DES MOINES, Iowa – SIUE shot a season-best 50.9 percent from the field but could not overcome 11 Drake three-pointers in an 87-71 road loss.
The Cougars fell to 2-9 despite four players scoring in double figures. SIUE was dominant in the paint, scoring 42 of 71 points from close range.
"I think we got better on the offensive end today. We're getting better. On the offensive end, we're doing some good things," said SIUE Head Coach Paula Buscher. "Defensively we need to make big jumps and big improvements."
The Bulldogs pleased the crowd of 3,561 at the Knapp Center with a 35-point performance by Kyndal Clark. She hit five of Drake's three-pointers, shot 9 of 14 from the field, and converted 12 of 14 from the free throw line.
"This game boils down to defense for us. We've got to take pride in our defense," said Buscher.
Lizzy Wendell added 22 for the Bulldogs, including 10 of 11 from the free throw line.
Drake benefitted from SIUE's 26 fouls. Not only did three SIUE players foul out of the game in the second half, the Bulldogs hit 26 of 33 from the charity stripe.
The Cougars shot 56 percent from the field in the second half and 29-57 (50.9 percent) for the game.
Down by eight at halftime, SIUE pulled to within three at 18:06 left in the game on a jumper by Valerie Finnin. The Bulldogs never gave the Cougars a chance to tie the game in the second half. Wendell immediately put Drake up by six with a three-pointer as the Bulldogs began a 14-3 run.
"We have the ability to play better defense," said Buscher.
SIUE's seven-game road trip comes to an end Thursday with a 7 p.m. contest at Western Illinois.