Denison saw its 2015-16 season come to a close on Friday night following a 62-53 loss to Ohio Northern in the opening round of the 2016 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament at the DeVos Fieldhouse on the campus of Hope College. The Big Red finished the year with a record of 23-5, including the program’s fourth NCAC regular season championship after posting a conference record of 15-1.
Leading by 43-41 with just over six minutes left in regulation, Gaby Mehringer (Chapel Hill, NC/Northwood) converted from short range to push the Big Red lead to four. Three possessions later, ONU's Brooke Espenschied drained a triple with 5:17 on the clock. That 3-pointer sparked 16-4 run that turned a four-point Polar Bear deficit into an eight-point Ohio Northern advantage with less than a minute and a half to play. The Polar Bears were able to secure the win with a 5-for-8 showing at the foul line over the final 44 seconds of the game.
Jordan Holmes posted her 24th double-double of the season with 11 points and 16 rebounds to go along with eight blocks in 37 minutes. Emily Krumpe (Hilliard, OH/Hilliard Darby) paced the Big Red offense with 12 points on 6-of-11 from the field. The junior also grabbed six rebounds. Taylor Lindquist (Erie, PA/McDowell) finished with nine points, while Mehringer had eight tallies.
WISCONSIN-STEVENS POINT POD
DePauw (22-7) saw its season run come to an end in the first-round of the 2016 NCAA Division III Women’s Basketball Tournament with a 65-50 loss at UW-Stevens Point (20-7) on Friday night. The Tigers, who qualified for the national tournament after winning their fourth NCAC Tournament in program history last weekend, trailed by four at half, 26-22, and drew within one, 41-40, with 12 seconds left in the third quarter on a layup by junior Claire Ryan (Chicago, IL/Marist), but the Pointers regained control of the game after that and held on for the 15-point victory.
Ryan finished with 10 points and two rebounds for DPU, while freshman Maya Howard (St. Louis, MO/MICDS) led all scorers with 14 points and two assists. Defensively UW-Stevens Point held DePauw to 32.2% (19-for-59) from the field, forced 11 turnovers and blocked three shots. The Pointers held a 39-32 advantage on the boards and a 30-20 edge on points in the paint. Junior Lauren Anklam led UW-Stevens Point with 12 points after shooting 3-of-8 from the field to go along with five assists and four rebounds.
||Wisconsin-Stevens Point Pod
Friday, March 5
|Friday, March 5|
|Ohio Northern 62, Denison 53 (Box)||George Fox 64, St. Norbert, 54|
|Carnegie Mellon 73, Hope 72||UW-Stevens Point 65, DePauw 50 (Box)|
|Saturday, March 7||Saturday, March 7
|Carnegie Mellon vs. Ohio Northern, 7:00 PM||George Fox at UW-Stevens Point, 7:00 PM
North Coast Athletic Conference tournament champion DePauw (22-6) earned its 13th-straight bid into the 64-team NCAA Div. III Women's Basketball Tournament, while Denison (23-4) earned its sixth berth, receiving one of the 20 at-large bids into the championship field. 2016 marks the second-straight season the North Coast will be represented by two teams in the national field.
DePauw captured its fourth NCAC Tournament title in the last five years after knocking off fourth-seeded Allegheny (15-13) by an 83-53 margin on Saturday afternoon at Denison University's Livingston Gymnasium.
DePauw sophomore Emily Budde (Cincinnati, OH/Mother of Mercy) earned the 2016 Nan Nichols Award as the tournament MVP after she scored 18 points and pulled down eight rebounds in the championship game. Budde, who launched the Tigers into the championship game with a buzzer beater against Kenyon in the semifinals, finished the three-game tournament with 41 points (13.7 ppg), 17 rebounds (5.7 rpg) and five assists (1.7 apg). She also shot 42 percent (13-of-31) from the field, 38 percent (5-of-13) from three-point range and 77 percent (10-of-13) from the free throw line.
DePauw will travel to Stevens Point, Wisconsin for its NCAA opening-round contest against Wisconsin-Stevens Point (20-7), which received one of the 20 at-large bids and is making its 11th tournament appearance. The winner of the DePauw/UWSP contest will take on the winner of the George Fox (27-0)/St. Norbert (21-4) match on Saturday at Stevens Point.
DePauw is making its 17th NCAA Division III appearance with an all-time record of 31-14 including national titles in 2007 and 2013 and a third-place finish in 2002. The 31 wins rank in a tie for seventh among current Division III members.
Denison will play Ohio Northern (22-4) in Holland, Michigan on the campus of Hope College. ONU also received an at-large bid and are making their third NCAA NCAA Tournament appearance in the last four seasons. The other first-round contest in the bracket pits Hope (26-1) of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association against Carnegie Mellon (19-6) of the University Athletic Association.
This is the sixth NCAA Division III Tournament appearance for Denison but the first time the Big Red recieved an at-large bid.
The winners of Saturday's second-round games will advance to one of four sectional-round sites, March 11-12. Winners of the four sectional sites will advance to the national semifinals March 19. All games, except the semifinals and final, will be played on the campuses of competing institutions. The semifinals will be conducted at the Capital Center Performance Arena on the campus of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. The finals will be part of a larger 35th anniversary NCAA women's basketball championship celebration taking place at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis the first week in April. Championship week will culminate with five championship basketball games and three national titles decided within a 48-hour period at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. It will be the first time in the history of NCAA women's basketball that all three divisional championships will be decided in the same city and venue. The Division I national semifinals will be played Sunday, April 3 at 6 and 8:30 p.m. EST. The Division II and III national championship games will be played on Monday, April 4 at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m., respectively, while the Division I national championship game will be played on Tuesday, April 5 at 8:30 p.m.