Story by Ashley Beall
Photos by Jeremy Leong
Following a tough loss to Wichita State, the Drake women’s basketball team came back with a vengeance against Missouri State Sunday and won 79-69.
This game was the Bulldogs’ annual “Hoops 4 Hope” game, and junior Kyndal Clark led the way for the Bulldogs scoring a career-high 38 points. Clark also had five assists and three steals.
“I’m really proud of the way our team bounced back today,” said Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk.
“We did some really good things. We rebounded much better than the first time we played Missouri State. We’re really having a good time and right now is the best time to be able to do that, and we have the young team that we have to be able to have fun and continue to get better at this time of year is extremely important and that’s what I’m most proud of.”
The Bulldogs came out strong against the Bears and went on a 15-4 run that caused Drake to pull away 27-18 and led to a Bear timeout.
Following the timeout, Clark helped further the Bulldog lead by scoring a layup, boosting the Bulldogs’ advantage to 29-23.
The freshmen also stepped up for the Bulldogs with Caitlin Ingle scoring 12 points and Lizzy Wendell scoring 11.
“Our freshmen have been able to step in and do some really big things for us,” Baranczyk said. “Especially Caitlin at the beginning of the game. She got us going and that really helped us. They both are playing a lot of minutes for freshmen, so the experience is only getting them better and better. Honestly, the people that we had on the floor today were absolutely who we needed to have on the floor today.”
Redshirt junior Carly Grenfell stepped up for the Bulldogs and knocked down two clutch 3-pointers and gave the team a spark. Junior Liza Heap also played solidly for the Bulldogs and stepped up her defense with eight rebounds.
Following the game, Clark was named MVC Player of the Week and is leading the Bulldog, scoring over 18 points per game.
“I feel like our team is just finally getting it. We’re getting what it means to play together. We look so much different in our zone than the first time we did it against Wichita State,” Clark said.
“Everything is just coming together and they’re coming together at the perfect time. I think our team is doing great things. We’re not done. We’re still making our run.”
The Bulldogs travel to Bradley tomorrow. Drake returns to the Knapp Center March 2 to play UNI.