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Fourteen three-pointers power Drake past Missouri State, 84-74

This news story was published on January 30, 2014.
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Courtesy Drake Athletics –

 Courtesy Drake Athletics

Courtesy Drake Athletics

DES MOINES – The Drake University men’s basketball team used a barrage of three-pointers and a late scoring run to defeat the Missouri State Bears, 84-74, Wednesday night at the Knapp Center. The back-and-forth contest featured nine ties and 17 lead changes.

“This starts in practice. I can’t think of a rough day in practice since we came back from Christmas and that says a lot about these guys to come in every day and try to get better and give a great effort,” said Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti of the Bulldogs’ resiliency.

Drake (12-9, 3-6 MVC) buried a season-high 14 shots from the three-point arc to tie for the eighth most in school history, to defeat Missouri State (14-7, 4-5), which entered Wednesday’s game in third place in the Missouri Valley Conference standings.

Senior Richard Carter (Detroit, Mich.) led the Bulldogs with a double-double performance, scoring 23 points while distributing a career high 11 assists.

“Richard is the pied piper, he leads us,” Giacoletti said. “It rubs off on everyone else. Then you add distributing the ball like he’s doing and it makes things easy.”

Junior Jordan Daniels (Fontana, Calif.) hit a series of critical shots late in the game to finish with 22 points and thanks to a career-high in three pointers with five. Junior Chris Caird (Daventry, England) set a career high and an individual high for a Drake player this year with six three-pointers and finished with 18 points.

Missouri State started to pull away with an 8-0 run that lasted over two minutes to match its largest lead of five points, 64-59, to create the first separation between the teams in the second half with 7:21 left in the game. Drake was 0-of-3 from the field during the run, which ended following a Bulldog timeout. Drake’s adjustments during the timeout generated a 9-2 run to take a 68-66 lead at the final media timeout of the game thanks to five straight points from Daniels’ hot hand.

“It was us sharing the ball, my teammates found me when I was open and I got good looks,” Daniels said.

The Bulldogs extended their lead to 11 points with 1:13 left on the clock on a pair of Carter free throws to take firm control the game in the waning seconds. Carter finished the evening 16-of-19 from the line for the fourth-most free throws by a Bulldog in program history.

Drake dominated the boards, outrebounding Missouri State, 34-16, and scored 17 second-chance points. Junior Trevor Berkeley (Tucker, Ga.) had a game-high eight rebounds for the Bulldogs as the squad improved to 12-0 when outrebounding its opponent.

Both teams shot at a torrid clip from the field, but it was Drake that held the advantage in shooting percentages. The Bulldogs shot a 52.2 percent from the field on 24-of-46 shooting, including a 58.3 percent mark from the perimeter. Missouri State posted a 50 percent mark from the field and from three-point range.

Austin Ruder led the Bears with a career-high 21 points, which included six three-pointers, an individual high against Drake this season. Ron Mvouika scored 13 points, but was shut down in the second half after leading all scorers at halftime with 10 points. Jarmar Gulley was held below his season average, with 12 points.

Drake started the game with the hot touch, making 4-of-5 from the field to start the game, including back-to-back-to-back three pointers from Caird and senior Aaron Hawley (Rogers, Ark.) to generate a 9-0 run that lasted just under two minutes into the first media timeout of the evening to build an early 13-4 lead against the Bears.

Following the under 16-minute media timeout, momentum swung towards the visiting team as Missouri State ended its 3:25 scoring drought with a 19-5 scoring run, which resulted in giving the Bears a 23-18 lead with 7:11 left in the first half.

The Bulldogs regrouped from their shooting slump and regained the lead at halftime, 38-35. Daniels and Carter led Drake’s offense in the first half, scoring nine and eight points respectively. Mvouika led all scorers at the break with 10 points for Missouri State. The Bulldogs nearly doubled up Missouri State on the glass, holding a 19-10 rebounding edge, and scored nine second chance points compared to two for the Bears. Drake also scored seven points off of three Bear turnovers in the opening frame.

Drake turns its attention next to Illinois State for a 3:05 p.m. contest against the Redbirds at Redbird Arena.

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