The Drake women’s basketball team brought a two-game winning streak into the weekend as it continued Missouri Valley play against Bradley last Thursday and Northern Iowa last Saturday. The Bulldogs rallied for a 67-65 win over the Braves last Thursday, but fell 74-55 to the Panthers two days later.
In the game against Bradley, Drake trailed by as much as 15 points in the second half and 61-51 with just 3:45 left. The Bulldogs went on a wild 15-1 run to jump ahead by four. After the Braves cut the lead to one and senior Kristin Turk split a pair of free throws, Bradley’s last-second shot missed at the buzzer as Drake escaped with an improbable victory.
“We refused to go away,” head coach Amy Stephens said in a Drake athletics press release. “It just snowballed, positive for us, negative for Bradley.”
Leading scorers included sophomore Kayla Person and senior Kristin Turk with 16 points each and junior Rachael Hackbarth added 15. In total, four Bulldogs were in double figures in scoring on the night. Drake was victorious despite being outrebounded 40-30.
“We were self-destructing,” Stephens said of her team’s performance before the incredible comeback. “Give Bradley credit for doing some things to catch us off guard.”
On Saturday, the Bulldogs travelled to Cedar Falls to take on their in-state rivals, the Northern Iowa Panthers. The game was never much of a contest, as the Panthers came out hot and executed some torrid shooting to put away Drake early. Northern Iowa’s seven 3-pointers in the first half put it on top for the remainder of the game.
The Panthers finished the game 12-of-24 from beyond the arc. The Missouri Valley leaders improved to 19-5 on the year and 12-1 in conference. Drake fell to 12-12 and 6-7 in the MVC.
Drake pulled within 10 points early in the second half on a 3-pointer from Person, but Northern Iowa responded with an 8-0 run to put the game out of reach.
“We wanted to contain penetration,” Stephens said. “They worked the passes to find the best shot.”
Turk led the Bulldogs with 14 points and Hackbarth contributed nine points and five boards.
“I thought our team played hard. We had some good looks and the ball just didn’t go in,” Stephens added. “We have to get more consistency from our supporting cast.”
Drake will take on Illinois State on Thursday at the Knapp Center at 7:05 p.m. The Bulldogs will be back in action two days later when they host Indiana State this Saturday at 2:05 p.m.
SCORING1. Kristin Turk, Drake, 19.8 pointsper game2. Casey Garrison, Missouri State, 18.13. Jacqui Kalin, Northern Iowa, 15.4REBOUNDING1. Shannon Thomas, Indiana State,8.5 per game2. Christiana Shorter, MissouriState, 8.23. Lizzie Boeck, Northern Iowa, 7.87. Rachael Hackbarth, Drake, 7.3
1. Turk, Drake, 2.9 per game
2. Carli Tritz, Creighton, 2.3
3. Amanda Clifton, Illinois State, 2.3