Bulldogs bury school-record 17 3s

DES MOINES – The Drake women’s basketball team knocked down a school-record 17 3-pointers en route to a season-high scoring performance, putting away Bradley 97-77 on Sunday afternoon at the Knapp Center.

Bulldog freshman Lizzy Wendell tallied career-highs of 29 points, five assists, five steals and – of course – three 3-pointers in leading the hosts to the Missouri Valley Conference victory.

Kyndal Clark, fresh off a school-record 10 3-pointers in a loss Friday, netted 5-of-9 triples en route to 17 points, and freshman guard Caitlin Ingle had a double-double of 16 points and a career-high 10 assists in her second consecutive start.

“The confidence that these two young women (Wendell and Clark) have had in the last two games – you know we lost a tough one on Friday – but to be able to bounce back from that tough loss and to be able to prepare on Saturday and come in the way we did today, that’s maturity,” said Drake coach Jennie Baranczyk. “That’s something that these two here, along with Caitlin Ingle, they’re able to be the corner of what this team is going to be and what we’re going to continue to be about.”

Drake’s 97 points are the program’s most since it had 90 in a win over Central Michigan in the 2010-11 season, and most in an MVC game since scoring 95 in a win over Southern Illinois in 2001-02.

Bradley (4-14, 1-6) got out to an early six-point lead that the Bulldogs (8-11, 2-6) eventually erased thanks to a 19-2 scoring surge. Both teams shot better than 50 percent in the first half as Drake went into the break leading 50-44.

The Braves were held scoreless for a stretch of nearly 4 minutes midway through the second half as Drake expanded its lead to as many as 28 points.

Wendell shot 11-for-17 from the field, including 3-for-5 from 3-point land, while going 4-for-4 from the free-throw line in her career-high scoring performance.

The Bulldogs turned Bradley’s 16 turnovers into 32 points while committing just eight miscues themselves – third-lowest in school history.

Fantasia Vine led MVC cellar-dweller Bradley with 18 points, while Kelly Frings had 17 and Kelsey Budd 14. Catie O’Leary came off the bench for 12 points.

Iowa natives Leti Lerma (Muscatine) and Aly Spinas-Valainis (Davenport Assumption) combined for eight points and 14 rebounds for the Braves.

Next up for Drake is an in-state showdown with Northern Iowa. The Panthers host the Bulldogs next Sunday, Feb. 2, for a 2:05 p.m. game at the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls.