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Bulldogs rebound by beating back host Salukis

Becca Hittner

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The Drake women’s basketball team made a blistering 60 percent of its field-goal attempts in Sunday’s Missouri Valley Conference game at Southern Illinois.

If the Bulldogs hadn’t turned the ball over a season-high 27 times, they might not have had to work so hard to earn a victory.

Drake outscored the host Salukis 38-26 in the second half to overcome a four-point deficit for a 73-65 victory inside the Banterra Center.

The Bulldogs carried a one-point lead into the fourth quarter. Two-time reigning conference MVP Becca Hittner made a 3-pointer and Monica Burich scored on an assist from Hittner to put Drake (10-5, 2-1) up by six, and it remained a two-possession game for the remainder.

Hittner finished with a game-high 20 points as one of four double-digit scorers for the Bulldogs. Kierra Collier finished with 11 points, Maddie Monahan had 10 points and Sara Rhine had a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds as Drake bounced back from Friday’s heartbreaking, buzzer-beating loss at No. 20 Missouri State.

Brenni Rose added seven points, seven assists, four rebounds and three steals, and Burich finished with eight points in 13 1/2 minutes off the bench for the Bulldogs.

Nicole Martin scored 19 points to lead Southern Illinois (9-6, 1-3). Makenzie Silvey eclipsed 1,000 points for her career thanks to a 13-point effort, and Brittney Patrick added 10 points.

“I thought 75-80 percent of the game we were right where we needed to be,” said Salukis head coach Cindy Stein. “We’ve got to clean up the other 20 percent. I’m extremely encouraged. I thought our kids played their butts off. I’m very proud of their effort. We’ve got to clean up some of the turnovers and execute our plays a little better.”

The loss was the third straight for Southern Illinois.

Drake returns to Des Moines next weekend for a pair of MVC games, hosting Indiana State on Friday and Evansville on Sunday at the Knapp Center.

Drake 73, Southern Illinois 65

At Carbondale, Ill.

DRAKE (10-5, 2-1) — Monahan 4-5 0-0 10, Hittner 5-11 8-8 20, Collier 4-5 3-5 11, Rose 2-7 3-4 7, Rhine 5-7 0-0 10, Wooldridge 0-0 0-0 0, Fuller 0-2 0-0 0, Negaard 3-4 0-0 7, Burich 4-4 0-0 8, Gueldner 0-0 0-0 0. TOTALS 27-45 14-17 73.

S. ILLINOIS (9-6, 1-3) — Patrick 4-6 2-4 10, Silvey 5-13 1-1 13, Nelson 1-5 1-2 3, Brockmeyer 0-3 0-0 0, Martin 7-17 4-5 19, Link 1-3 0-0 3, Walker 0-2 2-2 2, McCallister 4-7 0-0 9, Hartman 1-3 0-0 3, Pudlowski 0-0 0-0 0, Keita 1-2 1-2 3. TOTALS 24-61 11-16 65.

DRAKE 19 16 19 19 — 73

S. ILLINOIS 19 20 14 12 — 65

3-Point Goals–Drake 5-14 (Monahan 2-2, Hittner 2-5, Negaard 1-2, Fuller 0-2, Rose 0-3), S. Illinois 6-20 (Silvey 2-7, Martin 1-1, Hartman 1-2, Link 1-3, McCallister 1-3, Walker 0-1, Nelson 0-3). Rebounds–Drake 35 (Rhine 10), S. Illinois 23 (Silvey 5). Assists–Drake 18 (Rose 7), S. Illinois 11 (Patrick 4). Total Fouls–Drake 19, S. Illinois 22. Fouled Out–None. A–447.

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