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MOLINE, Sick. —A pregame error set the tone before one second ticked away.

Already dealing with an uphill battle towards prime-seeded Drake in Friday’s MVC Event quarterfinal, No. 9 Valparaiso didn’t get its beginning lineup submitted to the scorer’s table in time. That led to two Bulldogs free throws previous to the opening tip.

Sammie Bachrodt sank them each. Drake was off and operating .

The No. 21 Bulldogs made quick work, burying Valparaiso early en route to an 86-fifty eight win at TaxSlayer Middle in Moline, Illinois. Drake will get the Bradley-Illinois State winner in Saturday’s semifinal at 1:30 p.m.

In the future after repeating as Valley participant of the yr, Becca Hittner led Drake (26-5) with 18 factors in 26 minutes. She was certainly one of nine Bulldogs to score. Maddy Dean added 16 points and Sara Rhine had 14.  

Drake’s two regular-season wins over Valparaiso went with out incident, and Friday was more of the identical. The Crusaders went 1-for-thirteen within the first quarter, which included an eight-minute scoring drought.

The Bulldogs had Valparaiso stuck on a deuce until surrendering three late free throws. A 21-5 benefit after one was greater than sufficient cushion.

The Crusaders (8-24) acquired no nearer than 18 in the second half, unable to wiggle out of the Bulldogs’ grip. Once again, Drake’s stranglehold on the league has seamlessly transitioned into postseason play.

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They gained’t all be that straightforward this time of yr. But Drake dodged any first-recreation nervousness with relative ease — the product of a veteran unit that understands the perils of March.

Dargan Southard covers Iowa and UNI athletics, recruiting and preps for the Des Moines Register, and the Iowa Metropolis Press-Citizen. E mail him at or comply with him on Twitter at @Dargan_Southard.