Western Iowa Tech Community College


Sunday, March 19, 2023

Drake comes up just short against Louisville in see-saw affair

AUSTIN, Texas – The Drake University women’s basketball team came up just short of a NCAA Tournament upset victory on Saturday. The No. 12 seed Bulldogs (22-10, 14-6) battled the No. 5 seed Louisville Cardinals (24-11, 12-6) until the final moments in an 83-80 brawl as the Bulldogs’ season came to a halt.

Each team led 12 different times in a back-and-forth affair. Sophomore guard Katie Dinnebier led Drake in scoring with 20 points on a perfect 3-of-3 three-point shooting while dishing out seven assists and grabbing four rebounds.

Both Grace Berg and Anna Miller added 17 points apiece for the Bulldogs. Berg chipped in with five boards and two assists while Miller snagged four rebounds and distributed the same number of assists.

Courtney Becker and Sarah Beth Gueldner each scored 11 points to round out the Bulldogs’ scoring attack. Gueldner also hit a trio of key three-point shots while Becker corralled five rebounds.

Both teams got out to a hot start as Louisville outscored the Bulldogs 25-23 in the first period. Drake controlled the boards early and led by as many as seven points in the opening period. Dinnebier dealt with the Cardinals’ disruptive full-court press to lead the scoring with eight points after the first 10 minutes.

The No. 5 seed Cardinals were able to jump out in front in the final minute of the quarter with an old fashioned three-point play by forward Olivia Cochran.

Drake found a little rhythm in the early stages of the second quarter, erasing the Cardinals’ four-point lead with back-to-back Grace Berg buckets. After a Louisville timeout, the Bulldogs eventually worked their way to a 36-31 advantage before the Cards countered.

With star guard Hailey Van Lith on the bench with two fouls, the Cardinals leaned on their balanced attack to rally before the half. Morgan Jones and Nyla Harris scored on two consecutive possessions in the final 40 seconds of the second quarter to knot the score.

Grace Berg led Drake with 12 points while Maggie Bair paced the Bulldogs with five rebounds and four blocks at the break.

The Bulldogs doubled Louisville up on the glass in the first two quarters, 18-9, and eventually outrebounded them 33-28 for the game. They also completed their second-straight half shooting over 60% from the field, making 15 of their 24 field goal attempts.

Midway through the third period, Mykasa Robinson went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe to give the Cardinals a narrow lead. Drake was able to regain a 52-50 lead on a Katie Dinnebier three-pointer, her second triple of the game. After swapping the lead on the other end, Courtney Becker reached double figures to give Drake another slight advantage.

Louisville had the final say in the third period as Liz Dixon swished a short-corner deuce to give the Cardinals a 56-54 lead with 10 minutes to play.

After a Louisville lay-in to open the fourth quarter, Katie Dinnebier calmly buried her third three-point shot in three attempts to cut the deficit to just one. Merissah Russell answered for the Cardinals with a three-ball of her own to regain a four-point advantage. Louisville was able to build a 65-60 lead with just under seven minutes to play.

With under three minutes to play the Bulldogs got within one of Louisville twice, on back-to-back threes by Anna Miller and Sarah Beth Gueldner, and again on a pair of Dinnebier free throws. Hailey Van Lith responded with four-straight for the ACC Tournament runner-up Cardinals before Drake finally drew even.

Trailing 75-72 with just under 90 seconds to play, Grace Berg scooped one in to accompany a Cardinal foul. She completed the three-point play to tie the game.

Van Lith, a First Team All-ACC player, responded again with an elbow jumper to give the Cardinals the late lead. Katie Dinnebier kept the Dogs within striking distance, sinking her seventh and eighth free throws of the game to trim the deficit to back to one.

Louisville extended their lead to 81-77 before Gueldner splashed a deep three to trim the Cardinals’ lead back to just one. The Bulldogs were then able to force a Cardinal turnover with 3.3 seconds left in regulation. Anna Miller drilled a free throw to give the Bulldogs a fighting chance, but Louisville was able to dribble out the clock and secure the 83-80 win.

“It was a hard-fought game…I thought we were very, very competitive,” Suzie Glazer Burt Head Coach Allison Pohlman said after the game. “We stayed composed as the game went on and, in these situations, details matter. A couple more layups here and there, an offensive rebound, a couple more free throws, those sorts of situations [matter]. We came up a little bit short, but I’m proud to say that I love Drake University and the women in our locker room.”

The Cardinals will advance to the Second Round of the NCAA Tournament and will take on the winner of the No. 4 seed and site host Texas Longhorns and No. 13 seed and AAC Tournament champion East Carolina.

Drake’s remarkable season comes to an end with a record of 22-10 overall.


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