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Drake Hits The Road For Final Regular Season Away Games

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: February 20, 2014
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PEORIA, Ill. – The Drake University women’s basketball team starts a two-game road trip at Bradley on Friday, Feb. 21 with tipoff set for 7 p.m. against the Braves. Drake closes the trip at new Missouri Valley Conference member Loyola on Sunday, Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. You can listen to Ric Silvestrini and Molly Nelson call the action for both games on 1350 KRNT. The Bradley contest will be available through Bulldog Vision (subscriber), while the game against the Ramblers will be available for free here. Live stats for both games will be available at www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com.

DRAKE QUICKLY

  • Drake (12-12, 6-7 MVC) enters the Bradley contest with wins in five of its last six games with its lone loss to league-leader Wichita State. The Bulldogs have three straight conference road wins.
  • In Drake’s last game, junior Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.) scored a career-high 38 points in a 79-69 win over Missouri State. She finished 13-of-22 from the floor, also career-bests and added eight rebounds, five assists and three steals in 39 minutes.
  • Clark earned MVC Player of the Week honors this week, which she has won a league-best three times this season.
  • Clark’s career day moved her into the top spot in the conference in scoring average at 18.5 points per game and bumped her mark in conference play to a league-high 20.3 points per game.
  • Freshman Lizzy Wendell (Blue Springs, Mo.) is second at Drake and seventh in the league in scoring at 14.5 per game along with pulling down a team-leading 5.8 rebounds per game.
  • Wendell has scored 348 points in her first season and is trying to become the 10th Valley player and third Drake player to have 400 or more points in their freshman season.
  • Drake is the top three-point shooting team in the MVC and 12th in the country at 8.8 per game and the Bulldogs have drilled a school-record 210 this year. Clark’s league-high 3.5 three’s per game currently ranks first in the nation.
  • Caitlin Ingle (Runnells, Iowa) is averaging 13.0 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.1 assists per contest since joining the starting lineup seven games ago. Ingle has reached double figures points in six straight games. The freshman guard is shooting 48.4 percent from the floor, which ranks seventh in the league.

BRADLEY QUICKLY

  • Bradley (6-17, 3-9 MVC) is coming off a 54-49 triumph over Loyola as Leti Lerma recorded a double-double with 10 points and 19 rebounds. Her 19 rebounds tie Mallory Ladd of Evansville for the most in a game this season in The Valley.
  • Michelle Young leads the Braves in scoring at 15.0 points per game, while Kelsey Budd is next at 12.1. Catie O’Leary averages a team-high 7.3 boards per game along with 10.8 points per game.
  • The Braves rank third in the MVC in scoring offense at 70.1 points per game.
  • Bradley head coach Michael Brooks is in his second season at the helm of the program.

DRAKE VS BRADLEY

Friday night’s contest will be the 65th meeting in the all-time series between the two teams with Drake holding a commanding 49-15 advantage, including a 26-5 record in Des Moines. The Bulldogs have won six of the last seven contests against the Braves. Drake is 7-3 in its last 10 games and 20-10 overall at Bradley.

UP NEXT

Drake will try to avenge its loss to Loyola on Jan. 26 at the Knapp Center as the Ramblers scored the final nine points of the contest to pull away for the 75-69 win. Senior Troy Hamburic is third in the league in scoring at 17.0 points per game and third in rebounding 7.6 per game. Hambric has a conference-high 20-plus scoring games this year.

TWICE AS NICE

Drake is lighting up the scoreboard in conference play as the Bulldogs rank second in scoring at 72.2 points per game just behind Wichita State (75.5). Overall Drake is second in scoring at 70.3 behind the Shockers’ league-leading 72.4 points per contest. Drake is sharing the ball averaging 14 assists per game, which ranks second in the MVC.

PROTECTING THE ROCK

In Drake’s wins this season the team is averaging 13.8 turnovers per game compared to 16.4 in its losses. In the Bradley and UNI victories, Drake committed just eight turnovers in each game, which according to Drake historian, Paul Morrison, is the third lowest game total in Drake history.

KYNDALING PART III

Clark is leading the barrage of three-pointers in her junior campaign as she has knocked down a team-leading 84. Her total is the fourth most in a season in Drake history and she is just six away from the top mark (90), set by Kiersten Miller during the 1996-97 season. Clark has drilled 54 three-pointers in league play, including a school-record 10 against Loyola. She broke the school record of eight three’s in a game held by former standout Erin Richards, who accomplished the feat against Creighton on Jan. 7, 2001. Clark leads The Valley with three games of 30-plus points this season. Her 38 points against the Lady Bears is the top single-game scoring mark in the conference this year.

WELCOME TO THE CLUB

Clark reached 1,000 points on a free throw with 1:30 left in the game at Indiana State on Jan. 5 and is the 24rd player in Drake women’s basketball history to score 1,000 or more career points. Currently she has 1,229 career points, which ranks 20th all-time. Clark is the first Bulldog to score 1,000 or more points since Rachael Hackbarth accomplished the feat during the 2010-11 campaign.

INSTANT IMPACT

Wendell continues to shine for the Bulldogs in her debut season as she’s earned a school-record five MVC Newcomer of the Week awards. She is averaging the second-highest point total (14.5) among freshmen in The Valley behind Sara Dickey of Evansville, who leads the conference. Wendell won newcomer honors on Nov. 11, Dec. 2, Dec. 31, Feb. 3 and Feb. 10. Dickey has also been named newcomer of the week five times as the two lead the Valley for most times winning the honor.

DISHING THE ROCK    

Drake is the only team in the conference to have four players in the top-20 in assists per game led by Alyssa Marschner’s (Plymouth, Minn.) 3.6 assists per game, which ranks sixth. Clark and Ingle at 2.3 are 12th while Wendell rounds out the group at 2.1, which is 17th. Ingle has the only points/assists double-double this year in the league as she scored 16 points and dished out a career-high 10 assists against Bradley on Jan. 26.

RISE AND FIRE

Clark’s 84 three-pointers are 40 more than Dickey, who is second in the conference. Clark is second in the league in three-point shooting percentage at 42.2 percent, while Wendell is seventh at 35.8 percent. Clark has made 84-of-199 three-pointers, while the league-leader in three-point percentage, Lexi Hughes of Missouri State, has made 27-of-54 (50 percent). Clark’s three-point percentage ranks 12th in the country.

RISE AND FIRE AS A TEAM

As a team, the Bulldogs shoot the ball exceptionally well beyond the arc and from the field as they rank first in The Valley in three-point percentage at 34.0 percent and second in field goal percentage at 42.4 percent. Six different Bulldogs have hit at least 13 three-pointers in the 2013-14 campaign.

RECORD DAY

Drake smashed the previous mark for three-pointers (14) in a game in its win over Bradley on Jan. 26 with 17 against the Braves as five different Bulldogs each hit two or more. Earlier this year against Coastal Carolina the Bulldogs tied the record with 14, which was set by the 2000-01 Drake team against Indiana State. Drake’s 97 points scored against Bradley are the most since it had 90 in a win over Central Michigan during the 2010-11 campaign and the most in a MVC game since pouring in 95 on SIU in 2001-02.

PACK THE KNAPP

The Bulldogs have a firm hold on the number two spot in total attendance in the conference in 2013-14. Drake is averaging 2,502 fans per game, which is behind Missouri State at 2,920 fans per game.

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.

PROTECT THE HOME COURT

Drake’s thrilling 74-72 comeback victory over SIU on Jan. 10 improved its all-time record in MVC home openers to 18-3, including taking eight out of the last 10 at the Knapp Center.

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 their previous three overtime games before knocking off the Coyotes.

SWEET HOMECOMING

Junior Liza Heap (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) 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” game presented by the West Des Moines Sheraton 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 their 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 improved the Bulldogs’ season-opening record to 24-16 overall, 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.

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 was 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, Ingle 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 seventh 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. She qualified for postseason play every season as an assistant coach and as a player.

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.

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. The couple is expecting their second child in March, 2014.

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