The Drake Bulldogs will be in search of their fourth straight win, tonight, when they visit Southern Illinois in Missouri Valley Conference play. The Bulldogs are 4-3 in the league race and coach Mark Phelps says they will face a tough challenge against a Saluki team that has gotten healthier and better.

Phelps says the Salukis have a lot of things on both ends of the court that make them better than their overall record indicates.

Junior Ben Simons was a big factor in Drake’s win streak. He averaged better than 19 and a half points in the three wins and was named the MVC player of the week.

“He’s been challenged to be more aggressive, he’s been challenged to continue give us a great effort on defense, he’s aggressive for us and is shooting the ball with a lot of confidence,” Phelps says. He says Simons has become a leader that the team looks up to.

Phelps says the Bulldogs have made more of a commitment on the defensive end and it is showing up on the scoreboard. “You have to defend in this league to have any shot,” Phelps says. He says while their defensive numbers are not the greatest, they have gotten better and that is a start.