Sycamores outscore Drake women, 90-81

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. – Indiana State finally pulled away in a back-and-forth contest with Drake, handing the Bulldog women’s basketball team a 90-81 setback in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference contest inside the Hulman Center.

Bilqis Abdul-Qaadir scored a career-high 26 points to lead the Sycamores (7-6, 2-0) above .500 for the first time since Dec. 3, 2013, thanks to a season-high 90 points. Visiting Drake led by as many as seven points in a first half that featured five ties and six lead changes.

The Bulldogs (6-7, 0-2) led by two at the half, 39-37, and continued their strong shooting, but Indiana State got better. The Sycamores shot 55.6 percent from the field after the break and went 11-for-14 from the free-throw line to help fuel a 21-10 scoring advantage to end the game.

A Chelsea Small jumpshot gave Indiana State the lead for good, 73-71, with 4:07 remaining. Drake committed turnovers on its next three possessions and the Sycamore lead grew to six.

“We were doing such a great job of taking care of the ball,” said Drake coach Jennie Baranczyk, “but those last three turnovers were what really hurt us. We let those turn into points for (Indiana State).”

Drake got to within five with 1:02 left on a jumper by Lizzy Wendell, but Abdul-Qaadir made a pair of free throws to keep the Bulldogs at bay.

Wendell led Drake with 16 points before fouling out, seeing just 19 minutes of court time.

Kyndal Clark scored 12 points to become the 23rd player in school history to reach 1,000 points, and she added a game-high seven assists with no turnovers.

Emma Donahue added 12 points off the bench, while Ashley Bartow and Liza Heap both pitched in 10 points for Drake, which got outrebounded 46-28.

Small came off the bench for Indiana State to post career-highs of 14 points and 12 rebounds. Marina Laramie and Anna Munn both scored 13 points, and Stephanie Wittman chipped in 12 off the bench.

The Bulldogs play their first home MVC game of the season on Thursday, entertaining Southern Illinois (3-10, 1-1) in a 7:05 p.m. game at the Knapp Center in Des Moines.