By HANNAH COHEN
Your now No. 22 Drake women’s basketball took a 70-61 win over 2nd place MVC Missouri State to capture the third consecutive first seed placement and first place in the MVC for Hoops in the Heartland March 14-17.
Drake took an early lead in the first five minutes when guard Maddy Dean, put a jumper up to the glass. Foward Sara Rhine, and guard Becca Hittner put up eight more points to hold Missouri State to two until six minutes were left in the first. The Bulldogs kept up a lead throughout the first and went into the second quarter doubling the Lady Bear’s score 22-11.
“The first quarter went in our favor and that was awesome,” Grace Berg said. “Maddy came off the bench running and got us off to a hot start.”
Hittner got Drake back on the board in the second quarter with a good three-pointer. Both teams had three percentages in the whole game, but the first half especially proved a challenge for Drake as the only good threes were the two by Rhine and Hittner to make the Dogs 2-15 in threes in the first half. Hittner and Rhine led the Bulldogs for the entirety of the game, Hittner with 13 in the first half and Rhine with 16.
In the second half, Sammie Bachrodt, guard, was back on her game and made a three and then put up two right after to start the third quarter off strong. From here on, three percentages for Drake went up to 33 for the half and Missouri State went 0-9.
After Missouri State put up some more points, Bachrodt continued to be the lone-scoring Bulldog putting up eight points including two threes until Rhine and Dean put up jumpers. Bachrodt was the backbone of this quarter by putting up a total of 10.
“Even though I still can’t play until next season I was able to travel with the team this trip and continue to bond with everyone, including the seniors,” Berg said. “Sammie pours her heart into every minute she plays and it definitely shows on and off the court.”
Although the threes started to look better for Drake, shots inside the paint went from 50 percent success rates down to 36. Missouri State’s went up to 36 from 29 by stepping up their offense to get only eight behind Drake with a minute left in the third after coming back from their largest 21-point deficit of the game.
Going into the fourth, Drake had a 12-point lead until the Lady Bears continued to put up jumpers to close the gap to just six points before Maddie Monahan, guard, got a three with six left in the game.
Missouri State kept the gap close by getting two more twos before Bachrodt added two more for the Dogs in free throws. The rest of Drake’s points came from fouls on guard Brenni Rose, Monahan, Hittner and Rhine. They held the Lady Bears for the last 30 seconds with no fouls to cop a 70-61 win over Missouri State and come back from the loss against them in the Knapp which revoked the Dog’s 47-game conference win streak.
Next for the Bulldogs are two final home matches against Illinois State on Thursday at 6 p.m. in the Knapp and Bradley Saturday at 2 p.m. for senior night to honor Drake’s four seniors: Sammie Bachrodt, Maddy Dean, Becca Jonas and Nicole Miller. The following weekend of spring break is the MVC tournament, Hoops for the Heartland, in Moline, Illinois where the Bulldogs will compete for another MVC title and chance to compete in postseason.
“Come out and support our seniors,” Berg said. “They have been putting in constant work all of their careers and deserve the best for their final home game as Drake Bulldogs.”