Carter’s clutch buckets, 26 points lead Drake in home win

DES MOINES – Nine of Richard Carter’s 26 points came in the final 2 minutes and it was enough to propel the Drake men’s basketball team to a 71-63 win over Albany at the Knapp Center on Monday night.

Carter hit two clutch buckets and canned five free throws in the closing minutes. He was 4-of-6 from 3-point range in the game and also dished out three assists. He was the only Bulldog in double-figures, but Drake won because it only turned the ball over just 12 times, out-rebounded Albany 33-25 and buried 10-of-19 from long range.

“I tried to be aggressive and lead my teammates. I like those type of situations,” Carter said. “If I had two points and we still got the win, I’d be happy.”

Albany scored the game’s first two points but never led again after Jordan Daniels buried a 3 with 19:12 to play in the first half. The triple ignited an 11-0 run for the Bulldogs, who improved to 8-3 after the win.

“That’s a good basketball team,” Drake coach Ray Giacoletti said. “They’re an older, veteran team and (John) Puk had a heck of a night.”

Daniels finished with nine points and three rebounds, while former Marshalltown Community College standout Chris Caird scored eight points and grabbed four boards. Aaron Hawley also had seven points and seven rebounds off the bench. Drake’s reserves outscored the Great Danes’ bench 19-6.

The Great Danes trailed by as many as 11 but got to within one after D.J. Evans buried a 3 with 4:12 to play.

After that though, Caird scored a layup and then Carter took over with a jumper, a 3-point play and a 4-for-4 effort at the line.

“Every team is going to go on runs,” Carter said. “We just had to keep our composure.”

Puk led Albany (6-6) with 16 points, while Evans added 14. Sam Rowley scored 12 and Peter Hooley chipped in 11, but the rest of the Great Danes’ roster combined for just 10 points.

Drake returns to action on Dec. 29 to close out its non-conference season on the road at IUPUI for 1 p.m. tip. The Bulldogs return home to open Missouri Valley Conference play Jan. 1, 2014, against Evansville.