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Bulldogs fall in third straight contest, 60-56

Story by Luke Nankivell

Photos by Joel Venzke

mbball1_joel-w2000-h2000The Drake Bulldogs traveled to the home of NBA legend Larry Bird to take on the Indiana State Sycamores Sunday but were unable to beat the Missouri Valley Conference’s second-place team.

In the 60-56 loss, junior forward Trevor Berkeley led Drake scorers with 12 points, adding four rebounds and a pair of steals in the effort.

“He hit some shots that were huge for us,” said Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti. “He’s got to be able to shoot it, or they’re not going to guard him.”

Three Bulldogs finished in double-digit points. Senior forward Aaron Hawley scored 11 and senior guard Richard Carter added 10.

“Our effort was pretty good,” Giacoletti said.

“Our talking and direction and transition defense were right there.”

Drake and ISU entered the game as the top two teams in the MVC in three-point percentage, both shooting over 40 percent.

The Bulldogs proved they were the top dog in three-point shooting, hitting 47 percent from behind the arc.

The Sycamores struggled, though, making only two of 18 shots.

Berkeley made 3-of-5 from behind the arch, and Hawley added another three buckets to Drake’s total.

Despite the loss, the Bulldogs shot the ball better than ISU, making 43 percent of their shots compared to the Sycamores’ 41 percent.

Although Drake only led for a brief time in the first half, the Bulldogs went on a 7-0 run to cut the Sycamores’ lead to two going into halftime.

mbball2_joel-w2000-h2000“Now, we need to be a little smarter in execution to get to the next stage,” Giacoletti said.

“You can’t talk about winning unless the effort’s there first.”

After an even first half of rebounding, ISU was able to control the boards in the second half. The Bulldogs only pulled down two offensive rebounds total.

With the loss, Drake fell to .500 on the season.

The promising 9-3 start of the season has slowed as the Bulldogs have gone through MVC play, with a conference record of just 3-9.

“We have such a fine line for being successful,” Giacoletti said.

“We’ve had to change things we do offensively because Gary Ricks gave us a second ball-handler that could shoot the basketball.”

The Bulldogs travel to the MVC third-place Missouri State Wednesday night before returning to the Knapp Center Saturday to host Loyola.

Drake defeated MSU at home just two weeks ago, 84-74, while Loyola won the first contest against Drake as MVC competitors on Jan. 15, 70-60.


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