FARGO, N.D. - Junior forward Morgan Reid (Kansas City, Mo.) scored 14 points and grabbed nine rebounds on her 21st birthday as the Drake women's basketball team defeated the North Dakota State Bison 62-50 Thursday night at the Bison Sports Arena in Fargo, N.D.
Sophomore Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.) finished with an outstanding overall stat line with 11 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists. Guard Carly Grenfell (York, Neb.), who came into the night second in the nation in three-pointing shooting at 63.6 percent, hit three three-pointers to finish with nine points.
Drake finished a season-high 83.3 percent (15-of-18) from the foul line and 42.9 percent (21-of-49) from the floor tonight as they improve to 3-4 on the season.
The Bison were led in scoring by Jamie Van Kirk with 12 points as the loss drops their record to 3-6 on the season. Van Kirk made three treys in the first half but was held to just three points in the second half. Katie Birkel had 11 points for the Bison.
A pair of layups by Reid gave Drake a 4-0 lead to start the game before three straight three-pointers by Van Kirk helped North Dakota State take an 11-9 advantage going into the first media timeout. However, out of the timeout the Bulldogs ripped off a 10-0 run to go ahead 21-11 and forced the Bison to use its first timeout of the night. Grenfell knocked down a pair of treys in the scoring run and the Bulldogs never trailed again in the game.
"Morgan and Steph (Running) did a great job on the low block for us tonight," Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk said. "They helped open things up on the outside for our shooters (Kyndal, Alyssa, Carly). Plus we stepped up to the foul line and did a great job of knocking them down tonight."
Drake shot 53.8 percent (14-of-26) from the field in the first half as they held a 34-20 lead at halftime. Reid led the Bulldogs with 11 points and four rebounds at the break. Two steals and an assist rounded out her stat line. Seven Bulldogs scored in the half and limited the Bison to just 8-of-30 (26.7 percent) shooting in the opening half.
North Dakota State staged a rally to start the second half and cut the Bulldogs' lead to 39-36 after a layup by Dani Degagne with 10:42 left in the game but Drake answered with a three-point play by Alyssa Marschner (Plymouth, Minn.) to extend its lead to 41-36.
Birkel's layup with 5:47 to go cut Drake's lead to four points again, 47-43, but Drake once again answered. This time with four straight points by freshman Ashley Bartow (Sun Prairie, Wis.) to build an eight-point lead, 51-43, with just less than five minutes to play. Bartow finished with seven points, two rebounds and hit a crucial three late in the game and all in just nine minutes of play.
"Ashley helps us look like a different team when she comes off the bench with her aggressiveness and her tenacity," Baranczyk said. "She needs to clean up her defense some as evident by those couple of bad fouls she picked up late but that three-pointer she hit was big. We had been struggling a bit offensively and for her to knock that down was great."
The Bulldogs will travel to Grand Forks, N.D. to face North Dakota (2-4) on Saturday afternoon. Tip-off is set for 2:05 p.m. at the Betty Engelstad Sioux Center. Live stats will be available at www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com and be sure to tune into Ric Silvestrini on KRNT-1350 to listen to the action.