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Saturday, December 29, 2007 | Men's Basketball
Drake Moves to 10-1 With Win; Illinois State Wins Third-Straight on Road
Drake won for the ninth-straight game as the Bulldogs moved to 10-1 with an eight-point win at Wichita State on Saturday night. In what was a rare evening, all four road teams won, as Illinois State handed Creighton its first home loss of the season, while Indiana State won for the first time on the road, and UNI beat Daniel Ruffin-less Bradley in Peoria.
Drake 62, Wichita State 54
Drake improved its record to 10-1 while matching the best start in school history through 11 games. The last Drake team to open the season at 11-1 was the 1968-69 Final Four squad under coach Maury John. It marked the first time Drake has won nine straight games since the 1969-70 team, under coach Maury John, won 12 straight games.
Sophomore guard Josh Young led both teams with 17 points, while collecting a career high five teals. It marked the first time the Bulldogs had beaten Wichita State in back-to-back games since the 1995-96 campaign. Drake earned a 62-58 home win against Wichita State last Feb. 14 before winning tonight.
Cox tied a career high with three three-point baskets. With the score tied at 39-39, Cox drilled two straight treys to build the lead to 45-39 with 12:05 left. After Wichita State pulled within 48-44, Cox made a layup and hit another three-point basket with 9:11 left to give the Bulldogs a 53-44 advantage. Drake senior guard Adam Emmenecker had a career-high eight rebounds. Cox also grabbed eight rebounds.
It marked the second time in the last three seasons that Drake had won its MVC opener on the road. Drake earned a 79-68 victory at Evansville in its 2005-06 opener.
Drake snapped a three-game road losing streak at Wichita State, claiming its first victory since a 71-60 triumph Jan. 3, 2004.
Drake owned a 30-25 halftime lead thanks in part to a steal by freshman Josh Parker who then turned around to hit a three-point basket right before the buzzer . The Bulldogs have led at halftime in all 11 games this winter
Bradley announced before the game that Ruffin would be out indefinitely after having outpatient surgery Friday in New Jersey to repair a sports hernia. The 5-foot-10 point guard is the nation's active leader with 549 career assists and he began the day as the only active player in the country with 1,000 career points (1,042) and 500 assists.
The Braves got off to a rough start, shooting just 16.7 percent from the field in the first half and trailed 25-9 at the break. The nine points scored in the first half was the lowest scoring half for for any team in the 26-year history of Carver Arena.
UNI scored the first basket of the second half, but Bradley countered with an 18-5 run that cut the deficit to five points (32-27) with just over 13 minutes to play. Senior guard Jeremy Crouch (Pekin, Ill./Pekin Community) scored all nine of his points during the stretch, nailing a pair of three-pointers and converting a three-point play. Junior Theron Wilson (Topeka, Kan./Highland Park/Seward County C.C.) capped the Braves run with a three-point play.
Bradley would go scoreless for the next 4:43 of play, however, allowing UNI to push its lead back to double digits at 40-27 with just over eight minutes remaining. The Braves would pull to within eight points with 4:54 to play after a Sam Maniscalco (Chicago, Ill./St. Patrick) three-pointer, but Eric Coleman would score eight of his game-high 17 points in the closing minutes to help UNI hold off Bradley down the stretch.
The Braves committed a season-low 10 turnovers, but shot 31.5 percent from the field, which included 6-of-29 from three-point range (20.7 percent). UNI shot 52.9 percent in the second half and dominated the glass, outrebounding Bradley 45-27.
Bradley's 46 points were the fewest for the Braves in a game at Carver Arena and the lowest scoring output in a contest since suffering a 59-46 loss to Southern Illinois in the championship game of the 2006 State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Championship.
Maniscalco made his first career start in place of Ruffin and scored a season-best 15 points on 5-of-10 shooting. He also added two steals in 38 minutes of action. Crouch and sophomore Andrew Warren (Indianapolis, Ind./Brebeuf Jesuit) each added nine points and four rebounds.
Coleman led all players with 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting and grabbed 14 rebounds off the bench for Northern Iowa. He also had three assists, one blocked shot and two steals. Senior Jared Josten added 16 points as the duo combined for 24 of UNI's 34 points in the second half.
The Sycamores jumped out to an early 3-0 lead, thanks to a three-pointer by sophomore Harry Marshall to open the game. Evansville jumped came right back, though, and scored the next six points to take a 6-3 lead. After a Marico Stinson free throw cut the lead to two points, senior Gabe Moore connected from three-point range to put ISU up 7-6 with 15:07 left on the clock.
The two squads then went back-and-forth, trading the lead for the rest of the half. ISU led by as much as four points after a jumper by freshman Isiah Martin made the score 23-19 with 3:44 left in the half. However, the Purple Aces fourth back and knotted the score at 23-23 on a layup by Nate Garner. After a three-pointer from Shy Ely put Evansville up three points at 26-23 with 1:14 left, Stinson connected on a jumper with 45 seconds left to cut the lead to one at 26-25 at the half.
Indiana State came out firing in the second half and opened with a 10-2 run. Moore had seven straight points to start the run and it was capped off by a three-pointer by senior Todd McCoy to give the Sycamores a 37-28 lead with 16:28 left on the clock. The ISU lead would eventually grow to as much as 15 points at 51-36 on another three-pointer by McCoy with 9:32 left in the game.
The ISU lead continued to grow, as Moore continued to dominate as a layup gave ISU its largest lead of the game at 59-40 with 5:14 left in the game. Evansville tried to claw back late and managed to cut the lead to nine at 63-54 on a Jason Holsinger three-pointer with 2:10 left on the clock. However, Moore scored four more points in the last two minutes and the Sycamores held on for the 70-56 win.
Moore finished with a game-high 22 points, including 17 in the second half, to go along with six assists to lead ISU to the victory. He was joined in double figures by McCoy and Harry Marshall with 13 points, and Martin with 10 points, eight rebounds and four blocks.
Dyer’s 20 points led a fivesome in double figures for ISU, with Osiris Eldridge (15), Slack (11) and Dinma Odiakosa (10) joining him. Creighton was led by P’Allen Stinnett’s 22 points and team-high seven rebounds.
The Redbirds came out firing, jumping out to an 11-2 lead at the first media timeout (15:33). The surge started with a 6-0 run, with Odiakosa contributing two field goals and Boo Richardson tallying a runner in the lane. With ISU holding onto a 9-2 edge, Eldridge hit the floor hard with an apparent ankle injury, but walked off the floor on his own.
Creighton trimmed the Redbird advantage to 16-10 with 11:31 remaining in the first stanza after recording an 8-7 spurt. Stinnett had four points in the stretch, but Dyer kept ISU in the commanding lead by scoring seven-consecutive points. The Redbirds extended their advantage to 11 points, 24-13, at the 7:43 mark. Odiakosa had five more quick points before picking up his second foul, and Emmanuel Holloway and Brandon Sampay added field goals in the spree.
ISU forced Creighton into its first timeout with 4:26 left in the frame after going on an 8-3 run to claim a commanding 32-16 advantage. Dyer had two threes in the spurt, and Boo Richardson added two transition layups off a pair of Creighton turnovers. ISU took a 42-29 lead into the locker room at halftime after Creighton finished the frame on a 13-10 spree.
The Bluejays opened the second half on a 9-5 run, and pulled within nine, 47-38, at the initial media timeout (15:51). Chad Millard, Dane Watts, Stinnett and Cavel Witter each tallied field goals in the stretch. Eldridge countered his first points of the game with a three-pointer for ISU and Slack added a field goal in the paint.
ISU built its lead back to 15 points (56-41) at the 11:48 mark. Eldridge and Dyer combined for eight points in the spree, with Dyer capitalizing on a four-point play after converting a three-pointer from the left corner and drawing the foul on Watts.
The Redbirds built their largest lead of 18 points, 69-51, before Stinnett answered with a three-pointer to pull the Bluejays back within 15 (69-54) and Creighton called timeout. ISU called a timeout of its own with 3:38 remaining after the Jays trimmed the Redbird lead to 69-57. Stinnett had four quick points in the spurt. Dom Johnson found Slack wide open for a dunk on the ensuing possession, and ISU extended its lead back to 14, 71-57.
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