Story by Ashley Beall
After celebrating a win against Missouri State this past weekend, the Bulldogs look ahead to their game against Bradley tonight at 6 p.m.
“This week, we just want to build on the win (against Missouri State), just keep going and get ready for the conference tournament and finish the season out strong,” said junior forward Morgan Reid.
This matchup will be the second time the Bulldogs face against the Braves this season. The first time, here at the Knapp Center on Jan. 25, resulted in a 66-62 Drake victory. During that game, the Bulldogs played as a unit. Sophomore guard Kyndal Clark scored 20 points. Reid and sophomore forward and center Cara Lutes scored 12 and nine points, respectively.
“Our main goal (for this game) is to win,” Reid said. “We beat Bradley last time, and it was a good win. Bradley is a really good team so we’re not going to count them out, it’s the Valley. We’re really excited to play, and we want to get this win.”
Bradley is currently ranked No. 7 in the Missouri Valley Conference with a 4-8 MVC record. Bradley fell to Northern Iowa this past weekend 70-45 and was led by junior Catie O’Leary, who scored just above her 11.2-point average with 12 points.
While the Bulldogs need to shut down O’Leary, they also need to heavily defend sophomore Shronda Butts. Butts, a Des Moines native and former East High School standout, scored 29 points against the Bulldogs at the Knapp Center a month ago.
“Playing on the road is always a challenge, and Shronda Butts had a really good game against us last time, so we’re really going to focus on shutting her down,” said senior Stephanie Running.
The Bulldogs, 3-10 in Valley play and 8-16 overall, are currently ranked ninth in the MVC. After Saturday’s win against Missouri State, the Bulldogs look to win their first road game in the Missouri Valley Conference.
“It was good to get a win and we’re going on the road for two games this weekend and we’ve already beat Bradley, so we know we can do it,” Running said. “It was nice to get a little momentum and a nice win before we head out of town.”
The Bulldogs will look to freshman Ashley Bartow to continue her hot streak. Bartow led the team against Missouri State with a career-high 19 points. Drake will also look to Clark to help pave the way for the win. Clark, who is averaging 14.3 points per game, scored 19 points as well against Missouri State.
With momentum coming off this past weekend, the Bulldogs look for a win at the Renaissance Coliseum in Peoria, Ill. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m.