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Women’s Basketball Starts MVC Play at Bradley

first_imgStory Links Bradley, which is off to its best start in program history, is 6-0 at home while Illinois State is riding a six-game winning streak after starting the season 1-4. This weekend will feature the top five scorers in the MVC. Redbirds senior Simone Goods is No. 1 at 18.7 points while Hittner and Rhine rank No. 2 and 3, respectively, with 18.5 and 17.8 clips. Gabi Haack and Lasha Petree of the Braves round out the group at 16.1 and 15.9 points, respectively. In Drake’s final non-conference game against Iowa at the Knapp Center on Dec. 21 it was another great one in the all-time series between the longtime in-state rivals that started in 1974. The Hawkeyes ultimately prevailed in a wild back-and-forth 91-82 game in front of a season-high 6,107 fans that saw 11 ties and 10 lead changes. Senior All-American Megan Gustafson scored 44 points for Iowa while junior and reigning MVC Player of the Year Becca Hittner (Urbandale, Iowa) poured in a career-high 32 points for the Bulldogs. Gustafson and Hittner were top scorers as the two teams each had four players score 10 or more points. Iowa’s starting five scored all 91 of its points while Drake’s scored 77 of its 82. It was the 51st meeting in the series that Iowa now leads 26-25. Illinois State Live Stats Bradley Game Notes Illinois State ESPN+ Bradley ESPN+ PEORIA, Ill. – The Drake University women’s basketball team travels to central Illinois for the start of Missouri Valley Conference play this weekend. Drake (8-4) plays at Bradley (10-1) Friday night at 6 p.m. before it closes opening weekend at Illinois State (7-4) Sunday afternoon at 2 p.m. Both road contests will be streamed on ESPN+. Bradley Live Stats Drake Game Notes Hittner was outstanding for the Bulldogs in the hard-fought loss as she scored Drake’s first 11 points of the game and helped them get back into the game after they fell behind by 16 midway through the first quarter. She scored five straight points to end the period and pulled Drake within three points at 26-23 and at halftime had 25 points. Her previous career-high of 27 points came at Iowa last season. She and Sara Rhine (Eldon, Mo.), who scored 14 points, are tied for the team lead in most 20-plus games this season with five each. Drake enters league play after playing one of the toughest non-conference schedules in the nation. The Bulldogs played four opponents who are currently ranked and two more who received votes in the latest the AP Top 25 poll. The 11 Division I opponents Drake faced have a combined record of 96-50. The Bulldogs’ RPI is currently No. 10 in the nation while numerous RPI websites rank their non-con slate the third toughest in the country. Following this weekend on the road, Drake begins its MVC home slate against Loyola on Jan. 11. Tipoff at the Knapp Center is set for 6 p.m. Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more