February 10, 20231st2nd3rd4thFinal
Stats at a GlanceDRAVALPO
FG Percentage.451 (23-51) .370 (20-54)
3P FG Percentage.455 (10-22) .290 (9-31)
FT Percentage.652 (15-23) .625 (5-8)
Offensive Rebounds116
Defensive Rebounds2721
Total Rebounds3827
Bench Points1217
PointsGueldner - 15
Saunders - 16
ReboundsMcAulay - 8
TEAM - 5
AssistsMcAulay - 4
Pitts - 4
Saunders - 4
StealsMcAulay - 3
Pitts - 3
BlocksMiller - 2
Beyer - 1
Drake Takes Down Beacons Friday Night
Friday, February 10, 2023
Drake Takes Down Beacons Friday Night
Ali Saunders led all players Friday with 16 points.

The visiting Drake Bulldogs came away 71-54 victors over the Valpo women’s basketball team Friday evening at the ARC in MVC women’s basketball action. Valpo freshman Ali Saunders (Depauw, Ind./North Harrison) led all players with 16 points in her first career start.

How It Happened

  • Drake scored the game’s first six points in just 49 seconds, hitting triples on each of its first two possessions.
  • Valpo came back and outscored the Bulldogs 12-5 over the next 3:41, a stretch which included five points apiece from senior Olivia Brown (East Grand Rapids, Mich./East Grand Rapids [St. Bonaventure]) and junior Leah Earnest (Stevens Point, Wis./SPASH). When Earnest connected on a second-chance layup with 5:38 to play in the opening period, the Beacons led the Bulldogs, 12-11.
  • Drake scored the final eight points of the period to end the first quarter with a 19-12 lead. Valpo went without a point for a stretch of nearly nine minutes spanning the first and second periods, allowing the Bulldogs to extend their lead out to 13 points with a 14-0 cumulative run.
  • Drake held a 42-22 lead at halftime and the Beacons were unable to get any closer in the third period, as the Bulldogs held a 59-30 lead with 10 minutes to play.
  • The Bulldogs’ lead reached its apex at 62-32 with 6:21 remaining before Valpo closed the game by outscoring Drake 22-9 the rest of the way — a stretch during which the Bulldogs had multiple starters in the game the majority of the time. Saunders connected on four 3-pointers during that stretch, while sophomore Olivia Sims (Toledo, Ohio/Notre Dame Academy [Oakland]) scored six points in the span as well.

Inside the Game

  • Saunders’ big fourth quarter propelled her to a game-high 16 points, tying her second-highest scoring output of the year. The rookie connected on a season-best four 3-pointers and has scored in double figures four of the last five games.
  • Saunders’ 12-point fourth quarter marked the third time this season she has scored at least 10 points in a single period.
  • Saunders was the only Valpo player to score in double figures, as Sims was the Beacons’ next-highest scorer with nine points.
  • Fifth-year Ilysse Pitts (Aurora, Ill./Montini Catholic) matched Saunders for game-high honors with four assists and also tied for the game best with three steals.
  • Valpo shot 37% from the field Friday and was just 9-for-31 from 3-point range, while Drake hit at a 45.1% clip and was 10-of-22 from deep. The Bulldogs also attempted 15 more free throws than the Beacons, who did not attempt a free throw until 4:01 to play in the fourth quarter.
  • The Beacons forced Drake to commit 21 turnovers, a season high for Valpo opposition.

Postgame Press Conference With Head Coach Mary Evans


Next Up

Valpo (4-18, 2-11 MVC) closes out its lengthy stretch of home games on Sunday at 1 p.m. as the Beacons take on second-place UNI at the ARC. The game is the program’s annual Play4Kay game and can be seen live on ESPN+.