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Women's Basketball Set For Two-Game Road Trip

Courtesy: Drake Athletics
         
Release: February 05, 2014
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The Drake University women’s basketball travels to Evansville and Southern Illinois this week as it starts the second half of its Missouri Valley Conference schedule. Up first is a matchup against the Purple Aces on Thursday at 7 p.m. before closing the weekend at SIU with a Saturday afternoon game at 1 p.m. You can listen to Ric Silvestrini and Kristin Turk call the action of both games on 1350 KRNT. Live stats will be available at www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com.

DRAKE QUICKLY

Freshman Lizzy Wendell (Blue Springs, Mo.) scored 23 points, while junior Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.) added 18 points as Drake rallied to beat UNI, 66-64, Sunday at the McLeod Center.

Redshirt junior Carly Grenfell (York, Neb.) drilled her only three-pointer of the game with 10 seconds left as the Bulldogs held on for their third straight win over the Panthers.

Freshman Caitlin Ingle (Runnells, Iowa) continues to shine since joining the starting lineup as she poured in a career-high 17 points and hauled in a career-best seven boards to help Drake win its second consecutive game.

The Bulldogs trailed, 57-49, with just over eight minutes remaining in the contest that featured nine ties and seven lead changes.

Clark scores a team-leading 16.9 points per game, which ranks third in the MVC.  She averages an MVC-leading 3.10 three-pointers per game, which ranks 10th nationally.

Drake has connected on 168 three-pointers this year, which leads The Valley. The Bulldogs average a conference-high 8.4 three-pointers per game, which ranks 18th nationally.

 

EVANSVILLE QUICKLY

Evansville has lost its last five games with its last win at Drake on Jan. 12.

The Purple Aces are led in scoring by freshman Sara Dickey at an MVC-leading 18.3 per game. Mallory Ladd and Kat Taylor are next at 12.1 and 11.5, respectively.

Dickey has already scored 365 points through 20 games in her first season. She could join elite company in MVC history as only eight freshmen have reached 400 points. Two former Drake players, Carla Bennett (430 points, 1999-00) and Tammi Blackstone (400, 1996-97) are in that group.

Ladd averages a conference-best 10.5 rebounds per game, but hasn’t played since the Drake game. Her average ranks 26th nationally.

The Purple Aces are third in the league in three pointers with 128 and 6.4 per game.

DRAKE VS EVANSVILLE

The Bulldogs will try to snap a three-game losing streak to the Purple Aces. Prior to the losing streak, Drake had an 11-game winning streak against Evansville that stretched from 2008-12. The streak has helped the Purple Aces trim Drake’s lead in the all-time series as the Bulldogs own a 31-12 all-time mark in the series.

 

UP NEXT

Drake closes its road trip with a matchup at SIU Saturday at 1 p.m. The Bulldogs edged the Salukis, 74-72, earlier this year in Des Moines. Wendell scored the deciding points on a putback with two seconds remaining for the Bulldogs first conference win. Drake holds a 51-26 advantage in the all-time series between the schools, but is just 17-19 in Carbondale, Ill.

PROTECTING THE ROCK

The Bulldogs have protected the basketball in the last two games committing a season-low eight turnovers in each game. According to Drake historian, Paul Morrison it is the third lowest game total in Drake history. Drake benefitted from Bradley’s 16 turnovers by converting them into 32 points, while it scored 17 off of UNI’s.

THREES FOR DAYS

Drake smashed the previous mark for three-pointers (14) in its win over Bradley with 17 three-pointers against the Braves as five different Bulldogs each hit two or more. Earlier this season against Coastal Carolina the Bulldogs tied the record with 14, which was set by the 2000-01 Drake team against Indiana State. The 2013-14 Bulldogs make a MVC-best 8.3 three-pointers per contest, which ranks 19th nationally. Drake has made 10 or more three-pointers in seven games this year.

 

RECORD DAY

Drake’s 97 points scored in the Bradley win 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.

KYNDALING PART III

Clark continues to have a great junior campaign, scoring in double-figures in three straight and five of six games. She set a Drake women’s basketball record with 10 three-pointers and scored a career-high 36 points against Loyola. Clark played all 40 minutes for the first-time in her career and finished with eight rebounds, six steals and two assists. She broke the previous school record of eight three’s held by former standout Erin Richards, who accomplished the feat against Creighton on Jan. 7, 2001. She has captured MVC Player of the Week honors twice this season and is the first player since Kristin Turk to have two 30+ scoring games in one season. She had 35 against SIU on Dec. 17.

 

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 history to score 1,000 or more career points. The Webb City, Mo., native scored 332 points, while averaging 9.8 points per game and was named to the all-MVC freshman team in her debut season. Last year, she dropped in 453 points averaging a team-leading 14.6 points per game, which ranked third in The Valley. She’s the first Bulldog to score 1,000 or more points since Rachael Hackbarth did it during the 2010-11 campaign.

INSTANT IMPACT

Wendell continues to shine for the Bulldogs in her debut season as she’s earned four MVC Newcomer of the Week awards. She is averaging the second-highest point total among freshmen in The Valley behind only Sara Dickey of Evansville, who leads the conference. Wendell won newcomer honors on Nov. 11, Dec. 2, Dec. 31 and Feb. 3 and is the first Drake player to win the award four times in a season. She hit the game winning basket with two seconds left against SIU on Jan. 10 and had a career-high 29 points along with five steals and five assists against Bradley. Her steals and assists are career-highs as well.

DISHING THE ROCK    

Ingle made the most of her first two career starts with 18 assists. Against Loyola she had eight assists to just two turnovers before topping that performance against Bradley with 10 assists to just two turnovers. For the season, Ingle is dishing out 2.3 assists per game, which ranks 11th in The Valley.

 

RISE AND FIRE

Clark has nailed a MVC-leading 62 three-pointers, which is 21 more than Anna Munn of Indiana State. Clark ranks second in the conference in three-point shooting percentage at 41.3 (63-of-150), while Wendell is fifth at 36.1 percent (30-of-83). Grenfell is 16th as Drake is the only Valley school to have three players ranked in the top-16 individually.

RISE AND FIRE AS A TEAM

As a team, the Bulldogs shoot the ball exceptionally well from the field and beyond the arc as they rank second in The Valley in three-point percentage (33.1 percent) and field goal percentage (41.6 percent). Wichita State has the top marks in both categories at 35.4 and 45.4 percent, respectively.

SHARE THE ROCK

Drake ranks third in the MVC in team assists at 13.6 per game, while senior Alyssa Marschner (Plymouth, Minn.) is sixth at 3.6 assists 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 its 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” presented by the West Des Moines Sheraton game 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 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 its 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 improves the Bulldogs season-opening record to 24-16 overall record, 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 the league also announced.

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 is 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, Caitlin Ingle (Runnells, Iowa) 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 eighth 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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