DES MOINES, Iowa — Drake’s quest for their first NCAA Tournament appearance since 2008 was dealt another blow.
Starting point guard Roman Penn suffered a season-ending injury during Drake’s 85-71 win over Evansville on Sunday. Penn left the game with an injury to his left foot in the second half. Drake’s medical staff on Monday determined his injury would require season-ending surgery.
Penn, a junior, had started all 24 games for the 22-2 Bulldogs this season. Penn was averaging 11.2 points per game and was the Missouri Valley Conference’s assists leader with 5.5 per game.
Penn is the second Drake starter to get injured in February. Senior forward ShanQuan Hemphill suffered a foot fracture against Northern Iowa on Feb. 10. Hemphill is Drake’s leading scorer, averaging 14.1 points per game and 6.3 rebounds. Hemphill could be cleared to return to competition in time for the NCAA Tournament if the Bulldogs qualify.
Drake and Evansville play again Monday night at the Knapp Center. Tipoff is 6 p.m. on ESPN+.
Drake will play one more series against Bradley before the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament starts on March 4.