MOLINE, Ill. (AP) — Two-time Player of the Year Becca Hittner scored 18 points and No. 21 Drake used a game-breaking run in the first quarter on Friday to roll to an 86-58 win over ninth-seeded Valparaiso in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament quarterfinals.
Maddy Dean added 16 points, Sara Rhine 14 and Monica Burich 10 for the Bulldogs (26-5), who have won 11 straight. The three-time defending league champion and two-time defending tournament winner faces the winner of fourth-seeded Illinois State against fifth-seeded Bradley in Saturday’s semifinals.
Dean’s 3-pointer broke a 2-2 tie and kicked off an 18-0 run with contributions from six different players. The lead was 21-5 after one quarter as the Crusaders missed 11 straight shots after making their first one of the game. Their second make was their first shot of the second quarter.
The second quarter was pretty even but not until an 8-0 run had pushed the lead to 23.
Addison Stoller had 15 points and 10 rebounds for Valparaiso and Grace Hales had 15 but the two combined to shoot 7 of 25.
The Crusaders shot 28 percent for the games while Drake was at 52 percent.