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Hawley and Carter lead Drake men over Southern Illinois, 57-54


This news story was published on January 23, 2014.
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Courtesy: Drake Athletics –

drake-bulldogs-logo-smallCARBONDALE, Ill. – Seniors Aaron Hawley (Rogers, Ark.) and Richard Carter (Detroit, Mich.) combined to make critical plays in the final minute to lead the Drake University men’s basketball team to a 57-54 win at Southern Illinois on Wednesday night.

After holding a comfortable lead for the majority of the game, Drake’s (11-8, 2-5 MVC) offense went stagnant against SIU’s zone and scored just two points in a seven-minute span to allow a 10-2 SIU run to tie the game at 52-52 with 59 seconds left.

“That zone kind of stymied us, we got tight and passed up good looks,” said Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti. “We weren’t able to get and ducking and when we punched it in we got good looks.”

Carter and Hawley immediately stepped up when Carter drove the lane and found Hawley open in the near corner for his career-high fifth three-pointer of the evening with 40 seconds left. Hawley finished the evening with a game-high 19 points and was 5-of-8 from the three-point arc.

SIU (6-14, 2-5 MVC) added a putback off a missed three-pointer on its ensuing possession to trim the margin to one point and the Salukis quickly fouled Carter on the inbounds play to send him to the line.

Carter drained both pressure-packed free throws to push Drake’s lead back to three points, 57-54. The senior, who scored 12 points with four assists, showed up on the other end of the floor as well by hauling in the rebound on SIU’s attempt to tie the game and snap the Bulldogs’ five-game losing skid.

“Richard made three huge plays down the stretch to find a win for us,” Giacoletti said. “He punched the gap to get Hawley the shot, stepped up, made two free throws and got a big rebound at the other end. That’s what seniors do.”

Drake held a 40-32 advantage in rebounding to improve to 11-0 this season when outrebounding its opponent. Seth VanDeest (Bettendorf, Iowa) led Drake’s rebounding effort with nine boards. Desmar Jackson, the MVC’s third leading scorer, scored 15 points for the Salukis. Sean O’Brien and Jalen Pendleton each added 12 points..

The Bulldogs carried a 32-23 advantage into halftime thanks to the defense limiting SIU’s offense to 33.3 percent shooting while crashing the boards to the tune of a 9-rebound, 21-12, advantage.

Hawley scored 10 of his points in the opening half with a pair of three-pointers, the second coming after the Salukis briefly took a one-point, 13-12, lead with 11:42 left in the half. His three-pointer put the Bulldogs back on top and started a 12-2 run over the next five minutes to take a nine-point lead.

Drake extended its first half lead to as many as 11 points in the final minute of the half before an SIU runner as time expired trimmed the margin to nine at the break. Drake kept that lead at six or more points for the majority of the second half until SIU tied the game in the final minute to set up Carter and Hawley’s heroics in the final seconds.

The Bulldogs return home to host No. 5 Wichita State on Saturday evening at the Knapp Center. Tipoff against the undefeated Shockers is scheduled for 7:05 p.m.

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