Turk Carries Drake To 69-62 Overtime Victory At Evansville
EVANSVILLE, Ind. - Senior Kristin Turk's (Des Moines, Iowa) career-high 41 points carried the Drake University women's basketball team to a 69-62 overtime victory over Evansville Sunday afternoon (Jan. 9) at Roberts Stadium. The Bulldogs improved to 8-6 overall, including 8-0 when Turk tops 20 points, and 2-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Turk's total, which included nine of Drake's 13 points in the overtime period, doubles as the highest scoring output by any Missouri Valley Conference performer this season. Her 41 points are the most by a Drake performer in a single game since Wanda Ford (1982-86) scored 42 against Bradley March 5, 1986. Finally, 41 points tie Turk for the second highest single-game scoring output in the nation this season, two behind Emily Carter's 43 points for Texas Christian.
"It was an unbelievable performance by Kristin [Turk]," said head coach Amy Stephens. "I don't know what to say other than she hit shots."
Turk finished the game shooting 15-of-20 from the floor and 7-of-9 from the free throw line and accounted for nearly 60 percent of Drake's offensive output. Junior Rachael Hackbarth (Colgate, Wis.) grabbed 12 rebounds and a career-high six steals and, along with Junior Amber Wollschlager (Milbank, S.D.), was Drake's second-highest scorer with seven points.
After a pair of free throws by Turk put Drake up three with a minute to play in regulation, Evansville's Briyana Blair hit a three-pointer with 55 seconds remaining to knot the game at 52. Two free throws by Hackbarth and a layup by Evansville's Meagan Collins moved the score to 54-54 with 35 seconds left.
Turk drove from the right wing for a layup and a two-point Bulldog lead, 56-54 with 18 seconds left; prompting Evansville to call timeout. Following the stoppage, Blair drove through the lane for a game-tying layup with nine seconds remaining. The Bulldogs turned the ball over on the ensuing inbound, setting up Evansville with the final shot of the second half. A miss prompted overtime.
The teams traded buckets to open the extra period, leading to a two-point, 60-58, Evansville lead with just under three minutes to play. The Bulldogs finished the game with an 11-2 run behind seven points from Turk, two from freshman Angela Christianson (Alexandria, Minn.) and a pair of free throws by Wollschlager.
"I'm proud of the effort," Stephens added. "We competed and played hard all weekend."
Drake fell into foul trouble early in the second half, allowing Evansville to reach the bonus less than seven minutes into the frame. The combination of Drake's foul trouble and Evansville's occasional full-court press erased the Bulldogs' 27-19 halftime lead and helped the Aces tie the game with eight minutes remaining.
Turk scored 21 points from that moment until the end of the game, making eight different baskets that either tied the game or gave Drake a lead.
"It was a terrific individual performance," Stephens added. "She came up big when we needed her."
Turk scored Drake's first 12 points of the game and helped the Bulldogs hang with Evansville for the first 10 minutes of the opening half. Wollschlager and Christianson pitched in five and four points, respectively, down the stretch to help Drake close the first half with the aforementioned eight-point halftime lead.
The Bulldog defense, noticeably strong for the second-straight contest, held Evansville scoreless for the final seven minutes of the first half before a Collins three-pointer broke the streak with nine seconds remaining. The defense allowed the Aces just 19 points in the first half, tying for the fewest points allowed by Drake in any half this season.
As a team, the Bulldogs totaled 33 turnovers, the most in a single game since Feb. 15, 1997, also a victory over Evansville.
"When you have 33 turnovers, to get out of here with a victory is pretty good," Stephens said.
Drake hosts Bradley Thursday (Jan. 13) at 7:05 p.m. at the Knapp Center.