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Women's Basketball Heads to Northern Iowa, Drake

January 10, 2014


EVANSVILLE, Ind. – The University of Evansville women's basketball team will play its first two road games of its Missouri Valley Conference schedule this weekend, when it travels to Iowa for a pair of contests against Northern Iowa and Drake.  The Purple Aces will take on the Panthers Friday night in Cedar Falls at 7 p.m., before making the trip to Des Moines for a 2:05 p.m. tilt with the Bulldogs Sunday afternoon.
Evansville (6-7, 1-1 MVC) opened conference play Thursday with a  75-57 win over Loyola, before falling to Bradley, 77-76, on a pair of late free throws Sunday afternoon.  Junior Mallory Ladd posted double-doubles in both contests, scoring 17 points and grabbing 16 rebounds against the Ramblers, before notching 13 points and 11 boards against the Braves.  Freshman Sara Dickey continued her streak of scoring in double figures, by dropping in 15 points Thursday and a team-high 18 on Sunday.
Dickey leads the Valley in scoring at 18.8 points per game and shot 45.8 percent from the field (11-for-24) in the Aces' first two MVC contests.  The freshman guard also leads UE with 27 made three-pointers and ranks third on the squad with a 78.7 percent clip from the free throw line.  Ladd leads the MVC in rebounding (10.8 ppg) and has posted a league-best seven double-doubles this season.  The junior forward has swatted a team-high 11 shots and ranks second on the team with a 44.7 percent field goal percentage.  Fellow juniors Kat Taylor and Khristian Hart are also averaging in double figures at 12.3 and 11.5 points per contest, respectively.  Taylor has dished out a team-leading 56 assists, while Hart is a perfect 8-for-8 at the free throw line in her four games this season.
Evansville ranks second in the Valley in scoring (72.0 rpg), while it leads the league in free throw percentage (75.3 percent), rebounding (42.8 rpg) and assists (16.2 apg).  The Aces are shooting 37.0 percent from the field, including a 28.0 percent mark from beyond the arc.  Defensively, UE is forcing 16.3 turnovers per outing, including 7.8 steals per game and is averaging 2.0 blocks per outing.
Northern Iowa (5-8, 1-1 MVC) also split its first two Valley matchups last weekend, falling at Indiana State, 60-53, before rebounding with an 83-63 victory at Illinois State.  Ty Smith led the Panthers with 15 points against the Sycamores, while Hannah Schonhardt hauled in a team-high six rebounds.  Against the Redbirds, Stephanie Davison led five UNI players in double figures with 20 points and Jen Keitel notched a double-double by tallying 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Individually, Keitel leads Northern Iowa in most statistical categories including scoring (11.4 ppg), rebounding (5.8 rpg), assists (19), blocks (15) and field goal percentage (48.6 percent).  Brooke Brown is second on the squad with a 10.5 points per game average, while Davison ranks third on the team at 10.1 points per contest.  In addition to Keitel's team-best 5.8 rebounds per game, four other UNI players are averaging 3.1 boards or more per outing, including Schonhardt, who is second on the team at 5.3 caroms per game.
Northern Iowa is averaging 62.0 points per game as a team, but giving up 70.2 for a -8.2 scoring margin.  The Panthers are shooting 35.7 percent the from field, including a 25.1 percent clip from three-point range, and are hitting 70.0 percent of their attempts at the charity stripe.  UNI also suffers a -6.4 rebounding margin, but own a +0.4 turnover margin, as it is forcing 14.8 turnovers per game.
Drake (6-7, 0-2 MVC) has lost three of its last four games and will host Southern Illinois Friday night, before welcoming Evansville to the Knapp Center on Sunday afternoon.  The Bulldogs opened conference play with a pair of losses to Illinois State and Indiana State, as they fell to the Redbirds, 80-71, before suffering a 90-81 setback to the Sycamores.  Kyndal Clark scored a game-high 23 points on an 8-for-14 effort against Illinois State, while Lizzy Wendell led five Drake players in double figures with 16 points at Indiana State.
Clark leads Drake and ranks fourth in the MVC in scoring (16.5 ppg) and has been the Bulldogs' top three-point threat, draining at team-high 35 shots from behind the arc.  Wendell has connected on 50.0 percent of her shots from long range (23-for-46) and ranks second on the squad in scoring (12.8 ppg) and rebounding (5.7 rpg).  Alyssa Marschner is tied for fourth in the league with a team-high 56 assists and is tied for the team lead with 18 steals.
DU is averaging 69.4 points per game, but giving up 72.8 per contest, while shooting 42.0 percent from the field, which ranks second in the Valley.  The Bulldogs lead the conference in three-pointers made at 8.4 per game, while the Aces ranks second in that category at 7.6 per contest.  Drake is shooting 34.7 percent from beyond the arc and 68.5 percent at the free throw line.  On the boards, DU is grabbing 36.6 boards per game, but allowing 39.9 per outing for a -3.3 rebounding margin.  Drake is also averaging 17.3 turnovers per game for a -2.8 margin.
Evansville trails the all-time series with Northern Iowa, 24-18, and the Panthers have won the last 10-straight against the Aces, marking UE's longest active losing skid against a Valley opponent.  Last season, UNI defeated Evansville, 75-64, in Cedar Falls, before topping the Aces, 70-57, at the Ford Center.
In the all-time series with Drake, the Bulldogs hold a commanding, 31-12, advantage, despite the Aces earning a sweep in the regular-season series last year.  UE halted an 11-game skid to DU with a 68-62 win in Evansville, before closing the regular-season with a 70-59 triumph in Des Moines.

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