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Freshman Lizzy Wendell is averaging 10 points per game
Courtesy: Earl Hulst

Women's Basketball Set To Participate In Seattle University Thanksgiving Tournament

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: November 27, 2013
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SEATTLE – The Drake University women’s basketball team is set to play in the 2013 Delta Dental Thanksgiving Tournament hosted by Seattle University. The Bulldogs open the tournament against Cornell University on Friday, Nov. 29 at 7 p.m. CST and will take on either Coastal Carolina or Seattle on Saturday, Nov. 30 with game time TBA. Fans can watch the games for free by clicking this link and setting up an account. You can also listen to Ric Silvestrini on the radio on Praise 940 and live stats will be available at www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com.

REWIND

The Drake Bulldogs (2-3) looks to rebound from an 89-47 defeat to No. 16/22 Iowa State this past Sunday (Nov. 24) at the Knapp Center. The Bulldogs hung close with one of the top teams in the country for most of the first half before the Cyclones used a 20-point scoring run over the final five minutes of the half and in the opening minute of the second half to take control of the game. Freshman Lizzy Wendell (Blue Springs, Mo.) led Drake with a career-high 15 points, including a career-best 3-of-5 performance from the three-point line.

TIE BROKEN

Iowa State’s win on Sunday 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.

SCOUTING CORNELL

The Big Red (3-2), out of the Ivy League, has wins over Buffalo, Colgate and Loyola University Maryland with losses to Bucknell and Syracuse. Allyson DiMagno averages a team-leading 13.0 points, while grabbing a team-best 9.0 rebounds per game in a team-high 32.8 minutes per game. Cornell head coach Dayna Smith is the program’s winningest coach with 111 victories.

SCOUTING COASTAL CAROLINA

Coastal Carolina (4-1) has opened the season winning four of their first five, including most recently beating Montreat College on Monday night (Nov. 25). Four Chanticleers average in double figures, led by AJ Jordan, who is averaging 17.8 points per game. Angelica Henry (13.4 ppg), Kayla Cook (12.2 ppg), and Alexx Puckett (11.8) also average double-digits. The Chanticleers are led by first-year head coach Jaida Williams who comes to Coastal Carolina after serving as an assistant coach at Wake Forest.

SCOUTING SEATTLE

The Redhawks (1-4), who were picked to win the Western Athletic Conference, have won just one of their first four games. Seattle knocked off Portland State, but has dropped contests to Washington, Washington State, Portland and Pepperdine. Kacie Sowell paces the Seattle attack with 16.6 points per game, while grabbing a team-high 10.8 rebound per game. Sowell has pulled down three double-doubles so far, which is tied for 17th in the nation. Head coach Joan Bonvcini is in her fifth season as head coach of the Redhawks after 29 seasons leading Long Beach State and Arizona. Bonvcini has 671 career wins and guided Seattle to the WAC regular season title in its first full season at Division I status and as a member of the conference. This the fifth-straight Thanksgiving tournament the Redhawks have hosted.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING

The matchups against Cornell and Seattle or Coastal Carolina will be the first-ever in school history. Drake’s next two contests after the tournament against Idaho State and SIU-Edwardsville will also be the first time facing the Bengals and the Cougars, respectively.

BUSY MONTH OF TRAVEL

Drake has only played two of its first five games at the Knapp Center and with the Seattle Tournament this week will not have another home game until next month. December features just four games for the Bulldogs with all four taking place in the state of Iowa. Up first for Drake are home games against Idaho State (Dec. 5) and SIU-Edwardsville (Dec. 17) before it heads to Iowa City to take on the Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday, Dec. 21. The Bulldogs final non-conference tilt will be a home contest against Milwaukee on Sunday, Dec. 29.

BREAKTHROUGH

Drake’s 89-81 overtime win at South Dakota last week 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.

IRON WOMEN

Junior Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.) has started 70 consecutive games for the Bulldogs, a streak that began with her first career game. Senior Morgan Reid (Kansas City, Mo.) has played in 100 career games with 80 career starts including 49 straight. Clark and junior Liza Heap (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) lead Drake in minutes played at 32.0 and 31.0 per game, respectively.

IN THE TOP 10

Clark is averaging a team-leading 15.2 points per game, which is the seventh best scoring average in The Valley.

1000 POINT CLUB

Clark needs 139 points to become the 23rd player in Drake women’s basketball history to score 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. She needs 50 steals to move into the top-10 all-time in school history.

CLIMBING THE CHARTS

Reid needs to pull down 111 rebounds to move into the top-10 in school history. Reid grabbed 8.2 rebounds per game in 2012-13, good for third in the Missouri Valley Conference. The forward is 319 points away from the 1,000 career points mark.

RISE AND FIRE

Drake smashed its previous season-high for three-pointers made in the Colorado State game. The Bulldogs knocked down 12 to surpass the five they made against Creighton in the season-opener. This season the Bulldogs lead the Missouri Valley Conference with 37 three-pointers made.

SWEET HOMECOMING

Heap poured in a career-high 18 points, including a career-best four three-pointers in Drake’s loss 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. She has started all three games this young season, averaging 7.3 points, 3.7 rebounds and 1 assist per game.

INSTANT IMPACT

Wendell has quickly made an impact for the Bulldogs in her first season. Wendell provided a spark off the bench in the season-opening win over Creighton scoring 13 points while grabbing five rebounds. At one point in the first half she scored seven straight points in less than two minutes. Against Wisconsin she had eight points and three rebounds. For her efforts she was named the Missouri Valley Conference Newcomer of the Week on Monday, Nov. 11. She has started the last three contests at Colorado State, at South Dakota and Iowa State and is second on the squad in scoring at 10.0 points per game and is tied for second in rebounding at 4.6 per game.

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. Fans who brought three canned food items to the game received free admission to the team’s Dec. 5 game.

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 sophomore Ashley 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 as senior Reid scored a game-high 17 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 three 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 three seniors this year in Reid, Mary Pat Specht (Shawnee, Kan.) and Alyssa Marschner (Plymouth, Minn.) as each brings a special talent to the squad. Reid, who leads the team in career starts with 75, will continue to be Drake’s primary rebounder while also providing scoring. Reid had a team-leading 10 double-doubles last year. 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 Cara Lutes (Maplewood, Minn.) 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 Donahue, 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

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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