Drake sharpshooters lead Bulldogs to win

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ST. THOMAS - Sophomore guard Rayvonte Rice finished with 23 points and junior forward Ben Simons added 19 as the duo combined for seven 3-pointers to lead the Drake University men's basketball team to a 66-62 victory over Winthrop at the 2011 Paradise Jam at the University of Virgin Islands Sports and Fitness Center on Saturday.

The Bulldogs (3-1) surrendered a second-half lead and fell to Mississippi on Friday. They will finish the tournament today against Virginia at 4:30 p.m.

Rice converted some critical free throws in the second half after the Eagles (0-4) cut Drakes' lead to just two points with 6:35 remaining. Rice responded by making five straight free throws to give his team a little breathing room.

Rice shot 9-for-12 from the charity stripe in the game as the Bulldogs finished a mediocre 65 percent (19-for-29) from the free-throw line.

A pair of free throws from Winthrop senior guard Andre Jones cut Drake's lead to three points with 59 seconds remaining. The Bulldogs turned over the ball on their next possession and then a Jones 3-pointer was off the mark.

Rice hauled in the rebound and converted one more free throw to seal Drake's third win of the season.

Jones finished with 11 points for the Eagles while senior guard Reggie Middleton tallied a game-high 26 points and five rebounds.

Drake opened a 33-29 lead at the break and also got 6-point, 6-rebound performance from junior forward Jordan Clarke. Senior forward Kraidon Woods came off the bench and finished with six points and four rebounds for the Bulldogs.

Bulldogs 66, Eagles 62

Drake (3-1) 33 33 - 66

Winthrop (0-4) 29 33 - 62

DRA: Clarke 6, Hawley 2, Simons 19, Madison 2, Rice 23, Alexander 3, Jeffers 2, Woods 6, Smith 3. Totals: 20(7) 19-29 66.

WIN: Morgan 5, Jerome 8, Valentine 6, Middleton 26, Jones 11, Smith 3, King 1, Brown 2. Totals: 20(6) 16-22 62.

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