Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Coach Joe Sigrist and His No. 1-Ranked Valley Girls Make It Back-To-Back State Tournament Appearances for the First Time In History. The Tigers Cruise Past Urbandale, 70-51, In Class 5-A Regional Title Game, Play Mason City At 1:30 p.m. March 4 At Wells Fargo Arena


This is getting to be a habit for coach Joe Sigrist and his Valley High School girls' basketball players.
Joe Sigrist

"It's the first time in history that Valley has made it to the state tournament two years in a row," Sigrist told me after his No. 1-ranked Tigers soared past Urbandale, 70-51, tonight in a Regional championship game at the Bill Coldiron Fieldhouse in West Des Moines.

"I couldn't be more proud of these girls. After playing in the state tournament last season, they were battle-tested."

Battle-tested, indeed.

Sigrist has done wonders with the Valley program, and was clearly disappointed that the Tigers lost to Southeast Polk in the opening round of the class 5-A tournament last season.

So he again set goals, and his 2014-2015 team responded brilliantly.

Valley now takes a 21-2 record into a 1:30 p.m. game March 4 against Mason City [15-8] in the 5-A tournament at Wells Fargo Arena in downtown Des Moines.

The winner plays either Iowa City West [21-2] or Southeast Polk [17-6] at noon March 6.

Unlike what happened in its first Regional game of the 2015 tournament, Valley came charging out of the gate against Urbandale.

No sluggishness this time.

The Tigers broke to a 26-9 lead after the first 8 minutes, then made it 40-16 at halftime.

After that, there was no doubt which team would be going to the state tournament.

"I'd say that was our best first quarter of the season," Sigrist said.

Grace Vander Weide scored 10 of Valley's points in the opening quarter, and the 6-foot senior finished with 19.

Now it's important that the Tigers keep their edge in the time between now and when they take the floor at The Well next week.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Tim Miles and His Nebraska Basketball Players Should Be Ashamed Of Themselves. People Wearing Aprons On the Cooking Channel Put Forth More Effort Than the Embarrassing Huskers Delivered In a 74-46 Loss To Iowa


When I wrote about Rutgers' 81-47 basketball loss to Iowa a few nights ago in Iowa City, I regarded the Scarlet Knights as an embarrassment to Big Ten basketball as well as an embarrassment to collegiate basketball in general.
Photo of Tim Miles courtesy of

Now I'm saying, not so fast.

I saw a team on TV today that's an even bigger embarrassment to basketball than Rutgers.

It's Nebraska.

Indeed, the Huskers set the sport back at least 75 years today.

And, yes, the Hawkeyes seem to be bringing out the worst in everyone.

Today, they absolutely crushed Nebraska, 74-46, in Lincoln.  The turning point in the game was when Iowa's players laced up their shoes. The Hawkeyes were in front, 42-16, at halftime, and the Huskers played like they'd never ever dribbled, shot or rebounded a basketball.

I quit watching the Iowa-Rutgers game at halftime. I quit watching the Iowa-Nebraska game long before halftime.

People wearing aprons on the Cooking channel put forth more effort than Nebraska's players produced in the 2 p.m. game on the Big Ten Network.

I chuckled to myself that Tim Miles, the iPad-savvy, smily-faced Husker coach who never met a TV camera he didn't like, was the victim of the Hawkeyes' onslaught.

Miles has gotten into the habit of tweeting at halftime of games, and he even managed to dispatch this message on Twitter at intermission of today's drubbing:

A 21-2 run to end the first is disgusting; We have to fight our tails off to get back into this game.

Dirk Chatelain, a sports columnist for the Omaha World Herald, must have thought it was a pretty disgusting half, too.

He tweeted:

How bad is it? Husker fans are lining up behind the Iowa bench asking Woodbury to poke them in the eyes.

Understandably, Miles wasn't in a jovial mood after the game

Here's what reported:

Following his team's 74-46 home loss to Iowa on Sunday, Nebraska coach Tim Miles has blocked his team's access to its locker room and lounge. 

He has also banned players from speaking to the media.

Nebraska, an NCAA tournament team last season, has lost five in a row and seven of its past eight games.

"If we're not going to play with pride, play to represent our fan base and our university better than we did today, then they'll get their voice back when they earn it," Miles wrote to via text message.

Miles said the bans on locker room access and media interviews will continue for an undetermined amount of time.

The Cornhuskers moved into the multimillion-dollar Hendricks Training Complex in 2011. It features iPads in every locker, a kitchen, a state-of-the-art sound system, a pool table and a plasma video wall.

Asked in his postgame press conference if the team's effort was acceptable, Miles said [courtesy of the World Herald]:

“No. You never want to throw your players under the bus, but that was just beyond disappointing. That’s not what we represent. When I was at Southwest Minnesota State as the coach, to pay for shoes at the Renaissance Festival in Minnesota for a weekend to pick up trash. If I had the option, I would do that tonight, tomorrow and the next day to pay back the fans for their tickets. Our fans have been so supportive and great, and we get 15,000 people out there to go non-compete mode. I thought we showed a softness, a lack of leadership and a lack of willingness to listen to leadership. It’s unacceptable. You have to have a great amount of pride to compete when things aren’t going well, and we just didn’t show any pride. I was looking at the stats, and they don’t matter. The game plan doesn’t matter. When you come out and kind of half-ass it, a team like Iowa remembers how we knocked them out of the NCAA tournament two years ago. They know what they’re fighting for. They looked like a team with pride. They had poise. They had aggressiveness. And they really put on a clinic."

Miles and his players should be ashamed of themselves.

Good Riddance


I'm really impressed that Rick Green is moving to Cincinnati. 

Well, not really. 
Photo of Rick Green courtesy of Twitter

I wrote that as a joke. 

I can't imagine anyone wanting to move to Cincinnati. 

But I guess I'm happy Rick Green is going there because now he'll be out of Des Moines.

Permanently out of Des Moines, I hope.

Green has been the publisher of the paper here, and the parent Gannett Co. is transferring him to Cincinnati. 

Why I don't know.  

I guess it's because he did a lousy job  in Des Moines. 

That's how things are going these days in a newspaper business that's on life support. 

The parent company moves you from city to city even though the paper you're leaving is in a circulation freefall.  

Nobody is buying the paper in Des Moines, so figure that nobody will be buying the paper in Cincinnati after Green moves there. 

This is the Rick Green who identifies himself as a passionate Ohio State Buckeye fan on his Twitter account, knowing that Iowans read that crap.

What a clown.

Good riddance to Green, another Gannett flunky who is doing a superb job of killing off the newspaper business.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

No. 1-Ranked Valley Girls Didn't Bring Their 'A' Game, But Strong Early Defense and Rebounding Helped the Tigers Roll Past West Waterloo, 77-38, In Class 5-A Regional Game

No. 1-ranked Valley had trouble finding the basket early, but relied on its aggressive defense and strong rebounding tonight en route to a 77-38 victory over West Waterloo in a class 5-A girls' Regional game at the Bill Coldiron Fieldhouse in West Des Moines. 

The Tigers came out sluggishly, and missed many shots they normally would make, regardless of the opponent.  

Valley's sub-standard shooting caused one
fan to remark, "I wouldn't want to be in that locker room at halftime"--meaning he figured coach Joe Sigrist wouldn't mince any words to his players about how they were performing. 

Valley's lead was 36-21 at intermission, and Sigrist went to his bench often in the final two quarters. 

Hannah Fuller, a 5-9 Valley sophomore forward, scored 24 points in the first three periods. 

Valley built its lead to 60-27 heading into the final quarter, and there was no stopping the mop-up gang in the final 8 minutes. 

As the saying goes, all's well that ends well.

The Tigers' next opponent [Tuesday night at Valley] is Urbandale, a 44-41 winner tonight over Ottumwa.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Big Ten Could Turn the Clock Back To the 1970s. The Conference Is Seeking Feedback from Its Members About the Possibility Of Making Freshmen Ineligible for Competition As They Adjust To College Life. Iowa Football Coach Kirk Ferentz Says He Favors the Idea. 'Recruiting's Kind Of a Runaway Train, and What a Lot Of People Don't Consider Is There's a Lot Of Serious Pressure That's Put On Some Players' Shoulders That I'm Not Sure Is Healthy for Them,' He Says

The Big Ten is seeking feedback from its members about the possibility of making freshmen athletes ineligible for competition as they adjust to college life.
Kirk Ferentz

In a statement to, the league says it is gauging interest from its members about a "national discussion regarding a year of readiness for student-athletes."

The league has provided background to its members about such a step but has made no official proposal at this point.

The Diamondback, the student newspaper at Maryland, reported Thursday that the Big Ten is circulating a document titled, "A Year of Readiness," which explores making freshmen in football and men's basketball ineligible for competition.

Maryland's athletic council met Thursday afternoon to discuss the document, The Diamondback reported.

"If they do well because they spend more time, get more academic advising ... their freshman year, they're going to graduate," Maryland president Wallace Loh told the newspaper. "And I think it's worth spending an extra year of financial support to ensure that they graduate."

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott told last week that he has discussed freshman ineligibility with several commissioners and that there will be "much more serious conversations about it in the coming months and year."

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby, a former Iowa athletic director,  told that there's "growing interest" in debating the possibility.

Freshmen were ineligible to compete in all NCAA sports until 1972. Some athletes enrolling for the 2016 academic year will take academic redshirt years as initial eligibility standards increase.

Big Ten football coaches and athletic directors didn't discuss freshman ineligibility at their recent business meeting, but they expect to do so in the coming months. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz told that he favors freshman ineligibility.

"That would be one of the healthiest things we could do for college sports right now," Ferentz said. 

"Recruiting's kind of a runaway train, and what a lot of people don't consider is there's a lot of serious pressure that's put on some players' shoulders that I'm not sure is healthy for them big picture-wise. ... It would allow the guy to transition a little bit with a lot less fanfare and get their feet on the ground and get a good foundation established."

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith doesn't think the freshman eligibility policy should change based solely on some men's basketball players spending just one year in college before turning pro.

"One-and-done is a small percentage -- it's not even 1 percent of our student-athletes when you take all the schools," Smith told "That's way off base to me. Do we have challenges with young people who aren't really prepared the way they should be to attack college education? No doubt about it.

"I have not been a proponent of freshman ineligibility, but I keep my mind open that maybe it's something we have to consider."

--Adam Rittenberg,

It's halftime of the Iowa-Rutgers basketball game, and I've seen about all I want to see of it. I realize it's not exactly the biggest game of the Big Ten season, but that didn't give the ESPNU network an excuse to send two of the worst announcers I've ever heard to Iowa City for the telecast. Those two clowns keep talking about how many Big Ten teams are being projected for the NCAA's Big Dance. All I know is, neither of those jokers will be going to the tournament, and they're not even good enough to announce NIT games. By the way, they said seven Big Ten teams, including 10th-seeded Iowa, will likely go the tournament. One other thing about tonight's game in Iowa City. The Rutgers team that showed up at Carver-Hawkeye Arena is an embarrassment to the Big Ten and to collegiate basketball in general.

Monday, February 16, 2015

When Tark the Shark Brought His Team To Hilton

The recent death of Jerry Tarkanian, known to basketball people as Tark the Shark, brought back memories to former Iowan Mike Swan, who now is a professor of mass communications and student sports media at Butler Community College in El Dorado, Kan. Here's Swan's email to me:


As usual, I enjoy your writings very much. As you say, it's certainly a different voice from the one you used during your newspaper days.  But it is great to read material from someone who is plugged-in to old school and "new school" journalism.
Tark the Shark

I intend to enjoy Valentine's Day, and I hope you do the same. My wife is working this morning and we have basketball broadcasts tonight, but I'll find a way.

With the recent passings of big-time coaches, I just felt like sending along some thoughts on Jerry Tarkanian this morning.

I remember his UNLV team coming into Hilton in 1975. He was just starting his dominant winning ways as coach at that school, and that ISU squad was going to be mired in a disastrous 3-24 campaign under Ken Trickey.

"Tark" was a relatively young man, but didn't look that much different from the coach that oversaw Larry Johnson and an NCAA title team later. Even then, we knew he wasn't as pure as the driven snow, but it was fascinating to watch him coach. He knew how to entertain, and his team did play very strong defense.

The Runnin' Rebels were already rock stars coming in there.  They had a freshman guard, Reggie Theus, who would go on to a memorable NBA career. And players like Glen Gondrezick, Eddie Owens and Robert Smith

Iowa State was in disarray, but had a star in Hercle Ivy and also a lot of young guys who weren't quite ready yet.  In addition, there were players with marginal athletic ability, including a couple of hardworking walk-ons. It was quite a patchwork team.

But what transpired in that game was electifying.

Trickey's staff came up with some good strategy, having forward Art Johnson bring the ball up the floor to relieve the pressure defense.  Iowa State played inspired basketball, and finally dropped an 88-82 thriller.

In those days, students could sit in the parquet on the north side (great seats) and, as high school seniors, we found our way down there.

Everything was a surprise in that game, which makes athletics great, in my opinion.

I found out recently that Art Johnson has passed away. I guess he was quite a high school star in Indianapolis, but it wasn't easy for him under Trickey, who did not do a good coaching job in Ames.

Ron, I also lived in South Texas for half a dozen years, south of San Antonio, where Tarkanian had a short stint with the Spurs. He was like a fish out of water there, with coaching suited a lot more for the college game.

Keep writing, Ron!


Mike Swan

[RON MALY'S COMMENTS: Mike, thanks for refreshing my memory about Tark the Shark's appearance 40 years ago at Hilton Coliseum.  I covered plenty of games Jerry Tarkanian coached, and it's interesting how he went from being thought of as a bum to a basketball coach who actually got some respect after he whipped the NCAA in a lawsuit late in his career.  I guess I regarded him as a thug for many years, and I thought he recruited thugs to play for him. Just the sounds of the names Nevada-Las Vegas, UNLV,  Tark the Shark and the Runnin' Rebels caused me to think of rule-breaking.  You also brought back plenty of memories with the mention of Ken Trickey.  Frankly, I couldn't believe it when Lou
Ken Trickey
McCullough, then the athletic director at Iowa State, hired Trickey to coach the basketball team. One reason I think Trickey appealed to McCullough was because things were a lot different in the 1970s when it came to attendance at Hilton Coliseum. The crowds weren't big, and McCullough thought Trickey's run-and-gun offensive style would bring people into the building. He had been a big winner at Oral Roberts University. But it turned out Trickey was in the wrong place at the wrong time. He could never get his program off the ground, and fans lost interest quickly.  I was on hand in Ames when Trickey was announced as the Cyclones' coach, and he invited me to sit on his bench during a game. So I took him up on it. I wound up writing a story about my time on his bench in for the Picture magazine publication that was carried in the Des Moines Sunday Register in those days.  Another thing I did in that era was host an hour-long interview show on the Iowa Public Television Network, and Trickey was one of my favorite guests. Indeed, I invited him to appear on the show the week he was fired at Iowa State, and he graciously agreed to appear. I wish he could've done better as the Cyclones' coach. He was a good guy. Thanks for writing, Mike].

Friday, February 13, 2015

TV Anchor Brian Williams Isn't the First Incompetent News Guy Told To Take a Hike By NBC. In 1993, Des Moines' Own Mike Gartner Was the First Casualty Of the Fiery 'Dateline NBC' Debacle Involving a Rigged General Motors Truck Crash.


Most of you know by now that NBC has suspended TV anchor Brian Williams for six months without pay because of  his persistent lying [both on and off the air]  about being aboard a Chinook helicopter that went down during the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Brian Williams

My guess is that TV viewers have seen the last of Williams on NBC's 5:30 p.m. news shows, as well as his late-night appearances on other networks. 

Williams has lost all credibility, and his bosses no doubt hope he'll drift away to some log cabin in remote Vermont, and never be heard from again.

While in Vermont, he can wear bib overalls, grow a beard, smoke a pipe and tell phony stories about his make-believe war exploits to the squirrels and chipmunks that come by with notes tied to their walnuts that ask, "Anything good happening, Brian?" 

In Williams' case, a six-month NBC suspension will likely turn into a lifetime ban.
After all, the folks at NBC know how to handle things like this.
Indeed, they've had to do it before.

Williams is not the first employee of the NBC news division to get the ax. A guy a lot of us know was ordered to get out nearly 22 years ago.

Many of you no doubt recall that Des Moines' own Mike Gartner was, in 1993, told that he was no longer welcome in the NBC news offices.

There was one major difference in the Brian Williams and Mike Gartner situations.

Williams was suspended.  Gartner was fired.
In 1993, NBC officials and other people probably hoped Gartner would drift away to remote Vermont, too, so he could wear some tiny bib overalls, and play with the squirrels, chipmunks and his little walnuts.

Unfortunately for the state of Iowa, Gartner wound up in Des Moines, where he has become the longtime winner of the Official Asshole Award presented by my websites and columns.
Official Asshole

For those of you who may have forgotten how Gartner dug himself a hole he couldn't escape at NBC, or were too young to know about it, here's a copy of the March 3, 1993 Associated Press story that told the embarrassing story about the little man: 

NBC ousted Michael Gartner as president of the news division Tuesday, making him the first casualty of the fiery "Dateline NBC" debacle.

Gartner, 54, a former Wall Street Journal editor and owner of several Iowa newspapers, said he would resign as president and leave the network on Aug. 1. 

The resignation was also announced briefly on the network's "Today" show.

"Given the publicity of late, I think it best to announce it now in hopes that this will take the spotlight off of all of us and enable us to concentrate fully on our business," Gartner wrote in a memorandum to his staff.

Despite that memo and news accounts that Gartner was resigning, NBC President and Chief Executive Officer Robert C. Wright had demanded Gartner's resignation over the weekend, according to an NBC source, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"The truth of the matter is that Michael did have discussions with both Bob (Wright) and (Executive Vice President for Employee Relations) Ed Scanlon, where he was asking "Should I stay or should I go?'

"The answer was, "You go.' "

Don Browne, executive vice president of NBC News, will take over Gartner's responsibilities and a search for Gartner's successor will begin immediately, NBC said.

Browne insisted that Gartner's resignation wasn't a consequence of the rigged General Motors truck crash staged by "Dateline NBC," which prompted a GM lawsuit and NBC's on-air apology to settle it.

"I think Michael stepped up to this himself," Browne said.

"He felt that in order for NBC News to keep moving, he was going to have to decide. It was too distracting to the organization...."

NBC executives, meanwhile, expect to receive the results of an internal investigation of the GM fiasco later this week.

As president of NBC's news division for five years, Gartner was criticized for slashing its budget, naming the alleged victim in the William Kennedy Smith rape trial and mishandling the "Today" show change from Jane Pauley to Deborah Norville.

But Gartner's career apparently was finally undone by NBC's ill-fated "Dateline NBC" report Nov. 17 on the alleged dangers of GM pickup trucks with side-mounted fuel tanks.

NBC issued an on-air apology last month for rigging a fiery test crash with tiny model rocket engines. The apology came after GM slapped the network with a defamation lawsuit.

Gartner publicly defended the news division after he knew just a few details of the setup....

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Dean Smith Had an 879-254 Coaching Record At North Carolina, But One Of Those 254 Losses Was To Maury John's Amazing 1968-69 Drake Team That Walloped the Tar Heels, 104-84, In the Third-Place Game At the Final Four In Louisville, Ky.


I join others with a fondness for collegiate  basketball in mourning the death of Dean Smith, 83, who had an 879-254 record in 36 seasons as
Dean Smith in 2007 with Michael Jordan, who played for him at North Carolina
North Carolina's coach. 

I also want to remind people that one of those 254 losses was a barnburner of a game in which Smith and his team were thoroughly thrashed. 

It was a 104-84 loss to Drake in the third-place game of the 1969 NCAA Final Four at Louisville, Ky. 

The fact that Maury John's Bulldogs crushed Smith's Tar Heels in such fashion further illustrated what an amazing coach Maury John, was and what a superb job he did at Drake. 

I was on the scene for, and wrote about, several games in which Dean Smith coached. 

One was at Pauley Pavilion in Westwood, Calif., where his team lost to John Wooden's UCLA squad. 

I attended Smith's postgame press conference, and was amazed that he smoked several cigarettes while answering reporters' questions. 

I had never seen that happen before, and I have not seen any coach smoke cigarettes during a press conference since.

I never even saw Ralph Miller, the chain-smoking former Iowa coach, light up while participating in press conferences.

Coach's Comment To Reporter: 'Ask An Intelligent Question.' Reporter Wants To Know Why the Question Wasn't Intelligent. Coach Says, 'Because I Said So'

Following Iowa's basketball victory today over Maryland in Iowa City, there was kind of an unusual windup to the press conference reporters had with Hawkeye coach Fran McCaffery. 

Hawkeye center Adam Woodbury, who has gotten plenty of attention in recent weeks from ESPN commentator Dan Dakich, was charged with a flagrant foul during the game for what McCaffery said was a a poke in the eye to a Maryland player. 

The matter came up late in the press session, and here's what was said, thanks to the transcript furnished by Scott Dochterman of the Cedar Rapids Gazette

Q. What did you hear from the officials regarding Adam touching the eye or whatever it was? 

FRAN McCAFFERY: They said he poked him in the eye. 

Q. Is it a flagrant now if you poke a guy in the eye? I’m just curious. I thought maybe that explained that. 

FRAN McCAFFERY: You know, don’t misconstrue it. That’s an excellent crew. But on that one, I don’t know. 

Q. That’s three times he’s got somebody in the eye. How does this keep happening?

FRAN McCAFFERY: Next question. Ask an intelligent question.

Q. Why is that not an intelligent question? 

FRAN McCAFFERY: Because I said so.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

I've Never Heard a Coach Say He Has a Bad Recruiting Class


There are at least three certainties in this world. Death and taxes are two of them. The third is that every collegiate football coach
thinks he has a good incoming class on national signing day. I have never heard a coach say he has a bad group of recruits. As for me, I don't pay much attention to incoming freshmen. Check with me in two or three years on that stuff, and I'll let you know who I think are the best players.

Valley's Grace Vander Weide Is Quite a Story Both On and Off the Basketball Court

Valley High School senior Grace Vander Weide is one of the best basketball players in the state.  The Tigers guard can do it all,  averaging 19 points, 7 rebounds and  6 assists per game this season.
Grace Vander Weide

Off the court, Grace has a story not many high school seniors can match.  Through her Kingdom Hoops AAU team (led by former Iowa State player Jake Sullivan) Grace has already been on four mission trips to Africa.  The mission trips are designed to help underprivileged children in Ghana.

“It’s where my heart is.  I’m playing basketball so that I can use this as a platform for what I want to do later in life,” says Vander Weide.

But her connection to Ghana stretches further than just mission trips.  Her parents, Doug and Dawn Vander Weide, are also heavily involved in mission trips to Ghana; and in 2012 made their most important trip ever.  When they returned, they had three new family members through adoption, Godwin (6), Angela (7), and Job (12).

“They’re something else, I couldn’t imagine my life without them.  It’s cool what’s been built through the adoption process, they’re really like my biological siblings,” says Grace.

The Vander Weides are now a family of 8, and they love every minute of it.
“We tell people it’s the hardest thing we’ve done, clearly, but it’s also the best thing we’ve done, “ says Doug.

Grace, who has has an older sister, Emma, and a younger brother JD, will continue her basketball career next season at Missouri State.

-- John Sears, WHO-TV

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Totally Deflated


I think coach Bill Belichick and his New England Patriots have been up to their same
Bill Belichick
old dirty tricks. They deflated the Seattle Seahawks' balls in the Super Bowl, and that's why they were able to win. I have it on good authority that Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was the guy whose balls were the most deflated. Indeed, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell personally inspected Carroll's balls after the game, and found them totally empty. [By the way, I'm still waiting for pictures of that inspection scene]. Because Carroll's balls [and quite possibly his head] contained nothing, it's no wonder he made the worst  play-calling mistake in Super Bowl history in the final seconds of the game, enabling  the dirty Patriots to win. I think Belichick and New England should be suspended for the entire 2015-2016 season.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

It wouldn't be a normal day without another Johnny Manziel story. Today's report from Twitter, Pravda, ESPN, the Yangtze River Times, the Victor Record and Nutcase Tales is that Manziel, who is a Cleveland Browns quarterback, has checked himself into a treatment center "as a direct result of his lifestyle away from the field." I'm wondering why it took Manziel so long to find out that he needs therapy. Frankly, I thought the guy was sick four or five years ago.

Yangtze River

Super Sunday, Drake Women's Style

Drake's women's basketball team experienced its own version of Super Sunday today. Neither a blizzard nor a Wichita State squad with an 8-0 Missouri Valley Conference record
could stop the sizzling Bulldogs this afternoon. A gathering of 2,263 fans braved snow, treacherous streets and highways, plus cold winds, to cheer coach Jennie Baranczyk's players along as they moved into sole possession of first place in the Valley with a comeback 64-61 victory that improved their league record to 9-0. “I think one of the biggest things today was having as many people come out in these weather conditions and believe in us,” Baranczyk said. “We needed a crowd and we didn’t think we were going to have one. But to have the energy we did allowed us to win the game, and that’s when it’s really special.”  Lizzy Wendell scored 17 points to become the 27th woman in Drake history to eclipse 1,000 for her career. She's the fourth sophomore to accomplish that, and the first to do it since Lori Bauman in 1982.  The Bulldogs got a major contribution from freshman reserve Paige Greiner of Williamsburg, who made all four of her three-point attempts for a career-high 12 points.