The Drake Bulldogs and the Valparaiso Beacons meet Saturday in college basketball action from Athletics-Recreation Center. Drake is 18-6 so far this year. The Bulldogs powered out a win over Northern Iowa in their last game. As for Valparaiso, they’re 10-14 on the year after a loss to Missouri State on Wednesday. Check back all season long for free college basketball picks at Sports Chat Place.
The Bulldogs managed an 11-5 run over their first 16 games this year, losing to Indiana State, Richmond, Saint Louis, Missouri State and Southern Illinois. Drake is 7-1 in their last eight games with a lone loss to Missouri State.
In the Northern Iowa matchup on Wednesday, the Bulldogs scored 28 in the first half, 36 in the second and 24 across two overtime periods on the way to a tough 88-81 win. Roman Penn was the top team scorer on 28 points and six assists.
Over on the Valparaiso side, they went just 6-10 over their first 16 outings this year. The Beacons have since gone 4-4, taking wins over Evansville, UIC, Illinois State and Evansville again during that time.
On Wednesday versus Missouri State, the Beacons were up 35-28 at halftime but ended up having to go to overtime. Valparaiso was outscored 11-2 from there and lost 76-67. Ben Krikke led the team on 19 points with seven boards.
ANDREW’S FREE PICK
I’m going to stay with Drake. The Bulldogs are looking good during this current 7-1 run, scoring 70 or more points in all seven of those wins. Drake managed a win 68-63 back on December 29 the last time these teams met up at Knapp Center. The Bulldogs started slow in that one however, with just 24 first-half points. As for Valparaiso, they’ve been a mixed bag lately but they’ve gone 4-2 over the last six games and are scoring pretty well themselves. I like the Beacons to hang around in the first half before Drake takes off toward a cover.