Story by Austin Cannon
Photo by Joel Venzke
The Bulldogs held a 42-41 lead, but the Shockers scored 10 straight points to grab a 51-42 advantage with a little over 10 minutes remaining.
Drake came within six twice after that but was unable to get any closer.
The loss snapped a four-game winning streak and dropped Drake’s record to 11-12 and 5-7 in the Valley. Wichita State improved to 21-2 and remains undefeated in MVC play.
‘Tonight’s a tough one, a little bit, for us because I think we had some really great moments,” said Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk. “We had some moments where we just got a lot better and then we had some moments that we just second-guessed ourselves a little too much or just hesitated a little bit too much.”
Drake carried a 26-25 lead into halftime.
Wichita State was able to shoot 59 percent in the second half, compared to Drake’s 43.
“I’m not disappointed because we didn’t turn the ball over, and we didn’t panic. It was just we missed a couple of shots,” Baranczyk said. “They are a great basketball team. Give them credit, but at the same time we aren’t going to hang our heads. This team is going to remain hungry.”
Drake was able to extend its advantage to 40-36 after a Kyndal Clark three banked in off the glass to give Drake its biggest lead with 15:04 left in the game.
This game provided sharp contrast to the one the two teams played in Wichita on Jan. 20, where the Bulldogs fell 88-55.
“We came out and we attacked. We came out and we did the little things. We came out and we played our ball, and it got away from us at one point and we just couldn’t fight back,” Clark said.
Clark added 18 points and Caitlin Ingle had 10.
The Shockers’ Alex Harden, the MVC’s Preseason Player of the Year, turned in a stellar game with 22 points, seven boards and eight assists.
“Drake was throwing their best punches, so we just had to work together and move the ball around and that’s what my teammates did for me,” Harden said. “I made some shots.”
Wichita State also benefitted from Alie Decker’s 13 second half points, 12 of which came from beyond the arc.
Even after the loss, Clark thought the Shockers took notice of the Bulldogs.
“Yeah, we didn’t get it, but they’re scared. They’re going to be scared next time. They’re going to have to think about playing us next time,” Clark said.
The Bulldogs played Missouri State yesterday afternoon at the Knapp Center. Check Thursday’s issue for a full recap.