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Drake opens MVC play at Evansville Thursday night
Courtesy: Chris Donahue

Women’s Basketball Opens Conference Play At Evansville Thursday Night

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: January 02, 2013
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. - The Drake women's basketball team opens Missouri Valley Conference play at Evansville Thursday night. Tip-off between the Bulldogs and the Purple Aces will be at 7 p.m. and you can listen to Ric Silvestrini on KRNT-1350AM or follow live stats at www.godrakebulldogs.com.

DRAKE QUICKLY

-Drake (5-6) is coming off an 80-70 win at Milwaukee this past Saturday. Four players scored in double figures led by Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.) who paced Drake with 19 points to go along with four rebounds, four steals and a career-high six assists.

-Drake's 80 points scored against the Panthers are a season-high.

-Alyssa Marschner (Plymouth, Minn.) scored a career-high 16 points and Morgan Reid (Kansas City, Mo.) and Stephanie Running (Oak Creek, Wis.) each added 10 points. Carly Grenfell (York, Neb.) and Ashley Bartow (Sun Prairie, Wis.) just missed double figures at nine points and eight points, respectively. Bartow added a career-high 11 rebounds.

-Drake is 18-11 all-time in Missouri Valley Conference openers, and 10-10 in road openers and 1-1 in openers against Evansville. Against the Purple Aces, the Bulldogs won 67-60 on Dec. 30, 2001 and suffered a 77-66 defeat on Dec. 31, 2004 - both in Evansville.

-The Bulldogs are opening their conference season on the road for the fifth-straight season. In addition, the Bulldogs have opened their MVC slate on the road in nine of the last 10 seasons. Drake hosted Missouri State Jan. 4, 2008 in its last Valley opener at home (W, 72-42).

-Drake just missed finishing with a .500 or better record in non-conference matchups this season. The Bulldogs had finished the previous six seasons at .500 or better. Drake went 4-5 out of conference during the 2005-06 season, but finished 13-5 in the MVC.

-Clark leads Drake with 13.8 points per game, which ranks eighth in the conference and Reid is the other Bulldog averaging in double figures as the forward scores 11.1 points per game while pulling down a team-leading 7.5 rebounds per game.

EVANSVILLE QUICKLY

-Evansville (2-9) will try and end its eight-game losing streak Thursday night.

-The Purple Aces are led by second-year head coach Oties Epps, who was hired from the University of Wisconsin where he was on the staff of former Drake head coach Lisa Stone for three seasons. This is the first head coaching position for Epps.

-Evansville was picked to finish 10th in the MVC preseason poll and returns eight letterwinners and three starters from last season.

-The Purple Aces are led in scoring by senior forward/center Samantha Heck at 14.5 points per game followed by Khristian Hart at 13.4 points per game. Heck's scoring average ranks sixth in the conference.

-Heck averages eight rebounds per game, which is tied for fifth in the MVC.

-Sophomore Mallory Ladd, an Evansville native, is a transfer from Valparaiso who became eligible prior to the Purple Aces contests against Toledo and Hampton at the Toledo Invite. Ladd averaged 10.5 points and 10.5 rebounds per game in the two losses.

-The Purple Aces' last game was a 64-45 loss against Hampton on Friday, Dec. 21, 2012.

DRAKE VS EVANSVILLE 

Drake leads the all-time series 31-10 and is 12-6 all-time in Evansville. The Bulldogs have won the previous 11 games against the Purple Aces with the last loss occurring Feb. 14, 2008 in overtime (69-66) at the Knapp Center. Drake went 3-0 last season against the Aces with the last victory in the opening round of the MVC tournament in St. Charles, Mo. Rachael Hackbarth scored 15 points as the Bulldogs held on for the 52-48 win.

HIGH PACED OFFENSE

Drake scored a season-high 80 points in the win at Milwaukee last Saturday. The Bulldogs connected on a season-high 33 field goals and finished a season-best 51.6 percent from the floor. Four Bulldogs scored in double figures with another finishing with nine points and another with eight points against the Panthers. Drake's 37 first half points Saturday equaled its highest first-half point total of the season, which occurred against South Dakota in the opener, and its 43 second-half points Saturday against the Panthers were a season-high.

IMPROVMENT

Drake finished the month of the November with a 1-4 overall record but fared better in the month of December. The Bulldogs won 4-of-6 with one loss coming in overtime at North Dakota to improve their record to 5-6.

715!

The Bulldogs win over Saint Louis was the 715th in school history. The Drake women's basketball program first started in 1974-75 finishing 10-10 under the direction of Carol Baumgarten. The 2013-14 season will be the 40th anniversary of Drake women's basketball.

KYNDALING PART TWO

Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.), a member of the 2012 MVC All-Freshmen team, is averaging 13.8 points, 4.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.9 steals through Drake's first eleven games. She finished with an impressive stat line in the win over North Dakota State earlier this season finishing with 11 points, six rebounds, six steals and five assists. Clark is one of just four MVC players to score in double figures in all but one game this season and is the eighth leading scorer in the conference.

STEPPING UP

Junior guard Alyssa Marschner (Plymouth, Minn.) continues to play well for the Bulldogs this season. The Minnesota native has started every game this year after only playing 56 minutes all of last season.  Marschner scored a career-high 16 points in the win at Milwaukee to go along with five rebounds and three assists.  She is averaging 6.2 points, 4.5 rebounds and a conference leading 5.5 assists per game. Her assists per game average ranks 32nd in the nation.

RISE AND FIRE

Redshirt sophomore Carly Grenfell (York, Neb.) is burning up the nets this season shooting 45 percent from the floor, which is 10th in the MVC and 43 percent from behind the three-point line, which ranks second in the Valley and 26th in the nation. Grenfell is averaging 8.9 points and 3.0 rebounds per game and has knocked down a team-high 24 treys this year. 

DEAD ON

Stephanie Running (Oak Creek, Wis.), the lone senior on this season's roster, is shooting 49 percent (39-of-79) from the floor this season, which ranks fifth in the MVC. Running is averaging 7.8 points and 4.0 rebounds per game.

IMPROVEMENT AT THE LINE

Junior forward Morgan Reid (Kansas City, Mo.) knocked down 10 free throws on 12 attempts, both career highs, in the loss to the Iowa Hawkeyes. The Kansas City, Mo. native is 41-of-52 (79 percent) from the charity stripe this season and her makes and attempts lead the Bulldogs. She has improved her percentage by over 10 percent from last season (66.7) and is ninth in the Valley in free-throw shooting percentage.

CALL THE POLICE

The Drake Bulldogs have swiped 45 steals in the last five games including 10 in each of the games against North Dakota State and North Dakota. Clark and Reid each swiped a career-high six steals in the wins over North Dakota State and Milwaukee, respectively.

DOUBLING UP

In its win over Chicago State, Drake pulled down a season-high 58 rebounds. The total doubled Chicago State's 29 boards. Drake pulls down a league-high 30.6 defensive rebounds per game and its rebounding margin (2.9) is third in the league.

CAREER NIGHTS

Sophomore Liza Heap (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) played her best game against South Dakota in the season opener recording career-highs in points (12) and rebounds (5) in just 28 minutes. Her previous career-high was four points. Against Iowa State, fellow sophomore forward Cara Lutes (Maplewood, Minn.) scored a career-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting in just 17 minutes. Lutes' previous career-high was four points.

WELCOME

All five newcomers on the 2012-13 roster have seen minutes so far this year. Freshmen Emma Donahue (Naperville, Ill.) and Ashley Bartow (Verona, Wis.) along with junior college transfer Mary Pat Specht saw the court against South Dakota in the opener. Drake's other two newcomers, Alexis Eckles (Milwaukee, Wis.) and Dilonna Johnson (Milwaukee, Wis.) played in the Bulldogs' second game of the season.

NEW BEGINNINGS

Former University of Iowa standout and Des Moines native, Jennie Baranczyk is in her first season as head women's basketball coach at Drake University. Baranczyk is the sixth Drake women's basketball head coach in school history and comes to Drake after a two-year stint as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at the University of Colorado. Baranczyk also served as an assistant coach at Kansas State and Marquette.

POSTSEASON SUCCESS

This is the first head coaching position for Baranczyk, but she brings an impressive postseason resume as a player and assistant coach, having reached postseason play every season. She also captured two Iowa high school state titles at Dowling Catholic. Baranczyk 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.

ONLY ONE

With the loss to South Dakota in the opener, Carol Baumgartner, who was the program's first head coach, remains the only Drake head coach to win her debut. The Bulldogs beat the Iowa Hawkeyes, 78-65 on November 20, 1974 in the program's first ever game.

COACHING STAFF

Baranczyk's first hire as head coach was retaining veteran assistant coach Allison Pohlman. Pohlman has been an assistant at Drake since the 2007-08 season. Former Chipola College head coach and Iowa native David Lane was hired as an assistant coach. Courtney Graham who coached at Holy Cross for three seasons was the final assistant hired by Baranczyk. Former Iowa State standout Kelsey Bolte is the new coordinator of basketball operations for the Bulldogs.

HIGH SCORING STAFF

Baranczyk (Iowa), Bolte (Iowa State), Pohlman (Northern Iowa) and Graham (Mississippi St.) all played Division I basketball and the four scored 4,963 points combined. Baranczyk scored 1,762 career points followed by Bolte (1,639), Pohlman (1,463) and Graham (99).

REWIND

The Drake Bulldogs finished the 2011-12 season at 18-16, 9-9 MVC and lost in the first round of the WNIT to South Dakota. Drake won seven of its last eleven games to close the regular season and advanced to the postseason for the first time since the 2007-08 season. Drake won three games (Evansville, Illinois State, Wichita State) in three days to advance to the MVC tournament title game before falling to Creighton. The Bulldogs' 18 wins were the most since the 2008-09 season.

DRAKE IN SEASON-OPENERS

The loss to the Coyotes gives the Bulldogs a 23-16 overall record in 39 debut games, dating back to the program's first game on Nov. 20, 1974 - a 78-65 home victory over Iowa. Drake dropped its season opener last year at Illinois at Chicago, 61-48.

BULLDOGS PICKED NINTH

The Drake women's basketball team was picked to finish ninth in the Missouri Valley Conference's annual preseason poll, the conference announced Monday. Creighton received 26 of 40 first-place votes and 382 total points, out-distancing Wichita State (347). Illinois State (323), UNI (272) and Missouri State (265) followed the Bluejays to round out the top-five. Bradley (144), Indiana State (135), Southern Illinois (123), Drake (121) and Evansville (119) made up the lower half of the poll.

COACHES RADIO SHOW

The Drake Basketball Coaches' Radio Show with Jennie Baranczyk and Mark Phelps will be broadcast live from Rock Bottom, 4508 University Avenue in West Des Moines on Monday nights at 7:00 p.m. through March 4. There will be no show on December 24 and 31.

BULLDOG BREAKDOWN

This year, Drake Women's Basketball will hold a game day event, Bulldog Breakdown, prior to each home game. 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 for that day's game, 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 game, 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 and 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 your team.

BASKETBALL LUNCHEONS

The Drake Basketball Coaches' Luncheons have returned to Overtime, located at 4810 86th Street in Urbandale. The luncheon costs $12 per person and runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on the following dates: men's luncheons: January 22, February 5 and women's basketball luncheons: January 8, and February 19.

DRAKE HEAD COACH JENNIE BARANCZYK

Former University of Iowa standout and Des Moines native, Jennie (Lillis) Baranczyk (pronounced bah-rahn-check) was named the sixth head women's basketball coach at Drake University on April 17, 2012.

Baranczyk, 30, comes 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 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 with her master's degree in Counseling and Student Development in 2007. 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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