ShanQuan Hemphill, Tucker DeVries and Roman Penn combined for 32 of Drake’s 37 points in the second half to power the Bulldogs to a 65-52 victory past Southern Illinois in the quarterfinal round of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at Enterprise Center Friday night.
The Bulldogs will meet No. 2 seeded Missouri State in the semifinal round with a 5 p.m. tip-off. Drake advanced to the semifinal round of the MVC Tournament for the ninth time in program history, including the fourth straight year under coach Darian DeVries.
The Bulldogs, winning a season best sixth straight game, improved to 23-9, marking the second straight season the program has won 23 games and fifth time in school history.
Shanquan Hemphill scored a season-high 19 points, while enjoying his second double-double of season with 19 points and 10 rebounds. He also reached the 1,000-career point club, pushing his career total to 1,013 points. Hemphill’s 10 rebounds surpassed his combined total of six rebounds in previous two outings vs. Salukis this season.
Penn and DeVries added 13 points apiece. DeVries had 11 points in the second half, while Penn had eight.
Marcus Domask scored 18 points, while Lance Jones added 15 points for the Salukis who closed out the season with a 16-15 record
Drake’s Garrett Sturtz scored nine points-eight in the first half, while collecting four steals. It marked the eighth time he has collected three-plus steals in a game this season.
Trailing 24-17 with 2:48 left, Drake went on an 11-2 run to close out the first half with Sturtz scoring four points followed by three-point plays from Penn and Hemphill. The Salukis used a 7-0 run to build its biggest lead of the game at 24-17 following a three-point basket by Lance Jones. There were nine lead changes and five ties in the game. Drake made its last four shots to close out the first half.
Drake opened the second half making its first four shots en route to shooting 58.3 percent (14-24) in the second period. Clinging to a 34-32 lead Drake went on a 10-1 run while forcing four Saluki turnovers. Hemphill (13), DeVries (11) and Penn (8) combined for 32 of Drake’s 37 points in the second half. A layup by Hemphill gave its biggest lead at 58-44 with 4:04 left.
SIU had owned a 24-17 rebounding advantage in the first half before the Bulldogs outrebounded SIU, 17-5, in the second half.
Drake, which leads the MVC in steals (7.0 avg.) collected 10 steals, marking the 15th time in the last 17 games it collected seven or more steals. It also marked the fifth time Drake has collected 10 or more steals in a game this season.
Drake’s Tremell Murphy, making his 100th start, scored eight points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots giving him 10 blocked shots in his last four games.