Wichita State Shockers

Drake women top Wichita State in Valley semifinals

It took four minutes for Wichita State’s upset bid to turn into a runaway Drake victory.

The 20th-ranked Bulldogs closed out the third quarter on a 22-7 run en route to an 86-68 win over the Shockers in Saturday’s Missouri Valley Conference semifinal game at the iWireless Center.

“It’s not just us they’ve done that to, they do that to just about everyone they play,” Wichita State coach Linda Hargrove said. “It’s just like a freight train, once they start hitting one or two or three they just come at you, come at you, come at you. It’s very hard to stop.”

The Shockers (15-16) did a lot right in the first half, with a 16-15 first quarter lead they stretched to 33-27 at halftime. Wichita State shot 60 percent from the three-point line and held the Bulldogs without a three of their own.

Drake (27-4) also struggled from the free-throw line, going 3-of-10 in the first 20 minutes.

All of that turned around in the second half. The Bulldogs were 5-of-10 from behind the arc and outrebounded the Shockers 28-17 in the final 20 minutes.

“We got back to us and stopped worrying about them,” said Drake guard Sammie Bachrodt, a sophomore from Kapaun. “We concentrated on the things we needed to adjust in the second half. We got back to playing our basketball, and everything just flowed after that.”

Bachrodt scored 14 points to supplement Lizzy Wendell’s 34. The conference player of the year was dominant in the second half, scoring 23 points, including six straight at the start of Drake’s run.

Wichita State led 45-42 with 4:09 remaining in the third quarter, but by the start of the fourth, trailed 64-52 and the margin only widened the rest of the game.

Rangie Bessard led the Shockers with 27 points and 13 rebounds, her ninth double-double of the season. But Bessard also struggled from the free-throw line, going 6 of 15 as she battled through a physical game down low.

“It’s tough in the post, it’s a tough position,” Bessard said. “I’m a better free-throw shooter than that and just a little tired, a little fatigued, but for me, I should have made those.”

Bessard’s inside presence caused problems for the Bulldogs, whose post players found themselves in foul trouble most of the night, but Wichita State didn’t’ take advantage. The Shockers were outscored 46-30 in the paint, due in part to an Achilles injury sustained by Angiee Tompkins in their quarterfinal win over Southern Illinois.

Tompkins did play Saturday and had four points and 10 rebounds. Jeliah Preston added 13 points while TaQuandra Mike had four blocks.

“We scared them the first half,” Hargrove said. “Drake’s an excellent basketball team and they’re hard to guard because they move and they pass and you have to switch … I was really proud of our team, I thought we played extremely hard.”

Wichita St. (15-16)—Bessard 10-20 6-15 27, Preston 5-13 0-0 13, Tompkins 2-8 0-0 4, Mike 2-13 0-0 4, Thompson 2-5 2-2 6, Lozada-Cabbage 1-2 0-2 2, Williams 1-1 0-0 3, Martin 0-0 0-0 0, Lockhart 0-0 0-0 0, Mortimer 0-0 0-0 0, Stovall 1-2 0-0 2, Lee 2-9 1-2 7, Totals 26-73 9-21 68.

Drake (27-4)—Jonas 1-4 0-0 2, Wendell 13-25 6-11 34, Bachrodt 4-8 4-7 14, Hittner 4-8 3-5 11, Ingle 4-9 3-4 11, Mertz 1-2 0-2 2, Greiner 1-4 0-0 3, Miller 1-5 0-0 2, Rose 1-5 1-2 3, Rush 1-1 2-2 4, Totals 31-71 19-33 86.

Wichita St.

16

17

19

16

68

Drake

15

12

37

22

86

3-Point Goals—Wichita St. 7-23 (Bessard 1-1, Preston 3-9, Tompkins 0-2, Mike 0-3, Williams 1-1, Lee 2-7), Drake 5-17 (Wendell 2-4, Bachrodt 2-5, Hittner 0-1, Greiner 1-4, Miller 0-2, Rose 0-1). Assists—Wichita St. 12 (Preston 3), Drake 19 (Ingle 11). Fouled Out—Wichita St. Tompkins, Drake Jonas. Rebounds—Wichita St. 43 (Bessard 13), Drake 52 (Wendell 7). Total Fouls—Wichita St. 24, Drake 21. A—0.

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