Drake beats down another D-III visitor

DES MOINES – The competition will surely pick up eventually.

For now, the Drake men’s basketball team is going to take out last year’s frustrations on NCAA Division III opponents.

For the second straight game, the Bulldogs had their way against an inferior opponent on their home floor, beating Iowa Wesleyan 104-49 Tuesday night.

The offensive explosion was Drake’s first 100-point game since the 2010-11 season and the 55-point margin of victory was the third biggest in school history.

“Tonight we tried to focus on a couple of things, one being our man-to-man defense and the other our offensive execution,” Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti said. “I think we got better at our offensive execution and still need work on defense, but we played a lot of guys and saw some different lineups. I think we were able to get some guys some minutes and touches that they needed under game conditions.”

The Bulldogs shot 64 percent from the floor, turned it over just five times and out-rebounded the Tigers. Drake (2-0) also scored 60 points in the paint, scored 30 points off 17 Iowa Wesleyan turnovers and had an 18-0 advantage in fastbreak points.

“It’s something this team needed to start to believe a little bit,” Giacoletti said of the confidence building win. “Winning on the road Saturday was huge as well.”

Four players scored in double figure for the Bulldogs, led by Blake Danielak’s 18 points, six rebounds and four assists. Jacob Enevold also had 17 points and five boards, while Richard Carter contributed 14 and Gary Ricks chipped in 11 points and four assists. Danielak and Enevold’s efforts were both off the bench as Drake’s reserves scored 62 points.

Former Marshalltown Community College forward Chris Caird was 1-for-5 from long range and scored three points and had five rebounds and three assists in 22 minutes. Seth VanDeest chipped in eight points and four rebounds, while Daddy Ugbede added to the bench production with nine points and six rebounds.

Dion Lightner led Iowa Wesleyan (0-1) with 10 points, while Chris Martin and Steven Archibald scored nine. The Tigers turned it over 17 times and shot just 33 percent from the floor.

Drake will return to the court Saturday to face Saint Mary’s. Tipoff is set for 9 p.m. in Moraga, Calif., against the perennial top-25 program.

“The opponent on Saturday is one of the better West Coast teams, period,” said Giacoletti, who spent six season coaching against Saint Mary’s while an assistant at Gonzaga. “They just went through an eight-year period of having an NBA point guard and they have a five man that’s one of the best five men on the West Coast.”