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Women’s Basketball Set To Host SIU In MVC Home Opener

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: January 08, 2014
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DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University (6-7, 0-2 MVC) women’s basketball team is set to host Southern Illinois (3-10, 1-1 MVC) in its Missouri Valley Conference home opener Friday, Jan. 10. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at the Knapp Center. You can listen to Ric Silvestrini and Molly Nelson call the action on 1350 KRNT. Live stats will be available at www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com.

DRAKE QUICKLY

  • Drake (6-7, 0-2 MVC) looks to snap a two-game losing streak today when it hosts SIU (3-10, 1-1 MVC).
  • The Bulldogs dropped their opening road MVC contests to Illinois State and Indiana State, respectively. Prior to the losses Drake had won four out of its previous five games.
  • Drake finished the games with its two best shooting percentages so far this season. At Illinois State the Bulldogs shot 49.2 percent and at Indiana State they shot 50.9 percent.
  • Five Bulldogs finished in double-figures against the Sycamores to match the team-high mark set earlier this season against South Dakota.
  • Junior guard Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.) joined exclusive company in Drake University women’s basketball history as her 12 points at Indiana State give her exactly 1,000 career points. Clark is the 24th player in school history to reach 1,000 or more career points.
  • Freshman Lizzy Wendell (Blue Springs, Mo.) had a strong start in her first MVC action averaging 14.5 points, 4 rebounds and 1.5 steals per game for the weekend. She shot the ball well going a combined 13-of-19 from the floor, including 3-of-7 from beyond the arc. Wendell is averaging 12.8 points and 5.7 boards per game as both marks rank second on the squad.
  • Sophomore Emma Donahue (Naperville, Ill.) and freshman Caitlin Ingle (Runnells, Iowa) combined for 25 points off the bench against the Coyotes. Against the Sycamores, the pair once again came off the bench to score 12 and nine points, respectively.
  • Drake has won eight of its last 10 MVC home openers, with the losses to Indiana State last year and to UNI in 2006-07.
  • The Bulldogs own a stellar 17-3 overall record in MVC home openers.
  • Last week senior guard Alyssa Marschner (Plymouth, Minn.) was named the MVC Scholar-Athlete of the Week. Marschner, a marketing major, holds a 3.41 cumulative grade point average.

SIU QUICKLY

  • SIU is led by first-year head coach Cindy Stein, who is the 10th head coach in program history. Stein has 16 years of previous head coaching experience with a combined record of 282-206 at Illinois Central College, the University of Missouri and Emporia State University.
  • The Salukis have been hit with injury woes as three key players have been lost to season-ending injuries, including MVC preseason first team selection Cartaesha Macklin. Alexus Patterson and Rishonda Napier are the other two players out for the year.
  • Two sophomores, Dyana Pierre and Azia Washington, have filled the void for SIU. Pierre leads the squad in scoring and rebounding at 15.2 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. Washington is second in both categories at 11.3 ppg and 7.6 rpg, respectively.
  • SIU opened Valley play with a home victory over Bradley in two overtimes, 100-96. The 100 points scored were 31 points better than its previous season-high of 69 against Austin Peay.

DRAKE VS SIU

Drake is 50-26 all-time against Southern Illinois and has won eight of the last 10 games. The Bulldogs hold a commanding, 29-6, lead in games played in Des Moines as the two schools have played twice annually since 1980. Drake and SIU have played 76 games in the all-time series, which is the most matchups for the Bulldogs against a conference opponent.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB

Clark accomplished the 1,000 point feat on a free throw with 1:30 left in the contest and is the 24rd player in Drake history to score 1,000 or more career points. The Webb City, Mo., native 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 averaging a team-leading 14.6 points per game, which ranked third in The Valley. She’s the first Bulldog to score 1,000 or more points since Rachael Hackbarth did it during the 2010-11 campaign.

CLARK BREAKS 30

Clark poured in a career-high 35 points in the win over SIUE earlier this season. Clark, who became the first Bulldog to score 30 or more points since Hackbarth dropped 32 points at Indiana State on Jan. 22, 2012, she tied her career-best with 12 free throws on 14 attempts. She equaled her season-high marks for rebounds with eight and five three-pointers. For her efforts she earned her second career MVC Player of the Week award. She is averaging a team-leading 16.9 points per game, which is the fourth best average in The Valley. Clark makes an MVC-leading 2.8 three-pointers per game.

INSTANT IMPACT

Wendell continues to shine for the Bulldogs in her debut season as she recently earned her third MVC Newcomer of the Week honor last week. She is averaging the second-highest point total among freshmen in The Valley behind only Sara Dickey of Evansville, who leads the conference at 18.8 points per game. Wendell was previously named MVC Newcomer of the Week on Nov. 11 and Dec. 2. She is the first Drake player to win the newcomer award three times in a season since Jill Martin and Whitney Pegram each accomplished the feat during the 2003-04 campaign.

RISE AND FIRE

Wendell leads the Valley in three-point shooting percentage at 50 percent (23-of-46). Junior Liza Heap (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) is second at 45.2 percent (14-of-31) and Clark is fourth at 39.3 percent (35-of-89). Redshirt junior Carly Grenfell (York, Neb.) is 14th at 29.2 percent (14-of-48). Drake leads the conference in three-point percentage at 34.7 percent and is the only Valley school to have four players ranked in the top-15 individually. As a team, Drake makes an MVC-leading 8.4 three-pointers per game, which ranks 15th in the nation.

RISE AND FIRE PART TWO

The Bulldogs also shot the ball exceptionally well from the field as they rank second in the MVC in field goal percentage at 42 percent (317-of-754). Individually, Wendell is seventh at 48.7 percent (57-of-117), while sophomore Ashley Bartow (Sun Prairie, Wis.) is 18th at 41.2 percent (47-of-114).

SHARE THE ROCK

Drake ranks third in the MVC in team assists at 13.7 per game, while Marschner is tied for fourth at 4.3 assists per game. The Bulldogs have seven players that average 5 or more points per contest led by Clark’s 16.5.

NO THREE FOR YOU

The Bulldogs are number two in the conference behind Wichita State (24.3 percent) in three-point percentage defense. Drake has limited opponents to just 27.4 percent beyond the arc.

UP NEXT

Drake welcomes Evansville (6-7, 1-1 MVC) to the Knapp Center on Sunday with tipoff set for 2:05 p.m. The Bulldogs look to avenge two losses in 2012-13 to the Purple Aces.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN

Drake opened its conference season on the road for the sixth-straight season when it visited Illinois State to start MVC action. In addition, the Bulldogs have started their MVC slate on the road in 10 of the last 11 seasons. The loss to the Redbirds dropped Drake’s record to 18-13 all-time in MVC openers with a 10-12 record on the road. Drake and Illinois State have met five times in Valley openers with the Redbirds holding a slight, 3-2, advantage.

FIRST TIME FOR EVERYTHING

Drake played four different opponents (Cornell, Coastal Carolina, Idaho State, SIUE) for the first-ever time in school history this season. The Bulldogs finished 3-1 with wins over Coastal Carolina, Idaho State and SIUE, with its lone loss to Cornell of the Ivy League.

TIE BROKEN

Iowa State’s win over Drake earlier this season 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 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.

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.

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 eight players back with significant playing experience. Two freshmen, Caitlin Ingle (Runnells, Iowa) 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.

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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