Drake closes second-straight undefeated MVC season

VALPARAISO, Ind. — The Drake women’s basketball team never trailed in an 85-53 victory at Valparaiso Saturday in Missouri Valley Conference play.

With the road win, the Bulldogs (23-7, 18-0) finished undefeated in MVC play for the second-straight season.

Sara Rhine was one of four Bulldogs in double figures, finishing with a game-high 25 points on an impressive 10-of-13 shooting. Becca Hittner scored 15 points, followed by Becca Jonas with her second double-double of the season with 13 points and 11 rebounds. Sammie Bachrodt filled up the stat sheet with 10 points, four assists and four rebounds.

Valparaiso was led in scoring by Dani Franklin with 15 points, the only Crusader to score in double figures.

After finishing undefeated in conference play yet again, the Bulldogs will enter the MVC Tournament next week as the No. 1 seed. Their tournament run will start on Friday against the winner of the Loyola-Valparaiso play in game on Thursday.

Northern Iowa 64, Loyola 39

CHICAGO — The Northern Iowa women’s basketball team closed out the regular season with a 64-39 win over Missouri Valley Conference foe Loyola on Saturday afternoon.

The Panthers (17-12, 13-5) never trailed on Saturday, leading by as much as 28 against the Ramblers and holding Loyola to a season-low 15 points in the first half.

Sophomore Megan Maahs posted her 12th double-double of the season to lead the Panthers, scoring 16 points and hauling down 10 rebounds. With Saturday’s effort, Maahs has now earned the most double-doubles in a season since Alex Cook earned 14 in 2003-04.

Maahs was the only UNI player in double figures, but 11 Panthers found the bottom of the net in the win.

UNI shot 47 percent from the floor on Saturday, while holding Loyola to just 26 percent for the game. Tiara Wallace was the leading scorer for the Ramblers with 14 points while Abby O’Connor finished with 10 points.

The Panthers roll into the postseason on a four-game winning streak and they face off with Illinois State in the first round of the MVC Tournament on Friday, starting at 8:30 p.m. in the Quad Cities.