Bulldog offense sputters against Evansville
Story by Luke Nankivell
Photo by Joel Venzke
The Drake men’s basketball team dropped its second-straight game as it lost at Evansville Tuesday night 61-48.
In Drake’s final road game of the season, no Bulldog scored in double-figures. Redshirt junior guard Karl Madison and sophomore forward Daddy Ugbede led the way with seven points each.
The 48 points scored were the Bulldogs’ season-low, and foul trouble plagued the team the whole night. By the first official timeout, Drake had five team fouls.
Because of the fouls, Drake’s bench contributed heavily in the game. Of Drake’s 48 points, players coming off the bench scored 27.
Freshman center Jacob Enevold tallied a career-high five blocks in his 26 minutes of action. Enevold also scored six points and pulled in seven rebounds.
Redshirt senior center Seth VanDeest was limited to just 11 minutes of play due to his early foul trouble.
“(VanDeest) had some tough fouls, and we had trouble going offensively because of it,” said Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti in a Drake athletics press release.
The Bulldogs had a balanced effort going into halftime, carrying a four-point lead over the Aces. At that point, junior guard Jordan Daniels led Drake scorers with six.
Although Drake went the final 6:22 of the half without making a field goal, the Bulldogs shot 48 percent from the field in the half. The second half proved to be a challenge for Drake.
The Bulldogs made just six shots in the second half and missed all five shots from behind the arc. After being among the best three-point shooting teams in the country, Drake has made a combined seven threes in the past two games.
The lack of offensive rhythm has hindered the Bulldogs as of late.
“Everybody is limited as a basketball player and as soon as you go outside of those limits, you get in trouble,” Giacoletti said. “We’ve proven if you stay within those limits, we can be pretty successful.”
Taking advantage of Drake’s offensive stall, Evansville opened the second half on a 26-7 run and only allowed two Drake baskets in the first 10 minutes of the second half.
“I feel like we’re having to coach effort on every single play,” Giacoletti said. “That’s tough to do when you’re trying to get pieces in the right spot at the same time.”
The loss tied Drake and Evansville in Missouri Valley Conference play, each having a 5-12 record. The Bulldogs still hold the eighth-place spot in the conference.
Drake closes the regular season at home Saturday when it hosts Bradley.
The program will honor the team’s three seniors, VanDeest, senior guard Richard Carter and senior forward Aaron Hawley, before the game.
“We’ve got three seniors we’re going to try to send out of here the right way on Saturday,” Giacoletti said. “That’s where our focus is heading into Saturday.”