OMAHA, Neb. – The Drake University women’s basketball team used a blistering first two quarters of shooting in a 75-62 season-opening road win at Creighton Wednesday afternoon.
Drake (1-0) and its former MVC rival Creighton (0-1) traded baskets at the start of the game before sophomore Grace Berg, senior Maddie Monahan and junior Kierra Collier helped the Bulldogs build a 12-5 lead as the team never trailed again. Berg scored the game’s first points on a layup, later added another basket while Monahan scored five points in the run that was capped by Collier’s three-pointer.
Drake was led by Berg who poured in a career-high 24 points in her debut. The Indianola native and Missouri transfer finished 10-of-18 from the floor with two three-pointers, added seven rebounds and dished three assists.
Monahan made her 97th consecutive start and scored 13 points, grabbed three boards, handed out three assists and nabbed one steal. Collier just missed a double-double with 12 points and a career-high nine assists to go a career-best seven rebounds. Graduate Monica Burich recorded a double-double with 10 points and career-high 11 boards.
Drake would lead by as many as 12 in the first quarter and 21 in the second quarter. Berg’s layup right before the half sent the Bulldogs to the locker room with a 50-33 lead. After shooting an impressive 61.8 percent in the first half their shooting cooled in the third quarter but sophomore Sarah Beth Gueldner drilled a three-pointer off the bench with just four second left in the third as Drake led 66-48 going into the final quarter.
Drake scored just nine points in the fourth and shot 15.4 percent but the Bulldogs held off the Bluejays’ rally attempt. Drake has won three-straight over Creighton in the series that has continued every season since the Bluejays departed for the BIG EAST in 2013.
Temi Cerda led Creighton with 18 points in the loss. Drake forced 15 turnovers and controlled the paint with a 42-16 advantage and outrebounded the Bluejays, 43-34.
The Bulldogs remain on the road for their second game going to Green Bay on Saturday for a 1 p.m. game that will be broadcast on ESPN3.