Drake University Bulldogs Football recently issued the following announcement.
The Drake University men's basketball almost rallied past another body blow of adversity before falling to UNI, 60-58, in the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament Saturday evening. The Bulldogs entered the game having lost two all-conference players to injury this week and were a possession away from advancing to the title game with a roster of just six available scholarship student-athletes.
"It's a tough way to end it. It always is," said Drake head coach and MVC Coach of the Year Darian DeVries of the team's tournament run. "It doesn't take away from the way we all feel about these guys and what they've been able to accomplish this year. We came one play away and were on the wrong end of this one."
Drake, who shared the MVC regular-season title, tied the game at 58-58 on a Tremell Murphy layup with eight seconds left after the Bulldogs forced a critical turnover. Unfortunately, Drake could not force a stop on the other end as Wyatt Lohaus drove for a layup in the final two seconds to advance the Panthers to tomorrow's MVC title game. Lohaus finished with a game-high 27 points.
The Murphy twins again led Drake (24-9) as Anthony Murphy matched a career-high with 16 points and 10 rebounds for his second-straight double-double. Tremell Murphy also added 13 points and was limited in the second when he left the game with an elbow injury from which he eventually returned.
The depleted Drake roster also got a lift from Noah Thomas, who scored eight points, six in the second half, while Antonio Pilipovic logged a season-high 20 critical minutes.
The Bulldogs jumped out to an early first-half lead and led by three points, 31-28, at halftime. However, UNI (16-17) used a 13-2 run to take a 50-44 lead on back-to-back jumpers by Lohaus with less than eight minutes remaining.
Undeterred, the Bulldogs answered the bell again with six-straight points from Thomas as part of an 8-0 run that gave the Bulldogs a three-point, 53-50 lead with five minutes left before Lohaus responded with a series of his own to set up the final minutes.
"I thought somebody would get up four or six and the other guys would come back and retake the lead," DeVries said. "It was a possession-by-possession game. We had a little hard time there for stretches of finding ways to score, and that impacted us a little bit. But Wyatt Lohaus was obviously the difference maker for them and played a terrific game."
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