Big second half lifts Drake past Green Bay

DES MOINES – Drake junior Seth VanDeest’s double-double led four Bulldogs in double-figures and Drake dominated the final 20 minutes in a 71-54 victory over Green Bay at the Knapp Center on Saturday.

VanDeest had 15 points and 10 rebounds in the win as the Bulldogs led by as many as 20 points and scored 20 points off 12 Green Bay turnovers.

“I thought he played well on the defensive end and gave us all the energy he had,” Drake coach Mark Phelps said of VanDeest’s effort. “He took care of the ball and got four big offensive rebounds. Seth had a terrific game tonight.”

The Bulldogs outscored Green Bay 34-19 in the second half. Drake’s defense held the Phoenix to 6-of-29 from the floor in the final 20 minutes, including 0-for-8 from long range.

Ben Simons had a team-high 16 points in the win, while Chris Hines added 14 and Kori Babineaux scored 10 off the bench for the Bulldogs (13-15). Drake also played without the services of leading rebounder Jordan Clarke.

Simons moved into eighth in career scoring at Drake with 1,330 points. He buried four 3-pointers against Green Bay on Saturday.

The Phoenix were led by Keifer Sykes and Brennan Cougill, who each scored 12 points in the loss. Cougill, a former Sioux City Heelan and Iowa Hawkeye, returned to his home state and also grabbed five boards in a losing cause.