Menís Basketball Defeats Indiana State In Overtime, 74-71
DES MOINES, Iowa – Led by senior Ben Simons’ (Cadillac, Mich.) fourth 20-point game of the season, the Drake University men’s basketball team outlasted Indiana State in overtime, 74-71, Saturday night at the Knapp Center.
Four Bulldogs (11-11, 5-6) finished the game in double figures, led by Simons’ 21 points. Senior Jordan Clarke (Rockville, Md.) had 13 points, followed by 12 from freshman Joey King (Eagan, Minn.) and 11 points from junior Richard Carter (Detroit, Mich.), who joined the starting lineup for the first time since Jan. 5 against Missouri State.
Drake outshot Indiana State (14-8, 7-4), finishing the game shooting 49.1-percent (28-of-57) from the field and 50 percent from beyond the arc. The Sycamores shot 47.4-percent from the field, but were held to just 23.5-percent from three-point range. The Bulldogs also held a narrow, 31-30, edge on the boards.
“We got a terrific win tonight against arguably the hottest team in the Missouri Valley,” Drake head coach Mark Phelps said. “Indiana State was playing outstanding basketball. I thought our guys stepped up and made every play that they needed to – all the way through the 45 minutes – to get the win.”
Indiana State had four players record double figure point totals, led by a career-high 16 points from Dawon Cummings. Jake Odum and R.J. Mahurin both recorded 14 points, and Justin Gant added 11.
Simons opened the overtime period by draining a three pointer, his first bucket since 15:22 remained in the second half and his fourth three-pointer of the night. On Drake’s next possession, Clarke dropped in a layup to give the Bulldogs a five-point lead out of the gates. The Sycamores followed with a pair of two-point baskets to pull within one point, 72-71, forcing Drake to call a timeout with 42.5 seconds remaining in the period.
Indiana State forced a turnover on the ensuing Drake possession, giving itself the opportunity to hold for the final shot of the game with a 1-point deficit. Gant took an open look three-point shot with 10 seconds on the clock, but his shot was short and the long rebound went out of bounds to give the Bulldogs possession. Senior Chris Hines (Houston, Texas) corralled the inbound pass, was fouled and made both of his free throws, forcing a three-point attempt by the Sycamores that fell short on their final possession to give Drake its fifth win in its last seven games.
“Chris [Hines] hadn't hit a shot all night and he didn't play one of his best games in a Drake uniform,” Phelps said. “But that's what I'm talking about, he stepped up with great poise, composure and mental toughness to knock down two free throws in a 1-and-1 situation.
The Bulldogs came out of halftime on fire, making four consecutive three-point shots, one by King and three by Simons, to take their first lead of the contest, 44-38, at the first official timeout in the second half.
Drake extended its lead to eight points with 14:44 remaining in the second half, but the Sycamores fought back, outscoring the Bulldogs 19-11 in the next seven minutes to knot the game, 57-57, with 7:06 on the clock.
After the Sycamores reclaimed the lead, Drake responded with an 8-3 run over 2:19, to take a 65-62 lead with 2:39 remaining in the second half. Drake only scored once following the official timeout, and held on to go to overtime after neither Hines nor Odum could give his respective team a winning basket on their final possessions.
Indiana State maintained a two-possession lead for the majority of the first half, and looked to extend its lead having the final possession of the half. However, Lucas Eitel’s three-point attempt was short and Drake pushed the ball up court to junior Gary Ricks, Jr. (Los Angeles, Calif.), who drained a half-court shot at the buzzer to pull Drake within two points, 34-32, at halftime. Ricks’ half-court shot was his only shot attempt of the night.
The Bulldogs return to the Knapp Center on Wednesday to host Illinois State. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. and can be watched on Mediacom MC22 or listened to on KRNT 1350-AM in Des Moines. In the first meeting between the two this season, Drake prevailed, 82-77, at Redbird Arena.