC Tournament, which takes place March 10 through March 13 in St Charles, Mo.

“Each game is important because of the seeding [in the MVC tournament],” Voss said. “We feel like we’re starting to play our best basketball as we’re coming down the stretch here.”

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