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Cox Scores Season High 21 As Basketball Team Wins 21st Straight

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
Release: February 09, 2008
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Jonathan Cox
Courtesy: Drake Athletics
DES MOINES, IOWA — Junior forward Jonathan Cox scored 14 of his season-high 21 points in the second half helping power No. 15 ranked Drake to its school-record 21st straight victory with a 73-65 Missouri Valley Conference decision past Evansville Saturday.

A sixth consecutive sellout crowd of 7,152 in the Drake Knapp Center saw the Bulldogs improve their record to 22-1 which is the best start in school history and the most victories at the school since the 1969-70 team, under coach Maury John, went 22-7 en route to advancing to the championship of the NCAA Midwest Regional.

It marked the third time a Drake team has won at least 22 games in a season joining the 1969-70 (22-7) and 1968-69 (26-5) squads.

It also marked Drake's 16th straight home victory - the longest winning streak in the 15-year history of the Knapp Center. It also is the third longest in school history trailing winning streaks of 18 from 1962-64 and 23 from 1969-71.

Drake enjoyed a 33-24 halftime lead and expanded its margin to 59-40 following a three-point basket by Cox with 11:14 left in the game.

The Bulldogs forced Evansville into seven turnovers in the opening eight minutes of the second half.

But the Purple Aces hung around shooting a sizzling 65.4 percent in the second half to chop the deficit twice to eight points.

This marked just the 14th time in MVC history that a school has enjoyed an 13-0 start in the MVC with Southern Illinois being the last to accomplish the feat going 17-0 to start the 2003-04 season.

It also marked the first time Drake has won 13 league games since the Bulldogs posted a 14-2 record in 1969-70 en route to earning a share of the MVC title.

Cox bettered his previous single-game high of 19 set in an 81-78 victory at Evansville Jan. 6.

Senior guard Leonard Houston added 15 points for Drake, while tying a career high with seven rebounds.

Sophomore guard Josh Young chipped in 13 points, more than doubling his season low of six points scored in the earlier game at Evansville.

Senior guard Adam Emmenecker dished out nine assists, while moving into No. 9 on the Drake single-season assist list at 135, surpassing Curt Smith who had 130 in 1992-93.

Evansville went 6 minutes 5 seconds without a basket in the first half, while missing five shots and committing five turnovers (18:40 to 10:35). Drake capitalized by reeling off 13 straight points to turn a 3-2 lead into a 16-4 advantage.

The 21-game winning streak is the fourth longest winning streak by a team in Missouri Valley Conference history. It is the longest winning streak by an MVC school since Bradley won 22 straight games in 1985-86.

Junior forward Shy Ely led Evansville with 18 points, while sophomore guard Jay Couisnard came off the bench to add 11 points.

Evansville fell to 7-16 overall, including a 2-11 league mark.

The Bulldogs will play four of their next five games on the road, starting Wednesday with a visit to defending league champion Southern Illinois.

BULLDOG BITES: This marked the first time Drake has swept the season series from Evansville since the 2004-05 season...The 22 wins by coach Keno Davis are the most ever by a first-year head coach at Drake... Drake's 12th straight home win this season is the second longest single-season home winning streak only trailing the mark of 13 in a row by the 1969-70 team.
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