With the win Drake improved to 13-12 overall and 7-7 in the Missouri Valley Conference. The Sycamores fell to 12-13 overall and 6-7 in the MVC. The Bulldogs moved ahead of ISU into sixth place in the conference with the win.
Rachael Hackbarth (Colgate, Wis.) paced the Bulldogs with 20 points and 13 rebounds against the Sycamores and the senior has now recorded eleven consecutive double-doubles. She is currently second in the nation in double-doubles with 18 behind Kylie Kuhns of Sacramento State, who has 20. The center also added four assists, three blocks and one steal.
The Bulldogs got the first basket of the game from Hackbarth and never trailed in the contest. Drake jumped out to a 15-4 lead at the 11:40 mark with six points apiece from Hackbarth and Kyndal Clark (Webb City, Mo.) and a three-pointer by CarlyGreenfell (York Neb).
"We talked to the team this week on how important it is to protect the home court and we did that tonight," Drake head coach Amy Stephens said. "The team has been so close this season in some games that we didn't pull out but I'm so proud of the effort, the intensity and it was a great defensive effort tonight."
The Bulldogs built a 23-9 lead after Hackbarth knocked down two free throws with 6:28 left in the first half.
Clark's long trey from the right baseline with just under a minute to go in the half extended the Bulldogs lead to 32-19, which was the final score of the first half.
Drake was 14-of-28 from the field in the first period and held ISU to 32 percent (8-of-25). Hackbarth had 14 points and six rebounds and was 6-of-6 from the field.
The Sycamores responded with a 15-6 run to begin the second half to cut its deficit to 38-34, but Drake answered with a 12-0 run to extend the lead to 50-34 with 7:44 left in the contest and put the game away for the Bulldogs.
"Morgan Reid (North Kansas City, Mo.) got us going with back-to-back layups and another layup later in that 12-0 run that helped us to put the game away," Stephens said.
Deja Mattox led ISU with 11 points and seven rebounds. Shannon Thomas, the reigning MVC Player of the Week came into the game as the second leading rebounder in the MVC at 9.5 per game but on Friday night, the senior was only able to pull down one board and the Sycamores leading scorer at just under 13 points a game was held to just four points.
Clark chipped in nine points and added five rebounds, while Reid and Brittnye McSparron (Apple Valley, Minn.) added eight points.
Drake will host Illinois State on Sunday at 2:05 p.m. The game will be the Hoops 4 Hope game, so the Bulldogs will sport special pink jerseys that will be auctioned off along with a limited quantity of pink basketballs postgame. The first 1,000 fans will receive a free pink bracelet and cancer survivors will be recognized at halftime.