Drake Men’s Basketball defeats SIU to advance to MVC Tournament semifinals

Drake Men's Basketball defeats SIU to advance to MVC Tournament semifinals

Drake Men’s Basketball advanced to the semifinals of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament after beating Southern Illinois, 65-52, on Friday.

The Bulldogs will face Missouri State on Saturday.

Drake started slow against the Salukis in the quarterfinals. At one point in the first half, Drake went over six and a half minutes without scoring. Southern Illinois also wasn’t about to let the Bulldogs grow their lead the way Drake did against the Salukis in the regular season finale.

But Drake came out stronger in the second half, with Tucker DeVries opening the scoring with his first three of the game. The Bulldogs continued to extend their lead, creating enough cushion to last for most of the second half.

Southern Illinois center Marcus Domask loses control of the ball between Drake's Darnell Brodie (51) and ShanQuan Hemphill (4) during the second half Friday at the Missouri Valley Tournament quarterfinal Conference in Saint Louis.

“Obviously a tough game, which we knew it would be,” head coach Darian DeVries said after the game. “It was going to be a low possession game where you’re really going to have to make a few plays to get away from it, and I think our guys did a great job in the second half to settle in.

“I think we made some really good saves defensively and then we were able to find some rhythm offensively which allowed us to get a bit of separation. Definitely excited for the win and looking forward to tomorrow.”