DES MOINES, Iowa — The Illinois State women's basketball team posed little threat to Drake's date with Missouri Valley Conference history on Sunday afternoon at Knapp Center.
The Bulldogs charged out to a 25-14 first quarter lead en route to an 80-64 victory, their 38th straight in conference play and now the longest winning streak in MVC history. Drake is now 16-0 in the Valley and 21-7 overall. Illinois State falls to 7-10 in conference play and 13-15 overall.
Hannah Green scored a career-high 22 points to lead four Redbirds in double figures. The senior forward was 8 of 12 from the field, including 4 of 5 from beyond the arc.
Simone Goods chipped in 14 points, Paige Saylor added 12 and Megan Talbot 10 for Illinois State, which battled back from a 51-27 halftime deficit to make it a 65-50 game after three quarters. ISU shot 43 percent from the field (22 of 51) while hitting 13 of 14 from the free throw line.
"I'm really proud of our kids. I think it took us a half, unfortunately, to figure out how to play without Viria (Livingston, who was sidelined with a knee injury)," said ISU head coach Kristen Gillespie. "Not making excuses, but we struggled defensively. It was a lack of communication."
Drake, which shot a blistering 63 percent from the field (34 of 54) was led by Sara Rhine with 19 points and Becca Hittner with 14. The Bulldogs scored 46 points in the paint while getting 36 points from their bench.
"I could not be more proud of the way we battled, we could have very easily gotten beat by 50," added Gillespie.
Illinios State wraps up the regular season with a trip west on I-74 on Saturday to face Bradley. Tip-off is scheduled for 2 p.m.