Home Basketball MVC Arch Madness Game 10 – Drake 65, Southern Illinois 52

MVC Arch Madness Game 10 – Drake 65, Southern Illinois 52

by Mike Kern

No. 2 seeded Drake exploded for two decisive scoring runs in both halves to race past No. 3 seed Southern Illinois, 65-52, in the semifinal round of the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament at Enterprise Center Saturday.

Drake, making its third straight trip to the championship, will face top-seeded Bradley in a 1 p.m. tip-off, which will be televised on CBS. It will mark the 18th time the MVC Tournament championship will feature the top two seeds.

Drake improved its record to 26-7, marking the school’s second 26-win season in two years and also fourth time in school history (28-5, 2007-08; 26-5, 1968-69 and 2020-21). Southern Illinois, which had a three-game winning streak snapped, slipped to 23-10.

Drake senior forward Darnell Brodie enjoyed his best tournament game, scoring 10 points and hauling in a career-high 17 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season, including his second straight against the Salukis.

One game after registering a points-assists double-double, graduate point guard Roman Penn, a first-team All-MVC performer, collected 16 points and five assists for the Bulldogs. He moved into No. 7 on the MVC career assists list, passing Jake Odum from Indiana State (2010-14, 603). He also committed just one turnover for the second straight MVC tournament game.

Senior guard Lance Jones led Southern Illinois with 18 points, including 10 in the second half.

Trailing 15-13 with 10:42 left, Tucker DeVries scored eight points, including back-to-back three point baskets, to trigger a 17-0 run in a 5:46 span to give Drake a 30-15 lead. Drake made six of seven shots during the surge including four three-point baskets.

Trailing 39-23 at halftime, Southern Illinois enjoyed a 13-2 run to open the second half pulling within 41-36 with six points from Jones and four from Clarence Rupert. SIU guard Xavier Johnson picked up his fourth foul with 13:42 left, going to the bench with Salukis trailing 43-40.

But Drake responded with a 15-2 run with five points coming from reserves to push the lead to 58-42 following a basket from Garrett Sturtz.

DeVries, the MVC Larry Bird MVC Player of the Year, scored 12 points to move into No. 5 on the Drake single-season scoring list at 606 points, passing former All-American WIllie McCarter  who scored 603 in 1967-68. He also made two three-point baskets to push his season total to 84 which ranks No. 5 on school single season three-point basket list.

Drake graduate guard Garrett Sturtz contributed 12 points, his 15th game this year in double figures but the school’s career rebounding leader failed to grab a rebound in a game for the first team this season.

Southern Illinois sophomore forward Clarence Rupert scored nine points, outpacing his combined scoring of just seven points in his previous two games against Drake this year.  He also had a career-best three steals to go with his four rebounds.

Senior forward Marcus Domask, a first-team All-MVC performer for the Salukis, scored just seven points. He did, however, move up to No. 19 on the all-time Saluki rebound list at 564 with his team-high eight boards. Domask, who averaged 17 ppg, scored a total of 12 points in his final two outings against Drake.

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