Women's Basketball Hosts Illinois State On Senior Day
DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s basketball team Drake welcomes Illinois State on Saturday, March 8 at 2:05 p.m. for Senior Day. You can also listen to Ric Silvestrini and Molly Nelson call the action on 1350 KRNT. Live stats will be available at www.GoDrakeBulldogs.com.
- The Drake University (14-14, 8-9 MVC) women’s basketball team dropped a 73-71 contest to Indiana State on Thursday night. The loss was the Bulldogs’ second consecutive two-point defeat after dropping an overtime thriller to UNI last Sunday afternoon.
- Freshman Lizzy Wendell (Blue Springs, Mo.) scored a game-high 28 points, while junior Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.) but it wasn’t enough as Indiana State completed the regular season sweep over Drake.
- Saturday is Senior Day for two Bulldogs, Alyssa Marschner (Plymouth, Minn.) and Mary Pat Specht (Shawnee, Kan.).
- Marschner has played in 102 games in her four seasons with 33 starts, and led the team in assists last season with 123. This year, she has a team-high 85 assists.
- Specht transferred to Drake after a standout junior college career at Johnson County Community College (Kan.). She has appeared in 43 games in her two seasons as a Bulldog and has made 51 three-pointers.
- Marschner, who holds a 3.41 cumulative GPA, has been selected three times to the MVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and will graduate in May with a degree in marketing.
- Specht is also an outstanding student with a 3.68 cumulative GPA in health sciences. She was awarded the MVC Commissioner’s Excellence award last year. She will graduate in November, 2014.
- Wendell, who earlier joined exclusive MVC company by scoring 400-plus points in her debut season, currently has 451 points to set a new record for most points by a Drake freshman in a MVC season. Carla Bennett held the previous mark of 423 points in 1999-2000.
- Wendell is the only player in The Valley ranked in the top-20 in each of the following statistical categories: scoring, rebounding, field-goal percentage, assists, free-throw percentage, steals, three-point shooting percentage, and three-pointers per game.
- Clark leads the conference in scoring at 19.3 points per game, while Wendell ranks fifth at 16.1 points per game.
- Clark continues to be deadly from long range as she has 104 three-pointers this year, which ties the conference single-season top mark. Already Drake’s single-season record holder, she needs just one more three ball to surpass former Missouri State sharpshooter Melody Howard for most three’s in a single Valley campaign. Howard hit 104 during the 1993-94 season.
- The all-time NCAA women’s basketball single-season record for three’s is 126 held by two players (Lisa McMullen, Alabama State, 1991 and Sade Logan, Robert Morris, 2008).
- Clark’s 3.7 three’s per game average currently leads the nation.
- Drake is lighting up the scoreboard as it paces the league in scoring at 72.1 points per game. The Bulldogs also sit atop the MVC in scoring in league play at 74.7 points per game. Drake has tallied 90-plus points in four games in 2013-14.
ILLINOIS STATE QUICKLY
- Illinois State comes in off an 89-70 setback at UNI on Thursday night.
- Chloe Nelson is the lone Redbird averaging double-figures scoring at 13.9 points per game. Octavia Crump is next at 9.7 along with pulling down a team-leading 6.5 rebounds per game.
- Illinois State is led by first-year head coach Barb Smith, who was named the seventh women’s basketball coach in Illinois State history last April. Smith was most recently the associate head coach at Saint Louis University in 2012-13 under former Drake head coach Lisa Stone. Smith has 26 years of Division I coaching experience, including five seasons as the head coach at San Diego State.
- The Redbirds have bounced back from a 1-9 mark in non-conference play to improve its overall record to 9-18, 8-9 MVC.
DRAKE VS. ILLINOIS STATE
Illinois State holds a slight advantage, 35-33, in the all-time series between the two schools. Drake and Illinois State first met on Dec. 7, 1981 in a game won by the Bulldogs, 74-53, in Des Moines. The two schools have faced each other at least twice annually since 1984. Both teams have had significant runs on each other with Drake winning 14-straight games from 1997-2004. ISU snapped that streak with a 57-54 win in Normal, Ill. on Feb. 8, 2004 and have won 17 of 21 contests since. Drake will try for its first win over Illinois State since March 9, 2012 in the semifinals of the MVC Championship.
Drake travels to the 2014 MVC Championship in St. Charles, Mo next week, March 13-16. The Bulldogs (8-9 MVC) are currently tied for fifth with Missouri State and Illinois State going into the final weekend of the regular season. Wichita State, UNI and Indiana State are all tied for first at 13-4 in league play, while Evansville is fourth at 9-8. Drake can potentially finish as high as fourth and no lower than seventh in the final conference standings. Tiebreakers are first decided by head-to-head records, and then move to a points system determined by the league office. UNI and Indiana State battle on Saturday in Cedar Falls, while Missouri State travels to Wichita State on Sunday. Evansville visits Loyola on Saturday.