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The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

The Student News Site of Drake University

The Times-Delphic

Drake Women’s Basketball Closes in on Season Finale

The+Drake+Womens+Basketball+team+is+currently+favorited+to+win+the+MVC+tournament.+Photo+by+Sarah+Fey+%7C+Staff+Photographer
The Drake Women’s Basketball team is currently favorited to win the MVC tournament. Photo by Sarah Fey | Staff Photographer

The Drake women’s basketball season is slowly coming to an end, and on Thursday, Feb. 29, the Bulldogs took on the University of Illinois Chicago Flames in an effort to extend their winning streak in the Knapp Center court.  

With the clock ticking down towards Arch Madness, every win plays a crucial role in the Bulldogs’ chances of possibly punching a ticket into the March Madness tournament, and knowing the stakes are higher than ever made this game even more important.  

“Playing these last couple games will be good for us,” graduate guard Megan Meyer said. “We have beat these coming teams in the past, but that doesn’t matter right now. We really have to keep the mentality of, ‘It doesn’t matter who we are playing.’ When we step over the line, we have to focus on playing Drake basketball.” 

In the first quarter of the game, the Bulldogs ran the court. Tension on the court was high, and it was evident in how hard both teams were playing. 

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With four turnovers each, the whole crowd was on edge. The score at the end of the first quarter was 20-15 Bulldogs, but the fight for the win was far from over.  

During the second quarter of the game, the game heated up, with both teams focusing on having the upper hand going into halftime. Drake capitalized on their 3-point shots, shooting three of five, and their shooting in general was solid with a 52% field goal average. This helped the team keep up with the Flames’ aggressive defense and strong rebounding. Even with both sides playing fiercely, Drake walked away from the second quarter with a 41-26 lead going into the locker room. 

After halftime ended, the third quarter began with both the Flames and Bulldogs hungry to get the ball to the hoop. The Bulldogs yet again used their perfect seven for seven free throw strength and field goal average of 57% to their advantage in combat against the Flames two for two 3-point shooting and skillful defense in the paint. Once the clock hit zero, the score going into the fourth quarter was 65-50 Drake, but there were still ten minutes left on the clock.  

In the last quarter of the game, the Bulldogs and the Flames worked until the last second to make any shots they could to either pull ahead or keep their lead. Unlike the third where the Flames and Bulldogs both put up 24 points for the quarter, the Bulldogs ended the game outscoring the Flames in the fourth 19-13 to make the final score 84-63. This marked the Bulldogs 23rd win of the season and positioned them at the top of the conference, with just three games remaining before the MVC tournament starting Mar. 8. 

“I think getting the win at home is, first off, nice to be at home and not on the road and, second off, it is a great start off to senior weekend,” junior guard Katie Dinnebier said. “It will be important to give props to our seniors and will help get us ready for Saturday and then our two final games on the road. Tomorrow marks March, so I am excited to just get into March and then make our way into tournament time.” 

Drake then played the Valparaiso Beacons on Saturday, March 2, at 2 p.m., for the last home game of the season. The Bulldogs beat the Beacons 82-62 on Drake’s senior night to win the 2024 Missouri Valley Conference Championship.  

Drake’s next game will be on Thursday, March 7 at 6:00 p.m. against Evansville at the Meeks Family Fieldhouse, in the Bulldogs second-to-last game of the season.

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