MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Four players scored in double figures for the Drake women's basketball team as they won, 80-70, over Milwaukee Saturday afternoon at the Klotsche Center. Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.) paced Drake with 19 points to go along with four rebounds, four steals and a career-high six assists. Drake's 80 points are a season-high.
Drake (5-6) junior guard Alyssa Marschner (Plymouth, Minn.) scored a career-best 16 points and Morgan Reid (Kansas City, Mo.) and Stephanie Running (Oak Creek, Wis.) each had 10. Freshman Ashley Bartow (Sun Prairie, Wis.) came off the bench and pulled down a career-high 11 rebounds to lead all players and equaled her career-high in points with eight. Bartow and Running along with freshmen Dilonna Johnson (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Alexis Eckles (Milwaukee, Wis.) played in front of many friends and family in their home state Saturday.
"We had a good warmup today," Running said. "It's awesome to go into conference with such a good win. All the young players got great experience against a solid team. It was really fun for all my family and friends along with the other Wisconsin girls' friends and family to come out today and see us play."
Milwaukee (4-8) was led in scoring by Ashley Green who had a game-high 23 points, including ten points by the first official timeout of the game and helped the Panthers take a 16-10 lead with 15:18 remaining in the half. Later the Bulldogs answered with an 8-0 run to go ahead 25-20 and they never trailed again in the contest. Angela Rodriguez, a high school teammate of Running's at Oak Creek High School, scored 22 points for the Panthers.
"Such a team win today with four players in double figures and another with nine points and another with eight points," Drake head coach Jennie Baranczyk said. "We played within ourselves and didn't panic when Milwaukee jumped out early with all those three pointers. We stuck to our game plan and it was a really fun and exciting game."
Drake used a 12-2 run that stretched nearly five minutes to build a 37-27 lead with 3:05 to play in the first half and went into halftime with a 37-29 lead. The Bulldogs shot 48.5 percent (16-of-33) from the floor in the opening period and finished the game at a season-high 51.6 percent (33-of-64) from the field.
Mary Pat Specht (Shawnee, Kan.) buried a three-pointer from the right baseline to put Drake ahead 63-49 with 10:43 remaining in the game, its largest lead of the game.
Milwaukee didn't go away easily though and a jumper by Rodriguez cut Drake's lead to 74-67 with 3:18 left and forced a 30-second timeout by Baranczyk. Out of the timeout, Clark answered with a layup to push Drake back ahead 76-67 and the Bulldogs cruised to the win.
The Bulldogs' next action will be their first Missouri Valley Conference game, which will be at Evansville on Thursday, Jan. 3 at 7 p.m. Live stats will be available at www.godrakebulldogs.com and you can tune into 1350-KRNT to hear Ric Silvestrini and former Drake women's basketball start Kristin Turk call all the action.
"We have to see it one game at a time now that conference play is here," Baranczyk said. "We don't know any different being such a young team with ten first or second year players but what I love about our team is that we continue to get better every day."