MOINES, Iowa - For just the fourth time in program
history and the first time since the 2006-07 season, the Indiana State women's
basketball team earned a road win over the Drake Bulldogs, as the Sycamores
used another strong defensive effort to claim a 67-49 victory inside the Knapp
Indiana State improves to 10-4 on the season and 2-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference with the win, snapping a five-game road losing streak the Bulldogs. Drake falls to 5-9 overall, 0-3 within league play.
The Sycamores never trailed on Friday night, as Indiana State limited Drake to just 4-for-15 (26.7%) shooting in the opening half and forced 17 turnovers by the Bulldogs. Indiana State turned those miscues into points on the offensive end, scoring 17 points off Drake's turnovers.
Indiana State held a three to seven point advantage for much of the first half, before the Sycamores built a larger lead late in the period. The Sycamores closed the half on a 13-3 run over the final four and a half minutes to take a 33-18 lead into the halftime locker room.
Sophomore Racheal Mahan led Indiana State with 16 points and five rebounds in the first half, shooting 6-for-7 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. Senior Taylor Whitley added eight points, also shooting a perfect 4-for-4 at the charity stripe.
Drake's Ashley Bartow knocked down two free throws to open the scoring in the second half, closing the ISU lead to 13 points at 33-20 with 18:48 remaining, but Whitley and Mahan answered on back-to-back possessions for Indiana State to push their lead to 37-20 with 17:37 to go.
After a three-pointer from DU's Mary Pat Specht, the Sycamores went on a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to take a 47-25 lead with 14:39 remaining on the jumper by junior Anna Munn. ISU would take their largest lead of the game 90 seconds later, as Whitley converted a fastbreak layup to put Indiana State in front by 23 points, at 50-27 with 13:07 left to play.
Indiana State would hold at least a 15-point lead for the remainder of the game, picking up the 67-49 MVC road win over Drake.
Mahan tied her career high with 23 points on Friday, shooting 9-for-13 from the field and 5-for-7 from the charity stripe. Whitley posted a season high 20 points, going 7-for-13 from the field.
Sophomore Natasha Zurek also posted a season best against the Bulldogs, adding 10 points off the bench with six rebounds and three steals. Sophomore Jessica Valley provided another all-around stat line, tying her career high with 12 rebounds to go with seven points, two blocks and an assist.
As a team, the Sycamores shot 23-for-57 (40.4%) from the field and scored 34 of the 67 points for the game in the paint. Indiana State also dominated in rebounds, posting a 44-30 edge on the glass including a 29-13 edge in the second half alone.
Indiana State's defense entered the game allowing just 50.3 points per game, the top mark in the MVC and 13th best in the NCAA. ISU forced Drake into 20 turnovers with a 14-for-44 (31.8%) effort from the field. Friday's game marks the seventh time this season the Indiana State has held an opponent to fewer than 50 points, with ISU going 7-0 in those contests.
The Sycamores return to action on Sunday, Jan. 13, traveling to league-leading Creighton. The Bluejays defeated Illinois State on Friday, 64-45, to improve to 11-3 on the season and 3-0 in league play. Tipoff between Indiana State and Creighton is set for 3:05 p.m. (ET), 2:05 p.m. locally in Nebraska.