Drake dominates Lady Bears in MVC opener
The Drake Bulldogs showed why they were picked as the Missouri Valley Conference’s preseason favorite, dominating the Missouri State women’s basketball team in all phases of the game in a 72-42 victory in the league opener for both clubs Friday evening in Des Moines.
DU held Missouri State to .217 (15-of-69) shooting from the field while hitting 44 percent of its field goal attempts to improve to 8-4 on the year.
Drake seized control of the contest with an 11-0 run after Tiff Terwelp’s 15-footer at the 17:26 mark tied the game at 4-4. Lindsay Whorton, who burned the Lady Bears for 27 points in the two teams’ last meeting in February, knocked down a three from the left wing, then buried a jumper on the Bulldogs’ next possession with 13:33 left on the clock to give DU a 15-4 advantage.
The Bulldogs’ would go on to outscore Missouri State 31-4 over a 12 and-a-half minute span, stretching their lead to as many as 27 points before the Lady Bears converted seven straight free-throw attempts late in the period to close the gap to 37-17 at the half.
The Lady Bears struggled to generate any offense in the opening half, hitting just five of their 43 (.132) shots from the field in the game’s first 20 minutes, a record-low percentage for a DU opponent in a single half. MSU went over 10 minutes without a field goal before Marisha Brown converted a short jumper with just over a minute to play before the break.
Drake, on the other hand, came out smoking, knocking down 15-of-32 (.469) field-goal attempts in the first stanza. Whorton led the way with 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting from the field, including 3-of-4 from beyond the three-point arc.
The Bulldogs used a 19-10 burst to open the second half, pushing their lead to 56-27. They would extent that advantage to as many as 34 points and the Lady Bears would get no closer than 25 points the rest of the way
Missouri State went 0-of-10 from three-point range after averaging 12 treys per game over their last three outings. The Lady Bears 21.7 percent shooting night represents their lowest single-game effort since a school-record low .204 effort against Colorado in the second round of the 1995 NCAA Tournament.
Whorton led all scorers with 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting, while Jordann Plummer (12 points), Ashleigh Brady (11) and Kristin Turk (10) each finished in double figures for DU.
The Lady Bears, who fell to 2-10 on the season, will wrap up their first week of MVC play on Sunday (Jan. 6) with 2:05 p.m. matchup in Omaha against Creighton.