KWCH 12 Eyewitness Sports
9:50 PM CST, February 14, 2013
DES MOINES, Iowa
Alex matched her career-high with 20 points and Wichita State held off Drake, 74-65, Thursday night at the Knapp Center. The Shockers improved to 11-1 in the Missouri Valley Conference.
Harden connected on 7-of-9 field goals and 6-of-7 free throws to record her second career 20-point game. Jessica Diamond added 14 points - 12 in the second half, including an important three-pointer late in the game. Ashley Bartow paced the Bulldogs with 15 points while Kyndal Clark added 13.
Wichita State saw a six-point second-half lead turn into a 48-47 Drake advantage after a Carly Grenfell three with 8:41 left. But WSU went on a 13-4 run over the next six minutes, highlighted by three field goals from Harden (who played that stretch with four fouls).
The Bulldogs made another push and pulled to within 52-50 after a Liza Heap layup with 5:28 to go. The Shockers came back with a 6-0 spurt, capped by a Harden breakaway layup following a steal near midcourt, then hit their free throws down the stretch to claim the win and sweep the season series from Drake.
The Shockers shot 54.2% from the floor in the game and connected on 19-of-24 free throws (.792). Drake shot 42.1% from the field and delivered nine three-point baskets, matching the most against the Shockers this year.
It is the third-straight win in Des Moines for the Shockers, who are still just 6-27 lifetime at the Knapp Center. WSU has won five of the last six meetings with the Bulldogs.
Diamond's scoring output pushed her past former teammate Haleigh Lankster for ninth place on the Shockers all-time scoring list. Diamond now has 1,371 career points.
The first half was marked by a series of runs from both teams. Wichita State had the hot hand early, jumping out to a 15-6 lead. Drake responded with a 23-7 run, lifting the Bulldogs to a 29-22 lead with 3:59 left in the half. The Shockers scored 11 of the final 15 points of the half and went into the break tied at 33.
Clark led Drake with 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting in the first half. Gordon paced the Shockers with eight points.The Shockers (17-7, 11-1 MVC) wrap up the road trip with a battle at second-place Creighton (17-6, 9-3 MVC) on Saturday at 3:05 p.m.
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