Home Basketball MVC Arch Madness Game 7 – Drake 74, Murray State 62

MVC Arch Madness Game 7 – Drake 74, Murray State 62

by Mike Kern

No. 2 seed Drake used a 10-0 run midway through the second half  en route to a 74-62 victory past No. 7 seed Murray State in the State Farm Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Friday night at the Enterprise Center.

Drake advanced to the semifinal round Saturday for the fifth straight year under head coach Darrian DeVries where it will meet the winner of Friday’s final game between Missouri State and Southern Illinois. It also marked the 30th time in 33 years the No. 2 seed advanced to the semifinal round.

Sophomore forward Tucker DeVries, who had a career-high 32 points in Drake’s last game against Murray State, led the Bulldogs with 27 points, including 14 in the second half.

Drake improved its record to 25-7, marking the school’s third consecutive 25-win season and fifth in school history (28-5, 2007-08; 26-5, 1968-69 and 2020-21; 25-11, 2021-22; 25-7 this season.

Graduate guard Roman Penn collected 16 points and 10 assists, marking his third double-double this season (2 in points-assists, 1 in points-rebounds). He also became the ninth player in MVC history to reach 600 career assists. Penn was extremely efficient, committing just one turnover.

Drake shot 61.5 percent (16-26) in the second half, using a 10-0 run midway through the second half to turn a 52-47 lead into a 62-47 advantage with 8:43 left.

Murray State fell for the third time this year to Drake, while closing the season with a 17-15. They finished their inaugural MVC Tournament with a 1-1 record.

Drake improved to 10-0 this season when shooting over 50 percent from the floor, hitting 53.8 percent (28-52) against the Racers. After scoring just two points last Sunday at Bradley, Drake’s bench tallied 10 points improving its record to 13-0 against MVC teams when it scores 10 or more points.

After knocking down 10 3-pointers Thursday night, the Racers only hit three triples (3-for-12), setting a season low in attempted threes. Junior guard Rob Perry finished with 22 points, including 14 in the first half, after scoring a total of 16 combined in his previous two outings against Drake. He also added a game-high 10 rebounds to earn his second double-double of the season.

Junior forward Jamari Smith had 12 points, while junior forward DJ Burns tied a career-high with six assists.

DeVries made three free throws with 0.7 seconds left to give Drake a 33-31 halftime lead.

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