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Women's Basketball Set To Welcome SIUE

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: December 16, 2013
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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake Bulldogs (4-4) are set to host the SIUE (2-8) Cougars on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Tip-off is set for 12:05 p.m. and you can also listen to Ric Silvestrini and Laura Leonard on the radio at 1350 KRNT. Live stats will be available at www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com.

BACK TO WORK

Drake returns to action after its longest break from game action in 2013-14 due to finals as the last game for the Bulldogs was on Dec. 5 against Idaho State. The break between games was 12 days.

REWIND

The Bulldogs never trailed against Idaho State defeating the Bengals, 78-59. Drake was led by freshman Lizzy Wendell’s (Blue Springs, Mo.) first career double-double, recording 20 points and 11 rebounds, both career-highs. After a quiet start to the season, redshirt junior Carly Grenfell (York, Neb.) exploded for season-highs with 14 points and four three-pointers. Sophomore Ashley Bartow (Sun Prairie, Wis.), junior Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.) and senior Alyssa Marschner (Plymouth, Minn.) rounded out the Bulldogs’ scoring as each finished in double-figures with 12, 11 and 10 points, respectively.

SCOUTING SIUE

SIUE is coming off a 96-71 loss at IPFW this past Saturday, Dec. 14. The Cougars are paced by Tierny Austin, who is averaging a team-leading 12.4 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. SIU Edwardsville’s two wins came against UMKC and Air Force with losses to Missouri, Kansas, UIC, IPFW (twice), Delaware, Central Florida and Wyoming. The Cougars are coached by former Bradley University head coach Paula Buscher, who is in her second season at SIUE. Bushcer guided the Cougars to a 16-15 record in her first season at the helm. Former Drake standout Jordann Plummer is in her first season as an assistant coach at SIUE.

INSTANT IMPACT

Wendell continues to shine for the Bulldogs in her debut season scoring in double figures in five-straight contests. She has been selected the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week twice this season after taking home the honor on Monday, Dec. 2. The Blue Springs, Mo., native is averaging 11.6 points and 5.6 rebounds per game, which both rank second on the squad. She was previously named MVC Newcomer of the Week on Monday, Nov. 11. Wendell is the first Bulldog to win multiple newcomer honors in a season since Clark accomplished the feat during the 2011-12 campaign.

1000-POINT CLUB

Clark needs 97 points to become the 23rd player in Drake women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career points. Clark scored 332 points, while averaging 9.8 points per game and was named to the all-MVC freshman team in her debut season. Last year she dropped in 453 points, while averaging a team-leading 14.6 points per game, which ranked third in The Valley.

KYNDALING PART THREE

Clark continues to be a steady hand for the Bulldogs in her third season. The Webb City, Mo., native is scoring a team-leading 14.8 points per game, which ranks sixth in the MVC. She has scored in double figures in six consecutive games and seven of the Bulldogs’ eight contests. Clark needs 48 steals to move into the top-10 all-time in school history. She has started all 73 games of her Drake career.

HEATING UP!

The Bulldogs propelled by their two best shooting performances of the season, in the wins over Coastal Carolina and Idaho State at 50.7 and 47.3 percent, respectively, have climbed to number two in the Missouri Valley Conference in field goal percentage. Drake has knocked down 40.5 percent (190-of-469) of its shots through the first eight contests. The Bulldogs trail Wichita State as the Shockers sit at 42.3 percent (241-of-506) through their first nine games.

RISE AND FIRE

Wendell has made an MVC-leading 53.8 percent (14-of-26) of her three-pointers so far this season. Junior Liza Heap (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) is tied for second in the conference at 50.0 percent (9-of-18), while Clark is eighth at 38.5 percent (20-of-52) and Grenfell is 12th at 34.5 percent (10-of-30). Drake is the only school in The Valley to have four players ranked in the top-15 in three-point shooting. As a team the Bulldogs sit atop the MVC in three-point percentage at 36.4 (67-of-184). Drake is tied with Evansville for the most three’s made, but the Purple Aces have 250 attempts.

WELCOME BACK

After a busy opening month of the season, where Drake played seven games with just two home contests, this month’s slate features just four games that will all take place in the state of Iowa. After its win over Idaho State and its matchup against SIUE, Drake heads to Iowa City for its only road game to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday, Dec. 21. Drake’s final non-conference tilt will be a home contest against Milwaukee on Sunday, Dec. 29.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING

The matchup against SIUE will be Drake’s fourth straight opponent it will face for the first-ever time in school history.

TIE BROKEN

Iowa State’s win over Drake on Sunday, Nov. 24 gives the Cyclones a 27-26 advantage in the all-time series between the schools. Next season Drake will look to end a slide that has seen it win just once in the last ten contests against Iowa State.

BREAKTHROUGH

Drake’s 89-81 overtime win at South Dakota was its first overtime victory since beating Evansville, 69-62, on Jan. 9, 2011. The Bulldogs had dropped its previous three overtime games before knocking off the Coyotes.

SWEET HOMECOMING

Heap poured in a career-high 18 points, including a career-best four three-pointers at Colorado State. It was the first time the Colorado native played in her home state as a Bulldog. Heap added two rebounds, one assist and one steal in a career-high 37 minutes.

PAY IT FORWARD

The Drake University women’s basketball program hosted its first-ever “Pay It Forward” presented by the West Des Moines Sheraton game against Iowa State on Sunday, Nov. 24.

Earlier this year, the women’s basketball program set a goal to perform 1,000 hours of community service in honor of the late Kum & Go co-founder William Krause and his work in the Des Moines community. Part of this goal led to the program hosting a Pay It Forward game to challenge the Des Moines community to get involved with service work. The game showcased what Mr. Krause meant to the women’s basketball program and to the Des Moines community.

The collected items were donated to The Community Action Agency of the City of Des Moines as a part of National Hunger and Homeless Awareness week. In addition there was a special half-time presentation at the game that highlighted junior Cara Lutes (Maplewood, Minn.) and a group of Drake students’ humanitarian trip to Uganda this past May.

COMING HOME

The game at Wisconsin was a homecoming for Bartow, who is from Verona, Wis. which is outside of Madison. Bartow scored eight points and snagged six rebounds in 22 minutes.

RIVALRY QUICKLY RENEWED

The Drake Bulldogs hold a 38-24 advantage in the all-time series against the Creighton Bluejays after its 62-55 victory in its season-opener at the Knapp Center. The Bluejays departed the Missouri Valley Conference for the newly configured Big East after last season. The teams have met at least twice annually since 1981, a run that will come to an end in 2013-14, unless the squads meet in the postseason. Clark scored a team-high 19 points as the Bulldogs overcame a 30-26 halftime deficit to snap a three-game losing streak to the Bluejays

PRESSURE DEFENSE

Creighton shot just 24.1 percent (7-of-29) in the second half as Drake forced 22 turnovers and scored 23 points off of the turnovers. Preseason all-Big East selectee Sarah Nelson scored eight points for the Bluejays, but was held scoreless in the second period.

DRAKE IN SEASON-OPENERS

The Creighton win improves the Bulldogs season-opening record to 24-16 overall record, dating back to the program’s first game on Nov. 20, 1974 - a 78-65 home victory over Iowa.

MILESTONE SEASON

The 2013-14 campaign is the 40th anniversary of Drake women’s basketball. The Drake women’s basketball program started in 1974-75 and finished 10-10 that first season under the direction of Carole Baumgarten.

BULLDOGS TABBED FOURTH

The Bulldogs were picked to finish fourth in the MVC’s annual preseason poll, the conference office announced prior to the league’s basketball tipoff event on the campus of MVC-newcomer Loyola.

The Indiana State Sycamores, who received 26 out of 40 first-place votes and 378 total points, have been tabbed as the preseason favorite in the MVC's women's basketball race in the annual survey of the league's coaches, sports information directors and media members. Wichita State, which captured its first-ever regular season and MVC tournament championships in 2012-13, is second with 13 first-place votes and 360 points. Drake’s in-state rival the Northern Iowa Panthers garnered 259 points for third place in front of the Bulldogs, who tallied 221 points.

Missouri State, Loyola, Bradley, Illinois State, Evansville and Southern Illinois round out the poll.

EARLY SEASON RECOGNITION

Clark, who capped off a great sophomore campaign by being named to the all-MVC second and all-defensive teams, was nominated to the 2013-14 preseason all-conference squad the league also announced.

Alex Harden of Wichita State, Simone Law of Loyola, Cartaesha Macklin of Southern Illinois and Anna Munn of Indiana State round out the all-conference team. Harden is tabbed the MVC Preseason Player of the Year.

BULLDOGS CRUISE IN EXHIBITION

The Bulldogs overpowered the Dubuque Spartans, 98-59, in their lone exhibition contest in front of 1,829 fans at the Knapp Center last Friday night. Every Bulldog played double-figure minutes and scored at least two points.

EXPERIENCE MATTERS

One year after having one of the youngest teams in the conference with just one senior on the roster, Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk has nine players back with significant playing experience. Two freshmen, Ingle and Wendell, join two seniors, four juniors and two sophomores on the 2013-14 Drake roster.

EXPERIENCE MATTERS PART TWO

Similar to her team’s experience Baranczyk, in just her second season, is now one of the Missouri Valley Conference’s most tenured coaches. With Creighton’s departure for its new conference, Loyola joining and with several staff changes at other conference schools, Baranczyk and Bradley’s Michael Brooks are the fifth-most tenured coaches in the MVC. UNI head coach Tonya Warren is the longest tenured coach as she enters her eighth season. Illinois State, Loyola, Missouri State and Southern Illinois all have coaches in their first season in charge. Sheryl Swoopes, perhaps the greatest women’s basketball player of all-time, begins her first season of coaching as the head coach of Loyola.

2013-14 ROSTER

Baranczyk will look to two seniors this year in Mary Pat Specht (Shawnee, Kan.) and Alyssa Marschner (Plymouth, Minn.) as each brings a special talent to the squad. Specht, a junior college transfer, finished fifth in the conference in three-point shooting at 37.8 percent in her first season. Marschner, dished out a team-high four assists per game, which was good for third in the MVC.

Drake’s junior class is led by Clark, but its three other members: Grenfell, Heap and Lutes will also be significant contributors in 2013-14. Last season Grenfell tied with Specht at 48 three-pointers made, while Heap started the last nine contests averaging 5.6 points, 4.4 rebounds and two assists. Lutes saw time in 30 of the 31 games last year and poured in a career-high 19 points at then No. 24 Iowa State.

Two sophomores, Bartow and Emma Donahue (Naperville, Ill.), saw significant minutes in their first seasons and will see increased roles in 2013-14. Bartow started the final 17 games last year and averaged 7.5 points and four rebounds per game. Donahue saw more minutes late in the campaign scoring a career-high eight points in the win over Missouri State in the opening round of the MVC Championship.

A pair of talented and highly successful former preps round out the squad as Ingle and Wendell enter their first season as Bulldogs. Ingle led Southeast Polk to the Iowa Class 5A state championship her senior season, while Wendell’s teams qualified for the Missouri state tournament all four years finishing second three times and third once.

BULLDOG BREAKDOWN (Canceled for SIUE Game)

Drake Women’s Basketball will again hold its special game day event, Bulldog Breakdown, prior to each home contest this season. One of the assistant coaches will meet with Bulldog fans in the Paul F. Morrison Room before tip-off to break down the opponent, share the game plan and give an inside look at the team’s preparation and keys to the game. Doors to the Morrison Room will open one hour before the start time and a member of the basketball staff will share his or her comments approximately 40 minutes before tip-off. Concessions will be available for purchase (cash only) just outside the Morrison Room. Fans may continue to enjoy the pre-game excitement after the Bulldog Breakdown, but are asked to make their way to their seats with 10 minutes left on the pre-game warm-up clock to get ready to cheer on the Bulldogs!

DRAKE HEAD COACH JENNIE BARANCZYK

Former University of Iowa standout and Des Moines native, Jennie (Lillis) Baranczyk (pronounced bah-rahn-check) enters her second season at the helm of the program. She was named the sixth head women's basketball coach at Drake University on April 17, 2012.

In her first season leading the Bulldogs, Baranczyk became the fifth Drake women's basketball coach to win 10 or more games in their first season. Clark netted a pair of honors being named to the all-MVC second team and the all-Defensive team. The Bulldogs averaged 2,265 fans per game in Baranczyk’s first season, which ranked third in the Missouri Valley Conference.

Baranczyk came to Drake after a two-year stint as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Colorado, where she was on the staff of head coach Linda Lappe, a former Drake assistant coach. Prior to Colorado, Baranczyk was an assistant coach for four seasons at Marquette after two seasons as an assistant coach at Kansas State.

Baranczyk helped recruit and develop numerous all-conference student-athletes at all three schools and was instrumental in Colorado securing the No. 27th-ranked 2012 recruiting class by ESPN HoopGurlz. At Colorado, she coached All-Big 12 first-team forward Brittney Spears and All-Pac-12 guard Chucky Jeffrey as well as Pac-12 all-freshman team members Lexy Kresl and Jen Reese. On the floor she has had a coaching emphasis in the development of the post player's at all three schools.

Baranczyk has reached postseason tournament play every season as a player and coach. She has coached in two NCAA tournaments and has won two WNIT championships as an assistant coach (Kansas State in 2006 and Marquette in 2008). At Iowa, she played in three NCAA tournaments and one WNIT and helped Iowa win the 2001 Big Ten Tournament.

A three-time captain at Iowa, Baranczyk, was a four-year letterwinner at forward from 2000-04 under coach Lisa Bluder. One of the best all-around players in Hawkeye basketball history, she was a three-time All-Big Ten Conference selection, earning first-team honors as a junior in 2003 and second-team honors as a sophomore in 2002 and as a senior in 2004.

She graduated as the only player in Iowa history in the top 10 of five major statistical categories: points, rebounds, assists, steals and blocks, and is one of only two Hawkeye players to score more than 1,700 points and grab 800 rebounds.

Baranczyk graduated from Iowa in 2004 with her bachelor's degree in Communication Studies and from Kansas State in 2007 with her master's degree in Counseling and Student Development. At Iowa, she was the recipient of the 2004 Big Ten Conference's Medal of Honor.  First awarded in 1914, the Big Ten's oldest award is given annually to a student in the graduating class of each university that demonstrated proficiency in scholarship and athletics. Baranczyk was also a three-time Academic All-Big Ten pick, a WBCA Scholarship Award recipient, CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree, and a Collegiate Basketball Award for Excellence semifinalist as a senior in 2004.

In her prep career, she helped Dowling Catholic in Des Moines win state championships in 1998 and 2000 and she is a member of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union Hall of Fame.

On the date of her hire, Baranczyk was the second youngest Division I head women's basketball coach.

Jennie's father, Terry, played college baseball and basketball at Simpson College and her brother, Brian, played college basketball at the University of Albany in New York.

Jennie and her husband, Scott Baranczyk, were married in May 2009 and have a son, Eli, who was born on May 8, 2012.

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