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NCAC Weekly Release (2-25-13) - Women's Basketball

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North Coast Athletic Conference regular season and tournament champion DePauw (28-0) earned its tenth straight bid to the NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament.

The Tigers will host La Roche of the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (22-4) in a first-round matchup on Friday night. This will be the first-ever meeting between the two schools. The other first-round contest in the bracket pits Maryville (TN) (23-4) of the USA South Athletic Conference against Otterbein (21-6) of the Ohio Athletic Conference. Tipoff times for the games will be announced later today.  Friday’s winners will face off the next evening. Saturday’s winner advances to one of four sectional-round sites, March 8-9. Sectional winners will move on to the Final Four, March 15-16, to be held at the DeVos Fieldhouse in Holland, Michigan, home of Hope College. More information on the NCAA Tournament can be found HERE

DePauw is making is 14th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament, having walked away National Champions of Division III in 2007. The Tigers are 20-12 (.625) all-time in the NCAA Tournament.

DePauw’s NCAC Tournament run included wins over eighth-seeded Hiram, 72-32, fifth-seeded Wittenberg, 66-43, and second-seeded Kenyon, 63-49. The tournament championship marked the Tigers’ second-straight crown, having just finished the program’s first ever undefeated regular season. Senior Kate Walker (Indianapolis, IN/ Perry Meridian) was awarded the Nan Nichols Award as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player. In 75 total minutes of tournament action, Walker led the Tigers in scoring with 36 points (12.0 ppg) after shooting 43 percent (12-of-28) from the field, 44 percent (4-of-9) from beyond the arc and a perfect 8-of-8 from the free throw line. Walker was joined on the all-tournament team by junior Ali Ross (Lexington, KY/Lafayette), Kenyon senior Kayla Ernst (Batavia, OH/Batavia) and junior Maureen Hirt (Bloomington, IN/Bloomington North), Wittenberg sophomore Enri Small (Columbus, OH/Columbus School for Girls) and Allegheny senior Daryl Ford (Pittsburgh, PA/Sto-Rox). Ernst (18.7 ppg) and Hirt (14.3 ppg) were first and second in scoring, respectively, for the Ladies in the tournament. Hirt led Kenyon on the glass averaging 5.3 rebounds a game while Ernst was second with a 4.7 average. Small paced the Tigers in two tournament games, averaging 17.5 points and seven rebounds. Small was the second-leading rebounder in the tournament, averaging 9.5 rebounds per contest to go along with 17 points a game.

Complete tournament stats are available online HERE