The Drake males’s basketball staff rebounded from a cold-shooting first half Thursday to beat Valparaiso 68-63 on the Knapp Middle.
Drake shot 26% within the first half and trailed 26-24 at halftime. The Bulldogs heated up after the break, taking pictures 59% to earn the Missouri Valley Convention victory.
“4 of our final 5 video games (vs. Valparaiso) have been determined by 5 factors or much less,” coach Darian DeVries stated postgame. “It is form of simply what occurs when us and Valpo hook up. It is by no means straightforward … Tonight was no completely different, particularly once you get into convention play.”
Darnell Brodie led the Bulldogs (11-3, 2-1 MVC) with 19 factors and added 9 rebounds, a steal and a block. Tucker DeVries completed with 18 factors and 7 rebounds. Garrett Sturtz added 14 factors and a team-high 11 rebounds. Ben Krikke led Valparaiso (6-8, 0-3) with 15 factors.
Drake had entered the vacation break coming off a record-setting sport towards St. Ambrose on Dec. 21. The Bulldogs completed their non-conference schedule with a 124-48 win over the Preventing Bees, the biggest victory margin in class historical past. Drake additionally recorded a program report 18 three-pointers earlier than a week-long break from sport motion.
The Bulldogs confirmed some rust towards Valparaiso. The Beacons hung round and stored the sport shut until the ultimate buzzer.
A profitable second-half surge
One thing modified for the Bulldogs between the primary and second halves, however that’s not precisely a brand new improvement for a Drake staff that has come from behind on a number of events.
After a sluggish begin, the Bulldogs exited the locker room with new life. D.J. Wilkins scored a 3 to actually get issues going. Brodie picked up factors off a layup earlier than Tucker DeVries added a step-back rating and one other 3-pointer.
“Brodie was terrific,” Tucker DeVries stated. “He made a number of big-time, bodily performs, putbacks, rebounds. He did rather a lot to alter the momentum and everyone else is ready to feed off that. (He) actually carried us for these first 6-8 minutes that second half and bought issues going for us.”
Sturtz put the exclamation level on the sequence with a layup off a steal, giving Drake its first lead since halfway by the primary half.
Drake went from two quick break factors within the first half to 9 earlier than the halfway level of the second half. The Bulldogs improved their taking pictures percentages and noticed pictures fall once they wanted them most.
And credit score to the Bulldogs’ protection, Valparaiso couldn’t match Drake the way in which the Beacons had early on.
Drake managed to increase its lead sufficient within the second half to tug out a win over a convention opponent. However the Bulldogs might want to put the items collectively quicker towards harder opponents.
Subsequent up for Drake: at Missouri State on Sunday for a 2 p.m. Missouri Valley contest.
Maintaining with Krikke
Valparaiso’s Krikke is without doubt one of the high scorers within the MVC. He averaged 18.3 factors per sport forward of Thursday’s contest, behind solely Northern Iowa’s Bowen Born and Drake’s DeVries.
Drake did a superb job limiting the Beacons senior. He completed with 15 factors, 4 rebounds and one block. Krikke picked up three fouls within the first half.