Drake women fall short of MVC upset

OMAHA, Neb. – First-year Drake women’s basketball coach Jennie Baranczyk is starting to make her mark on the Bulldogs program as the season winds down.

Games are getting more competitive and the team is winning much more frequently than it was earlier in the season.

Unfortunately, the winning did not continue Sunday afternoon, but a 67-66 loss to second-place Creighton is nothing to be upset about.

“Creighton is a great team and at the top of the league for a reason,” Baranczyk said. “This is a tough place to play, and I couldn’t be more proud of our team today and the effort they brought, especially in the first half. Unfortunately we lost our offensive aggressiveness a little in second half and had a few bad turnovers that gave them easy baskets.”

Kyndal Clark scored a team-high 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting to lead Drake (9-18, 4-12), while Morgan Reid added 14 points and 12 rebounds. The only other player to score in double-figures was Stephanie Running as she put in 10 points and had four rebounds and three assists off the bench.

Clark made a layup with 12 seconds left to cut the Bluejays’ lead to 67-66, but the Bulldogs couldn’t get the foul they needed to extend the game. Creighton improved to 7-0 at home in conference play and remains a half-game back of Wichita State in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.

The Bulldogs held a 37-30 lead at halftime behind hot shooting and tough defense. One week after a record-breaking shooting performance in the opening half at UNI, Drake finished 14-of-26 from floor and 6-of-10 from behind the arc in the first half.

Creighton (21-6, 13-3 MVC) used a 14-7 scoring run to start the second half and tied it at 44 with 13 minutes left.

The Bulldogs’ bench outscored Creighton’s 21-12 and the Bulldogs out-rebounded the Bluejays, 37-28.

Drake concludes the regular season with two home games at the Knapp Center. The Bulldogs face last place Southern Illinois at 7 p.m. Thursday before hosting Evansville at 2:05 p.m. Saturday.