Drake women rallies past Nebraska

LINCOLN, Neb. — The Drake women’s basketball team trailed by as many as 14 points early in the first half against Nebraska but rallied to beat the Cornhuskers in the season opener on Wednesday, 83-77.

After finishing the first quarter down 29-15, the Bulldogs (1-0) outscored Nebraska (0-1) 30-7 in the second to take a 45-36 lead into halftime. The Cornhuskers would pull within three points by the end of the third, but Drake held on and won the fourth quarter 23-20 to secure the six-point victory.

Five players scored in the double figures for the Bulldogs, with junior Becca Hitner leading all scorers with 19 points. Senior Sammie Bachrodt went for 15 for Drake, while Maddy Dean had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds and Nicole Miller and Sara Rhine each finished with 11.

Rhine also had 10 rebounds, joining Dean in the double-double club.

Sam Haiby was the leading scorer for Nebraska with 13 points, followed by Hannah Whitish and Nicea Eliely with 10 each.

While the Bulldogs and Cornhuskers were fairly even in 3-point shooting (11-for-28 for Drake and 10-for-28 for Nebraska) and total field goals (26-for-65 for the Bulldogs and 27-for-66 for the Cornhuskers) it was Drake’s ability to get to the free-throw line that put them over the edge.

The Bulldogs finished 20-for-29 from the charity stripe, while the Cornhuskers were 13-for-17.

Drake stays on the road for its second game of the year, as it will play at Western Illinois on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 4:30 p.m. in Macomb, Ill.

Drake 83, Nebraska 77

At Lincoln, Neb.

DRAKE (1-0) — Jonas 4-9 0-0 8, Monahan 0-3 1-2 1, Hittner 6-13 5-5 19, Dean 2-7 7-10 13, Bachrodt 5-13 1-3 15, Rose 0-3 1-2 1, Fuller 0-0 0-0 0, Miller 4-6 0-0 11, Burich 2-3 0-0 4, Rhine 3-8 5-7 11. TOTALS 26-65 20-29 83.

NEBRASKA (0-1) — Simon 2-6 0-0 4, Cain 2-6 0-0 4, Whitish 4-10 0-0 10, Eliely 2-4 4-4 10, Kissinger 2-8 2-2 8, Veerbeek 4-8 0-0 8, Mitchell 0-0 1-2 1, Haiby 4-7 4-4 13, Hudson 3-8 1-3 7, Brown 2-5 0-0 6, Mershon 2-4 1-2 6. TOTALS 27-66 13-17 77.

DRAKE 15 30 15 23 — 83

NEBRASKA 29 7 21 20 — 77

3-Point Goals–Drake 11-28 (Bachrodt 4-9, Miller 3-3, Hittner 2-5, Dean 2-5, Rhine 0-1, Jonas 0-2), NEB 10-28 (Eliely 2-3, Kissinger 2-5, Brown 2-5, Whitish 2-8, Haiby 1-2, Mershon 1-2, Simon 0-1, Veerbeek 0-1, Hudson 0-1). Fouled Out–Veerbeek. Rebounds–Drake 44 (Dean, Rhine 10), NEB 40 (Veerbeek 7). Assists–Drake 18 (Dean, Miller 4), NEB 16 (Whitish 4). Total Fouls–Drake 19, NEB 24.