Men's Basketball Team Wins 11th Straight; Off To Best Start In School History
EVANSVILLE, IND. -- Junior forward Jonathan Cox scored 19 points, including 12 in the second half, to key a sizzling shooting effort as the Drake men's
basketball team held off Evansville, 71-68, to earn its 11th straight victory.
Drake improved its record to 12-1 overall which is the best start ever in school history. It also marked the first time since the 1982-83 season that the Bulldogs have opened the Missouri Valley Conference campaign with a 3-0 record.
The winning streak is the longest at the school since the 1969-70 team, under coach Maury John, also won 11 straight games.
The Bulldogs shot 68.2 percent from the floor in the second half, making 15 of 22 shots, to erase a 32-30 halftime deficit.
Cox made seven of eight shots from the floor, while grabbing a game-high nine rebounds and blocking a career-high five shots.
Seniior guard Adam Emmenecker enjoyed his first career double-double with a career-high 10 points and a career-high 10 assists.
With the score tied at 52-52 with 9:00 left, Cox and Emmenecker combined to score Drake's next 13 points to give the Bulldogs a 65-57 advantage.
Emmenecker scored eight points during the surge, while Cox had a three-point basket and two free throws.
Senior guard Leonard Houston then hit a three-point basket from the right wing to give Drake its biggest lead of the game at 68-57 with 2:26 left.
Evansville responded with eight straight points to pull within 68-65.
Cox put a dagger on the comeback, nailing a three-point basket from the right baseline off a pass from Emmenecker with 23 seconds left to push the lead back to 71-65.
Cox then blocked a shot by Evansville's Jay Couisnard with 11 seconds left.
Evansville became the 11th straight Drake opponent to shoot 40 percent or less from the field.
The Purple Aces, who fell to 5-8 overall, including an 0-3 league mark, hit just 38.2 percent from the floor in the second half while finishing the game at 40 percent.
After failing to score any points against Southern Illinois last Wednesday, Drake's bench was productive with 21 points.
Junior forward Brent Heemskerk led the way with eight points, five rebounds, two assists and one steal.
Junior guard Jacob Baryenbruch added two three-point baskets, while junior forward John Michael Hall collected five points and three rebounds.
Drake sophomore guard Josh Young scored a season-low six points but did manage to tie a career high with five rebounds.
A three-point basket by Hall allowed Drake to enjoy its biggest lead of the first half at 26-17 with 5:24 left.
But Evansville responded with a 15-4 run to close out the half enjoying a 32-30 lead. Freshman reserve Clint Hopf, who was only averaging 3.3 points, scored seven points to fuel the surge.