Second-Half Surge Comes Up Short In An 80-74 Loss To Evansville

first_img Box Score (PDF) Next Game: Story Links Photos Box Score (HTML) ESPN 1350 The Valley On ESPN3 Listen Live Watch Livecenter_img Preview at Bradley 2/20/2016 – 7:00 PM Full Schedule Roster DES MOINES, Iowa – D.J. Balentine, the Missouri Valley Conference’s leading scorer, hit a pair of three-pointers in the final minutes to help Evansville defeat the Drake University men’s basketball team, 80-74, Wednesday evening at the Knapp Center.Evansville (21-7, 10-5 MVC) led by as many as 16 points with 7:38 left in the contest before Drake pulled within four points with three minutes left. “I thought we fought to a level that will equate to winning,” said Drake head coach Ray Giacoletti. “I thought our effort, fight and grit was a level tonight that we can win games with. Balentine hit those back-to-back three-pointers, both were contested  and two steps behind the arc. Their best player in school history made plays with two big plays at the end.”Drake (6-21, 1-14 MVC) was led by three players in double-figure scoring with Reed Timmer (New Berlin, Wis.) scoring 16 points while Graham Woodward (Edina, Minn.) added 14 points on 4-of-6 three-point shooting. Freshman Nick McGlynn (Stoughton, Wis.) added a career-high 11 points and six rebounds.”We had a lot of guys play really well,” Giacoletti said. “Nick McGlynn gave us amazing minutes and this is two games in a row where Casey [Schlatter] he has shown great feel and can pass the basketball. He’s got a good feel for what we’re trying to do.”Balentine finished with 26 points for the victorious Purple Aces while Egidijus Mockevicius, the nation’s leading rebounder, added 21 points and 13 rebounds. Facing that 16-point, 62-46, deficit with 7:38 left in the game, Woodward righted the ship with a three-pointer followed by a McGlynn three-point play. Later, a 13-2 Drake run capped by a three-pointer from Casey Schlatter (Iowa Falls, Iowa) off a McGlynn pass nearly erased Evansville’s lead and pulled the Bulldogs within four points, 69-65, with 2:58 left. “It’s about our fight, that’s where it starts.,” Woodward said. “We got sparks from people that got everyone excited. It was all about showing that fight for us and I was happy about the way in which we fought.”However, Balentine soon answered with the Aces’ only two three-pointers of the second half to stretch the advantage back out to eight points, 75-67, with 1:22 left. A Woodward three-pointer 19 seconds later kept the Bulldogs’ hopes alive, as did a pair of Timmer free throws with 42 seconds left. When forced to the free-throw line, Evansville made four-straight free throws to close out the game and escape the Knapp Center with the 80-74 victory.Drake returns to the road for its next contest at Bradley on Saturday evening. Tipoff against the Braves is set for 7 p.m. Earlier this season, Drake claimed an 80-70 victory over Bradley in Des Moines.Print Friendly Versionlast_img read more