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Drake keeps streaking with win over Northern Iowa

Jan 27, 2008 - 5:39 AM DES MOINES, Iowa (Ticker) -- Drake is still perfect at home and in the Missouri Valley Conference thanks to the shooting of Klayton Korver.

Korver scored 23 points and the 23rd-ranked Bulldogs made enough plays down the stretch to post a 58-54 victory over Northern Iowa on Saturday.

Ranked for the first time since the 1974-75 season, Drake extended its school-record winning streak to 17 games with the victory. One of the nation's biggest surprises, the Bulldogs have not lost since November 10 against Saint Mary's.

Drake also improved to 11-0 at home this season and its overall winning streak is the third-longest in the country behind No. 1 Memphis (19-0) and No. 2 Kansas (20-0).

"I can't say enough about the guys' effort," Drake coach Keno Davis said. "They play for the full 40 minutes and just find a way to win at the end of games."

Korver was 8-of-10 from the field, including 7-of-8 on 3-pointers. Josh Young added 11 points for the Bulldogs (18-1, 9-0 MVC), who are 9-0 in league play for the first time since the 1969-70 season.

"There is nobody better when he is on," Davis said. "We definitely needed him tonight. There is no way we are even in the game without him."

"I felt good tonight and my teammates got me open," Korver said. "The first few went in and I just kept it going."

Down by four late in the game, Drake went on a 9-1 run to close things out.

After rallying to take a 55-54 lead, Adam Emmenecker added a layup to give the Bulldogs a 57-54 lead. Jared Josten got off an open 3-pointer for Northern Iowa, but missed and Jonathan Cox grabbed the last of his 12 rebounds.

Cox split two free throws with 13 seconds left to end the Panthers' hopes of an upset and clinch another close win for the Bulldogs, who have won their last four games by 19 points.

"It's not the way you draw it up, as a coach - you'd like to win going away," Davis said. "But it says a lot of how tough the conference is."

Josten scored 12 points for the Panthers (12-8, 4-5).

Brian Haak hit a 3-pointer to give Northern Iowa a 53-49 lead with 5:34 left but Korver answered with one and Leonard Houston hit a 3-pointer with 2:30 left to give Drake a 55-53 lead.

The Bulldogs were 13-of-27 from the arc, including 7-of-17 in the first half when they opened up a 32-24 lead.

The Panthers stormed back after the break, erasing the deficit with an 18-7 run to start the second half.

Drake surpassed its entire victory total of last season (17-15) with the win and have posted the most victories by a team since the 1985-86 squad went 19-11.

"It's great. We haven't had much success over the years," Houston said. "It's a great opportunity to go out with a bang being a senior on this team. It's been awesome and I can't ask for anything more."