Drake ladies end long drought against UNI

DES MOINES – A pair of six-game losing streaks have suddenly been erased.

The Drake women’s basketball team ended its six-game slide with last Monday’s win over Bradley, and the Bulldogs snapped an equally long series skid against in-state rival Northern Iowa with Sunday’s 63-55 triumph inside the Knapp Center.

Morgan Reid had a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds and Drake (7-12, 2-6) won consecutive games for the first time since the end of December.

Carly Grenfell and Stephanie Running both contributed 10 points, including back-to-back buckets by Running that gave the Bulldogs the lead for good late in the first half of this Missouri Valley Conference clash.

“We were very composed today and that’s one of the things we are most proud of,” said Drake coach Jennie Baranczyk. “That’s one of the lessons that we learned in the Bradley game. “This game we knew UNI was going to make a run. They’re a great team, they have a phenomenal player – I think Jacqui Kalin is one of the best players not only in this conference but in the country.”

Northern Iowa (8-11, 3-4) shot a shaky 33 percent (21-for-63) from the field while getting outrebounded 50-35.

Kalin scored 22 points and had a career-high 11 rebounds to celebrate her 24th birthday but in a losing cause. The sixth-year senior point guard shot 8-for-22 from the field, just 2-for-10 from 3-point range, and was left to attack the Bulldog defense mostly on her own.

Amber Kirschbaum chipped in 10 points off the bench for the Panthers, who lost for the third time in their last four outings.

Jess McDowell’s first of two 3-pointers put the Panthers in front for the first time, 16-13, but Drake responded with a 7-0 spurt to go in front to stay. Consecutive shots by Running made it 20-16 to break a tie, and Northern Iowa only got as close as two points once during the second half.

The Bulldogs went just 7-for-12 from the free-throw line inside the final 1:22 but it was enough to keep UNI at bay.

Drake concludes a three-game homestand on Saturday with a 3 p.m. game against Creighton, while Northern Iowa heads back to Cedar Falls for Thursday’s 7 p.m. contest with Southern Illinois.