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Basketball Sports

Drake loses 61-48 to UIC in season opener

The Drake women’s basketball team left the University at Illinois-Chicago Pavilion with a loss in the books and improvement in mind following last Saturday afternoon’s 61-48 season-opening defeat.

Faulty shooting and foul trouble plagued the Bulldogs amid their efforts to ward off a tough Illinois-Chicago offense.

Two early fouls sent senior forward Rachael Hackbarth to the sidelines in the game’s initial minutes, limiting her to just four points in the first half.

“Foul trouble in the first half hurt our team,” head coach Amy Stephens said in a Drake Athletics press release.  “We have to do a better job of staying out of that situation.”

UIC powered a 7-0 run to earn a 20-13 first-half lead.  The Bulldogs answered with a 7-0 run to even the score at 20-20 entering halftime.

But then the Flames turned up the heat.

Energized following halftime, UIC recorded a 10-4 run to start the second half.  The Bulldogs managed to narrow the Flames’ advantage to 34-30, but their offensive push was again short-lived as UIC pulled away for the win at home.

Hackbarth recorded a team-high 17 points and nine rebounds in the contest, with 14 points in the second half.  Senior guard Brittnye McSparron added 10 points and four rebounds.

From behind the arc, senior guard Amber Wollschlager added six points on two three-point baskets, and redshirt freshman guard Carly Grenfell added one 3-pointer.

The Flames rounded out last Saturday’s victory with 44.7 percent shooting from the floor, compared to just 38.2 percent by the Bulldogs.

With only two Bulldogs recording double-digits in points, Drake looks to improve both on defense and on offense entering tomorrow’s game against in-state rival Iowa State.

“We didn’t have enough offensive balance overall to put ourselves in a position to win the game,” Stephens said. “Overall, our defensive effort in the second half wasn’t where it needed to be. We gave up too many easy baskets.”

The Bulldogs take on Iowa State tomorrow at the Knapp Center.  Tip-off is set for 5 p.m.

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