• Hunter Phillips

BeBlue Preview - SIU & Missouri State

Drake continues their season-long four-game home stand with games against Southern Illinois and Missouri State this weekend.

Update on Southern Illinois:

Drake (15-6; 7-2 MVC) opens the second half of Missouri Valley Conference play against the Southern Illinois Salukis (13-7; 5-4 MVC) in the Knapp Center on Friday night.

The Salukis are 4-1 in league play since falling to Drake on January 12. Southern Illinois responded nicely in their very next game, upsetting then-No. 17 Missouri State in Carbondale the following Friday. That victory over the Lady Bears would mark the beginning of a three-game winning streak, which included wins over Evansville and Indiana State. The Salukis split their two home contests this past weekend, opening with a loss to Illinois State followed by a 14-point win over Bradley. Junior Makenzie Silvey continues to pace the Salukis in scoring, averaging 16.4 points per game (6th MVC).

Last Meeting vs. SIU:

Drake outlasted Southern Illinois in a 73-65 win on January 12 in Carbondale. The game featured 12 ties and seven lead changes. The Bulldogs shot 60.0 percent from the floor and outscored the Salukis by 24 points in the paint. Four Bulldogs scored in double-figures, led by senior Becca Hittner's 20 points. Redshirt sophomore Kierra Collier added 11 points while Maddie Monahan and Sara Rhine totaled 10 points each. Rhine also snagged a team-high 10 rebounds to record her second double-double of the season. Nicole Martin led Southern Illinois with 19 points.

You can listen to Friday night's broadcast on 1350 ESPN (AM) or on the Drake Learfield IMG College Sports Network on TuneIn. Tip-off is at 6:00 PM.

Update on Missouri State:

No. 24/19 Missouri State (18-3; 8-1 MVC) enters the second half of league play in sole possession of first place after sweeping Bradley and Illinois State at home last weekend. The Lady Bears are 5-1 in the Valley since defeating Drake to open conference play on January 10, and are currently on a four-game winning streak. Missouri State holds an 8-3 record on the road this season and will face UNI in Cedar Falls on Friday night. Senior Alexa Willard leads the Lady Bears in scoring, averaging 17.3 points per game (2nd MVC).

Last Meeting vs. Missouri State:

The Lady Bears hit a buzzer-beating three-pointer to edge the Bulldogs, 69-67 in Springfield on January 10. Redshirt senior Sara Rhine led Drake with 23 points and went 10-for-15 from the field. Senior Becca Hittner added 16 points, 12 of which came from the charity stripe. Redshirt senior Monica Burich dropped-in 10 points (5-5 FG) and collected four rebounds. Sophomore Sydney Manning led Missouri State with 16 points.

You can also find Sunday's broadcast on 1350 ESPN (AM) or on the Drake Learfield IMG College Sports Network on TuneIn. Tip-off is at 2:00 PM.

Weekend Recap:

Drake closed the first half of Missouri Valley Conference play with a weekend sweep, defeating Valparaiso and Loyola in the Knapp Center. The Bulldogs distributed the ball well in both contests, totaling 55 assists to 61 field goals made. Drake combined to shoot 53.4 percent from the floor including 49.6 percent from downtown. The bench provided significant support throughout the weekend, combining to score 71 points and scored 45.5 percent of the team's total points.

The Bulldogs' defense continued to shine, holding their opponents to 35.2 percent shooting from the floor (30.1 3FG%), forced a combined 41 turnovers and was plus-19 on the boards.

Postgame Reaction:

Coach Baranczyk (Valpo Postgame)

Sarah Beth Gueldner (Valpo Postgame)

Sara Rhine (Valpo Postgame)

Team Notes:

  • Drake leads the nation in total assists (473) and ranks second nationally in assists per game (22.5). The Bulldogs dished out 31 assists in the win over Valparaiso, a new team-high in MVC play.

  • Drake is shooting 54.9 percent from the field at home in MVC play. The Bulldogs have shot over 46.0 percent from the floor in 9-of-10 home games this season. Drake is 12-2 when shooting 45.0 percent or better from the field this season.

  • Drake's bench scored 45 points in the victory over Valparaiso surpassing the previous season-high of 43 against Evansville on January 19. The Bulldog bench is averaging 23.8 points per game this season.

  • Four players scored 10-or-more points in the victory over Loyola, marking the 13th game that Drake had four-or-more score in double-figures. Drake is 11-2 this season when at least four players score in double-figures.

  • The Bulldogs have given up 66 points or less in four-straight home games.

  • Sara Rhine had a historical weekend. Rhine became the fifth player in program history to reach 2,000 career points after scoring 13 in the win over Valparaiso. The Eldon, Missouri native passed Jan Jensen (1987-91) for fifth all-time in career scoring.

  • Rhine also surpassed 900 career rebounds over the weekend, after grabbing nine in the win over Loyola. The two-time First Team All-MVC selection is two rebounds away from moving to eighth all-time in career boards.

  • Junior Maddie Monahan dished out 15 assists in the pair of wins last weekend. The Silver Lake, Minnesota native has dished 41 assists to just 14 turnovers in her last seven games.

  • Sophomore Maggie Negaard averaged 12.5 points per game and combined to go 6-for-9 from beyond the arc in the weekend series. Negaard has now notched six double-digit scoring games this season, four coming at home.

  • Freshman Sarah Beth Gueldner scored 16 points in the win over Valparaiso, establishing a new career-high. Gueldner is second on the team in three-point field goals made (26) and has made 17 of those three's in the Knapp Center.

  • Sarah Beth Gueldner attempted her first two free throw's of the season in the win over Loyola. Junior Mya Mertz is now the lone Bulldog to not attempt a free throw this season.

Up Next:

Drake travels to the Hoosier State for a two-game road swing next week. The Bulldogs open their road trip at Evansville on Thursday, February 13. Tip from the Meeks Family Fieldhouse is slated for 6:00 PM. Drake will finish their time Indiana with a Saturday afternoon matchup against Indiana State. Tip-off from Terre Haute is at 1:00 PM (CST).

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