Drake women fight off UNI for MVC title
MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Caitlin Ingle’s jumper sent the game into overtime where she scored five points and led No. 20 Drake over Northern Iowa 74-69 on Sunday for the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament championship and the Bulldogs’ conference-record 22nd consecutive victory.
The top-seeded Bulldogs (28-4) were making their 12th tournament title-game appearance, winning their sixth championship and first since 2007. They advance to the NCAA Tournament for the 11th time with their 28 victories matching the program record set in 1981-82.
Ingle, the tournament MVP and the conference’s all-time assists leader, scored a career-high 22 points, with seven assists and six rebounds.
With 5.5 seconds left in regulation, Ellie Herzberg came off a screen, took a pass from Madison Weekly and hit a 3-pointer to give UNI (24-8) the lead. After a timeout, Ingle made her tying jumper from the free-throw line.
In overtime, Herzberg and Becca Jonas exchanged 3-pointers before Ingle was fouled while scoring on a drive and completed the 3-point play. Ingle added a short bank shot before Becca Hittner made a free throw for a six-point edge. Herzberg made her fifth and final 3-pointer with 23 seconds left before Drake’s Lizzy Wendell capped the scoring with two free throws.
Hittner made three 3-pointers and scored 15 points, Jonas added 10 points and 11 rebounds and Wendell, who scored 34 points in a semifinal win over Wichita State, finished with 13 points.
Herzberg, a graduate of Manson Northwest Webster, scored 25 points for the second-seeded Panthers with Angie Davison adding four 3-pointers in scoring 17 points with 11 rebounds. Weekly scored 10 points with seven assists and Megan Maahs 15 rebounds.
The victory was the third for Drake over UNI this season, including a double-overtime victory.
The Bulldogs were behind by 13 in the second quarter, their largest deficit against a MVC opponent this season, and trailed 39-29 at halftime. UNI opened the third with a 1-for-10 shooting drought and Drake, on a 19-3 run spanning the second and third quarters, grabbed a lead until UNI went back on top 50-48 heading into the final period.