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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 falls to Colorado in March Madness

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The Drake Women’s Basketball Team fell to the Colorado Buffaloes in the Round of 64 of the NCAA Tournament. The hard-fought loss marked the second consecutive March Madness first-round exit for the team. Photo by Sarah Fey | Staff Photographer

March Madness began for the Drake women’s basketball team on Friday, March 23, when the No. 12 seed Bulldogs took on fifth-seeded Colorado Buffaloes in Manhattan, Kansas.  

This game came right after the Bulldogs beat the Missouri State Lady Bears for the MVC championship during the Hoops in the Heartland tournament. Drake was able to secure the 76-75 win with a last-minute layup by junior forward Anna Miller at the buzzer. With this win, the Bulldogs clinched the title and punched their ticket into the NCAA Tournament, which helped to boost spirits going into Selection Sunday.  

The game against the Buffaloes started off strong for the Bulldogs in the first quarter as they quickly took a 9-0 lead. All offensive moves were working against Colorado until the Buffaloes began to fire back. Drake’s once nine-point lead turned into a three-point deficit, leading to a 24-21 Buffaloes lead to wrap up the first quarter.

Going into the second quarter, the stakes were high for the Bulldogs as they attempted to get ahead before the halftime buzzer. Unlike the first quarter, the Bulldogs didn’t start with an early lead, and they ultimately struggled to make key shots that would have taken the lead back from the Buffaloes. Once the halftime buzzer rang, the score was 46-41 Colorado.

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In the third quarter, the Bulldogs struggled heavily against Colorado. The Buffaloes put up 25 points in the third quarter alone, while Drake only put up 12. Being outscored by your own point total isn’t a good sign for any team, but the Bulldogs still had ten minutes left in the game to try and mount a comeback from their 71-53 deficit.  

During the final 10 minutes of the game, the Bulldogs worked hard in the paint and defensively to put themselves ahead, and in a way, they did. Drake outscored the Buffaloes 19-15 in the quarter — making it the only quarter where Drake put up more points than Colorado — but in the end, it still wasn’t enough. The final score was 86-72 Buffaloes, meaning the Bulldogs had hit the end of their March Madness journey for the 2023-2024 season.  

“Overall, I am really excited about this team and the byproduct of what they’ve done the entire year,” head coach Allison Pohlman said. “To get to 29 wins for the first time in program history I think is a really impressive statistic, and we would really like to get it to 30. But today, clearly, there were a lot of different adjustments that could have been made. The ball could have gone in the hole a little bit more, and the captain’s thing about rebounding clearly did not go in our favor. I am still very proud of our team, but it just didn’t come out our way.”

Even though the game marked a bittersweet end to one of Drake’s best women’s basketball seasons, the team is proud of what they’ve accomplished. Alongside that, they’re already looking to learn from what went wrong in the final game.  

“They are just really great and they played like a really great team, and I think our whole offense just got a little big stagnant in the third quarter,” junior guard Katie Dinnebier said.  “Our shots weren’t falling and we just didn’t have an answer for that, so I think that’s something we’ll definitely learn from.”

The season is now over for the Bulldogs, but it is only a matter of time until the 2024-2025 season comes around. Season tickets for next year’s games have already gone live for preorder and can be found at the Drake Athletics website at godrakebulldogs.com. 

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