EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - In a game that was defined by both teams’ inability to get their offenses going, the University of Evansville women’s basketball team battled, but fell to Drake, 66-51, on Thursday evening inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse.
Nearly recording a double-double for the third-straight game was freshman Abby Feit who led the Aces. Feit finished with 16 points, tied for a game-high, and eight rebounds, while adding five steals. Also finishing in double-figures for Evansville was sophomore A’Niah Griffin, who tallied 13 points off the bench for the Aces. Drake was powered by a its two leading scorers in Becca Hittner and Sara Rhine as the duo combined for 28 points and 25 rebounds.
Evansville was resilient throughout the contest, never letting the Bulldogs gain breathing room, a feat that has been tough to achieve for any MVC team the last three seasons.
After Drake scored the first seven points of the game, Evansville battled back, closing within two on a jumper by Feit with less than a minute left in the opening quarter. The Bulldogs pushed their advantage as high as nine in the second quarter, doing so on two occasions, but again the Aces had an answer, using a 5-0 run to close the half and trail by just four at 28-24 at the break.
The third quarter much resembled the previous two quarters as the Aces never let Drake pull away. After the Bulldogs grabbed a nine-point lead twice in the quarter, Evansville answered both times to get back within six. In the final two minutes of the third, Drake reached a double-figure advantage for the first time in the game at 42-31, but Evansville immediately answered with a jumper by sophomore Anna Newman that pushed the Aces deficit to just nine heading into the fourth.
Evansville scored first to start the final period as Feit laid it in to trim Drake’s lead to just seven. After Feit’s bucket, Drake went on a 13-2 run, helping to secure the Bulldogs’ lead and earning Drake the 66-51 win.
Both sides struggled to shoot the ball as the Bulldogs finished 22-64 (34.4%) from the field and just 7-30 (23.3%) from beyond the arc. Evansville shot 33.3% (19-57) on the evening with a 31.8% (7-22) from three. Drake’s 66 points were the third-lowest total the Bulldogs’ offense has been held to this season behind a 47-point outing in a loss to Purdue and 63 points in a win over Creighton.
The Aces are back on the court on Saturday when Evansville hosts UNI inside Meeks Family Fieldhouse at 1 PM. Saturday’s game is the Aces’ annual Teddy Bear Toss benefiting Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital. Fans who bring a new stuffed animal to Saturday’s game will receive $2 off admission and the closest teddy bear to the target will win a prize.