Evansville Edges Women's Basketball, 71-67
DES MOINES, Iowa –Evansville edged the Drake University women’s basketball team, 71-67, Sunday afternoon in a back-and-forth contest that featured 11 score ties and 11 lead changes in front of 2,219 fans at the Knapp Center.
Junior Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.) led five Bulldogs (7-8, 1-3 MVC) in double figures with 15 points, while freshman Lizzy Wendell (Blue Springs, Mo.) added 14 points, seven rebounds, two steals and two blocks.
Carly Grenfell (York, Neb.) and Caitlin Ingle (Runnells, Iowa), who combined for 20 points off the bench in Friday night’s win over SIU, each had 11 points off the bench today. Sophomore Ashley Bartow (Sun Prairie, Wis.), coming off her career-high of 28 points against the Salukis, tallied 10 points and pulled down a team-high nine boards against the Purple Aces.
Evansville (7-8, 2-2 MVC) knocked down 10-of-28 (35.7 percent) from beyond the arc and had two players finish in double digits paced by Kat Taylor’s game-high 21 points, 18 of which came in the second half. Freshman Sara Dickey, who entered today leading the MVC in scoring at 17.8 per game, had 20 points on 7-of-15 shooting.
After Ingle tied the game at 65-65 with a free throw with 1:04 to play, Drake forced a missed jumper by Katie Ellerson, but Mallory Ladd rebounded the miss and scored to take a 67-65 lead with 39 seconds left. The Bulldogs had trailed by six points, 65-59, with 2:43 on the clock after Taylor’s basket.
On Drake’s possession after Ladd’s bucket, Clark’s layup attempt rolled out and Dakota Weatherford grabbed the miss and called timeout. After the timeout, Clark fouled Ellerson who knocked down two free throws to extend the lead to 69-65. Wendell hit a layup to cut the deficit to 69-67 with 10 seconds on the clock, however, Ellerson made two more free throws as Evansville pulled away for the win.
“We got some really good looks at the basket,” said head coach Jennie Baranczyk. “But we just couldn’t get it to fall or we didn’t get the stop that we needed. A couple times the ball would be heading out of bounds and we couldn’t get a hand on it. Ladd is a good player that hit a huge three then we needed to get a body on her at the end when she made a great play on that putback.”
Drake started the contest slowly as Evansville built a 14-4 lead after a three-pointer by Khristian Hart. However, the Bulldogs went on a 14-5 scoring run to trail 19-18 at the 7:42 mark.
“Evansville did a great job of setting the tone early,” Baranczyk commented. “We came out a little hesitant to start and I don’t know where that came from. We need to fix that.”
Grenfell’s steal and a layup pushed Drake in front, 27-26, with 2:30 to go, its first lead since Wendell’s opening basket of the game. Clark banked in a jumper in the paint at the buzzer to tie the game at 29-29 at halftime. Dickey paced Evansville with 11 first-half points, while Clark had 10 for Drake.
Grenfell again sparked the team this time in the second half as she knocked down a three-pointer then took a charge from Dickey on the other end as Drake led 43-42 at the under-12 timeout. Ingle gave the Bulldogs its final lead at 49-48 after she hit a jumper.
Drake embarks on a two-game road swing next weekend with its first game at Missouri State on Saturday, Jan. 18 at noon, followed by a trip to Wichita State on Monday, Jan. 20 at 3:30 p.m. The game against the Shockers will be broadcast on MVC-TV (Fox Sports Network, Comcast, ESPN3).