DES MOINES, Iowa – The Drake University women’s basketball team starts 2016 with a New Years Day matinee against the Southern Illinois Salukis at the Knapp Center. Tipoff for the Missouri Valley Conference opening game for both teams is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Friday and will be broadcast online on ESPN3. Drake (7-4), who dropped its final non-conference game at No. 25 Iowa on Dec. 22, will open 2016 moving forward from a 1-4 record in the month of December after a 6-0 start to the season. The Bulldogs are hoping for a similar start to MVC play in 2016 like last season when they ripped off nine straight league wins before falling at SIU. Junior Lizzy Wendell (Blue Springs, Mo.) leads the MVC and ranks 19th in the nation in scoring at 20.9 points per game. Wendell poured in a game-high 35 points on the Hawkeyes, shooting 50 percent from the field (14-of-28). She has now scored 78 points in her last two games against the Hawkeyes after dropping a career-high 43 points last year. Wendell has recorded 30 or more points in a game six times in her career. Junior point guard Caitlin Ingle (Runnells, Iowa) handed out 12 assists to just one turnover this year against the Hawkeyes after dishing out 10 assists with just two turnovers in 2014. Ingle has the top mark in the MVC and ranks 10th in nation at 6.6 assists per game. SIU (7-5) enters Friday’s contest winners of five of its previous seven games, but dropped its final non-conference game to Marshall, 61-55, on Monday in Carbondale, Ill. The Salukis have three players averaging double figures led by Rishonda Napier’s 15.4 points a game while Dyana Pierre is next at 13.5 along with pulling down a league-best 11.0 boards a game. Friday’s matchup is the 81st in the all-time series, which Drake leads 53-27 as the Bulldogs have won seven of the previous 10 games as the two schools have played twice annually since 1980. It is the most games for Drake against a conference opponent. Drake, who is beginning MVC play at home for the first time since the 2007-08 campaign, closes the weekend Sunday against Evansville at 4 p.m. at the Knapp Center. Print Friendly Version
Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday said her government has been taking steps to increase the population of tigers in the state. On the occasion of International Tiger Day on Monday, she said efforts have been initiated to monitor their population in the Sundarban Tiger Reserve, as well as augment the number of big cats in Alipurduar’s Buxa Tiger Reserve. “Today is #InternationalTigerDay. The tiger is an endangered species. We must save our tigers. In #Bangla, augmentation of tiger population in Buxa Tiger Reserve has been initiated. In Sundarban Tiger Reserve, radio collaring and monitoring of tiger is continuing,” she tweeted. The International Tiger Day is observed every year since 2010, for protecting the natural habitats of tigers and raising awareness about the endangered animal.