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Drake women’s basketball pulls through in big win over UNI

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High spirits are in the air at Drake as spring athletic teams work towards solid records, and for the women’s basketball team, every win counts towards the possibility of a March Madness appearance.  

With a record of 16-5 overall this season, the Bulldogs have been able to repeatedly play with consistent ball handling, communication and movement around the court. 

“I think something we have done well this year is staying steady. We have played many great teams so far that have challenged us at times,” forward Grace Berg said. “Staying steady when the game is on the line, or the other team is making a run is key and something that we have been able to achieve.” 

This statement rang true during the team’s game on Saturday, Feb. 3 against the University of Northern Iowa Panthers, where the Bulldogs showed up ready to rumble. Both teams went into the first quarter with high hopes of a win, and luckily for the Bulldogs, there was no shortage of energy on the court. The team was able to pull a 22-12 lead over the Panthers at the end of the first quarter, and this score would only continue to grow. 

Going into the second quarter, stakes were high, and the Panther’s McLeod Center was loud as both teams worked towards a halftime lead. Even though the Bulldogs kept their same energy, the Panthers managed to shrink Drake’s lead. The final score at the half was 42-34 Drake, and this lead gave the Bulldogs some reassurance heading into the locker room.  

Although the team had been doing well in conference play, this game meant a lot to the team’s first place conference seeding, and the Bulldogs were determined to come away with a win. 

“Taking a victory home this weekend would be big for our program because of the in-state rivalry. It is always a big game for us to play UNI, especially when it is at their home,” guard Ava Hawthorne said. “After a tough loss against Illinois State last weekend, this win would boost our spot at the top of the conference and give our team the spirit to continue to dominate against our solid conference opponents.”  

As the third quarter began, the energy on both sides of the court was still thriving. The Bulldogs and Panthers were able to put up 43 combined points in this quarter, yet Drake still led 65-54 going into the fourth and final quarter. In the last quarter of the game, UNI and Drake struggled to put points on the board after a long game of back-and-forth competition. When the clock hit zero, Drake claimed a slim 79-71 win over the UNI Panthers, gaining a confidence boost and a sign of their constant improvement on and off the court as a team. 

The Bulldogs will play next against Bradley University on Thursday, Feb. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Knapp Center. 

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1 Comment

  1. Thomas Schaefer February 12, 2024

    My dream?
    The Lady Bulldogs make it to the NCAA Tournament and play against the Michigan State Spartan Ladies.
    Go Bulldogs !! Go Spartans !!
    Tom

    Reply

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