Story by Ashley Beall
Drake women’s basketball faced the Dubuque Spartans in its exhibition game Friday at the Knapp Center and came away with a strong win, 98-59.
“I think it was great to be able to play against somebody else, and I think Dubuque is a great team. They did a lot of things that caused us some trouble, so we got to see some things,” said head coach Jennie Baranczyk. “I was so pleased with our team chemistry. I mean 26 assists with 35 field goals, I think is so incredible, and I think we came out with great energy, and it was just a fun way to start.”
All of the members of the Drake team got a chance to play double-figure minutes. Morgan Reid led Drake and scored 17 points. Senior Mary Pat Specht came off the bench and scored 10 points in 12 minutes, and junior Kyndal Clark scored 16 points.
The freshmen Lizzy Wendell and Caitlin Ingle made their debut at the Knapp Center and came out on fire. Wendell scored nine points and blocked two shots, while Ingle scored seven points and had four assists.
“They were incredible. You would never know they were freshmen,” said redshirt junior Carly Grenfell. “I think they’re only going to get better once they get more and more familiar with their offense, and they’re just going to continue to improve. They’re going to be huge assets for us.”
Grenfell scored 12 points, while sophomore Emma Donahue came off the bench with 12 points.
Sophomore Ashley Bartow played 15 minutes and scored seven points and had three rebounds. While the Bulldogs had a strong showing, the game showed a few weaknesses they hope to improve upon.
“I definitely think we need to improve on communication. We had times where we didn’t know what we were doing, and that’s just learning and playing with the team and getting acclimated with the game,” Donahue said. “So, we just got to work on talking better and meaningful communication.”
Bulldogs hope to improve on is rebounding. “We gave up more offensive boards than we would have liked. Rebounding is one of our key components of our entire program, so definitely improving on that because it’s only going to get tougher from here on out,” Grenfell said.
The Bulldogs hope to implement the changes for their next game against Creighton on Nov. 8 at 7:05 p.m. at the Knapp Center.