for this game

Big second half sparks Drake past Indiana State

Feb 3, 2008 - 6:35 AM TERRE HAUTE, Indiana (Ticker) -- It's becoming more and more apparent with each win that Drake is this season's mid-major powerhouse.

Adam Emmenecker scored 16 of his 20 points in the second half to lead the 17th-ranked Bulldogs to an 83-77 victory over Indiana State in a Missouri Valley Conference battle on Saturday.

Josh Young added 18 points and Leonard Houston chipped in 16, including three 3-pointers in the second half, for Drake (20-1, 11-0 MVC), which won its 19th straight game and school-record 20th of the season.

"We have a lot of people in this program who haven't won very much," Emmenecker said to the Des Moines Register. "The teams in this league are so tough. It's easy to get motivated to play them, because we've lost to them so much."

Like Creighton and Butler in recent seasons, the Bulldogs have stormed through the first two-thirds of the season and made a steady climb up the rankings. Their 11th conference win on Saturday marks the largest total in school history.

Drake followed up a flat first half with a scorching effort in the final 20 minutes, putting 53 points on the board after the break on 14-of-25 (56 percent) shooting. After totaling just 10 points in the first half, Emmenecker and Young exploded in the second, combining for 28 points.

"They have lots of guys step up," Indiana State coach Kevin McKenna said. "The guy who makes them all go, though, is No. 15 (Emmenecker). He makes a lot of (his teammates) better than they probably are.

"No. 15 is a heck of a player. Adam gets in there and finishes like a champ."

The Sycamores (10-11, 5-6) opened up a 35-30 lead at the half with a 15-of-23 shooting effort, including 5-of-8 from the arc.

The Bulldogs shot just 11-of-28 (39 percent) in the opening 20 minutes.

But the second half proved to be a different story, with Drake forging a 42-42 deadlock at the 14:34 mark on a pair of free throws by Young. Houston hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first five minutes and Young added five points.

Emmenecker took over from there, scoring 13 points over the next 11 1/2 minutes as the Bulldogs stretched the lead to 74-62 with 2:55 to play.

Houston, Young and Emmenecker combined to make 9-of-12 free throws over the final 2:14 to seal the win.

"In the conference, there are no easy games, especially on the road," Bulldogs coach Keno Davis said to the Des Moines Register. "We just want to stay in the game and have a chance at the end."

Gabriel Moore scored 19 points to lead Indiana State, which has lost five of its last six games.

"I thought we competed pretty well," McKenna said. "I thought we had some defensive breakdowns in the second half."

Todd McCoy scored eight points in the first half, but managed just five after the break and missed all three of his 3-point attempts.

"Emmenecker just gets (the ball), throws it over his head and it rolls in," McCoy said to the Register. "They are a solid team, but they got a lot of prayer baskets. I'm not trying to knock them, but we just know we blew this opportunity."