Women’s basketball fought back from a 17 point deficit but fell just short in their season opening game at Drake Wednesday, losing 82-79 to a Bulldogs three pointer with two seconds remaining.
After Drake opened the second half with a three pointer putting the Bulldogs up 17, the odds of a positive result looked slim for the Bluejays.
The quarter prior the Jays had shot a mea- sly 11% from three and 23% from the field.
But, coach Jim Flanery was able to direct the Jays to get back into the game and moving in the right direction by making some defensive adjustments and the team responded once they got more comfortable.
“We weren’t perfect but we fought a little bit harder,” Flanery said. “In these first games you’re kind of guessing what [the opponent] is going to do, so we made a few minor adjustments on how we were playing certain players.”
As results came on the defensive side, more shots began to fall on the offensive side. With three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, the Jays had fought all the way back to close in on the lead that Drake had held since the third minute of the game, tying it at 74.
“There was for sure a shift in energy,” sophomore guard Morgan Maly said. “When
we cut the game down to a one or two pos- session game, that was when we were all in.”
But the Bulldogs struck back in the final minutes, never allowing the Jays to take the lead for themselves. With 27 seconds remaining Maly drained a three to tie the game for the second time, at 79.
On the final possession of the game, the Bulldogs left just two seconds on the clock and hit a three of their own, giving them the lead for good.
Flanery noted that one of the positives from the game was signs of how deep the team is.
“Our best run of the game was late in the third quarter when we had either one starter in the game or zero and I think that’s an indication of how strong we are top to bottom,” he said.
Maly led the team with a career-high 15 points off the bench, going 5-9 from beyond the new three point line where the Jays shot 14-39 overall.
In this the 56th meeting between the two teams, the series record was moved to 27-21 in favor of Drake and the Bulldogs extended their traditional season-opening game win streak against the Jays to four.
“Playing Drake is always a tough first challenge but you learn a lot about yourself and we’re just trying to keep it rolling from here now,” Maly said.