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DePauw Wins Fifth NCAC Tournament Title

DePauw Wins Fifth NCAC Tournament Title

Top-seeded DePauw (26-2) captured its fifth NCAC Tournament title in the last six years after knocking off sixth-seeded Denison (14-14) by an 56-50 margin on Saturday afternoon at DePauw University’s Neal Fieldhouse. As tournament champions, the Tigers have earned the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament, which will open with first and second round games next weekend on campus sites.

DePauw junior Emily Budde (Cincinnati, OH/Mother of Mercy) earned the 2017 Nan Nichols Award as the tournament MVP after she matched her season-high with 18 points in the championship game to go along with two steals and one rebound.  Budde, who set her season-high against Oberlin in the semifinals, finished the three-game tournament with 40 points (13.3 ppg) to lead all participants, 14 rebounds (4.7 rpg) and two assists. She also shot 41.7 percent (15-of-36) from the field, 28.6 percent (2-of-7) from three-point range and 88.9 percent (7-of-8) from the free throw line. 

Denison senior Jordan Holmes (Pittsburgh, PA/Mt. Lebanon), who was also named to the All-Tournament team, led the Big Red in the championship game with 15 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Holmes finished the tournament with 17 blocks, eclipsing the previous record of 14 she set in the 2014.  Big Red freshman Allison Schafer (Columbia Station, OH/Columbia) joined Holmes on the All-Tournament team after a 13 points seven rebound performance in the championship game. Listen to DePauw head coach Kris Huffman's comments on the win after the game HERE.

2017 NCAC Women's Basketball All-Tournament Team

Olivia Canning, Oberlin
Miranda Diesz, Kenyon
Alison Schafer, Denison
Jordan Holmes, Denison
Claire Ryan, DePauw

Nan Nichols Award (MVP) - Emily Budde, DePauw 

DePauw Tournament Site
Quarterfinals:   Semifinals:   Championship:

Tuesday, Feb. 21

  Friday, Feb. 24
(at DePauw)
  Saturday, February 25
(at DePauw)
#1 DePauw, 90, #8 Wooster 56 {Box}
   DePauw 58, Oberlin 54 {Box}    DePauw 56, Denison 50 {Box}
#2 Kenyon 61, #7 Wittenberg 46 {Box}
   Denison 51, Kenyon 42 {Box}    
#6 Denison 61, #3 Ohio Wesleyan 46 {Box}
  Seminifinal Photos  
#5 Oberlin 60, #4 Hiram 43 {Box}
Bracket -- Stats -- Tickets  -- Directions -- NCAC Tournament Records

Semifinal Recaps (2/24):

Top-seeded DePauw advanced to its fifth NCAC Tournament title in the last six years after defeating fifth-seeded Oberlin, 58-54, in Friday’s semifinal contest from Neal Fieldhouse on the campus of DePauw University. In the first half, DePauw junior Emily Budde (Cincinnati, OH/Mother of Mercy) scored 13 of her team-high 18 points, including six points during a 10-1 run for the Tigers in the second quarter that helped give DePauw a 33-23 lead at half. In the fourth quarter, DePauw’s Taylor Howard (Peoria, IL/Peoria Christian) hit a pair of free throws with 3:58 left to push the Tiger lead back to 10. Oberlin’s Alex Stipano (Alexandria, VA/Bishop Ireton) responded with a three for the Yeowomen and then added a free throw to cut the lead to 53-47.Maya Howard's (St. Louis, MO/MICDS) jumper in the paint with 2:06 left made it 55-47 before Stipano followed with a layup. Stipano's layup with 16 seconds left closed the gap to 55-51 before Budde hit one of two free throws a second later to make it 56-51. Stipano's three-pointer with eight seconds left bounced off the rim a couple of times before dropping in and cutting the Tigers' lead to 56-54. Budde wrapped up the game by hitting a pair of free throws with four seconds remaining.

Budde led DePauw with a season-high 18 points off the bench, while Sydney Kopp (Burr Ridge, IL/Hinsdale South) followed with 10. Stipano led the Yeowomen with a game-high 20 including 13 in the fourth quarter. Olivia Canning (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln Sudbury) followed with 15 points and six blocks. DePauw held a 39-36 edge on the boards as Claire Ryan (Chicago, IL/Marist)grabbed seven. Abby Andrews (Ann Arbor, MI/Rudolf Steiner School) and Tyler Parlor (Detroit, MI/Mercy High School)each hauled down seven for the Yeowomen. Sarah Thompson (Manchester, MI/Manchester) led Oberlin with eight assists, while Howard has three for DePauw.

In the second semifinal game on Friday night, Denison secured its spot in the NCAC Tournament title game for the first time since 2014 with a 51-42 victory over second-seeded Kenyon. 2017 marks the first-time since 1996 that the sixth-seed has reached the tournament final. After a back-and-forth first quarter, Denison used a 9-2 surge to open the second to extend its lead to 11 points. Kenyon closed out the half with five-straight points, resulting in a 21-15 halftime lead for DU. The Big Red methodically built a 30-18 lead over the course of six and a half minutes in the third, but a 14-5 burst by the Ladies whittled the Denison lead to three after 30 minutes of play. Kenyon’s Charlotte Bussema (Wellesley, MA/Wellesley) hit a layup with 8:57 remaining in the game to cut the Big Red lead to two, but Denison rattled off 10 of the next 14 points to help secure the nine point victory.

Denison senior post Jordan Holmes (Pittsburgh, PA/Mt. Lebanon) led all players with a game-high 17 points and 16 rebounds while also blocking six shots. Freshman Emily Krumpe (Hilliard, OH/Hilliard Darby) added 10 points for the Big Red. Denison shot 31 percent (16-for-51) from the field while Kenyon converted 26 percent (17-for-66) from the floor. The Big Red had a 47-41 edge on the glass. Miranda Diesz (Hartville, OH/Lake) led Kenyon with 10 points, a game-high five assists while grabbing four boards. Ladies senior Bailey Dominguez (Indianapolis, IN/Park Tudor) added nine points while Bussema contributed six points, three assists and two steals. 

Quarterfinal Recaps (2/21):

Top-seeded DePauw (24-2) jumped out to a 15-point lead at the end of the opening quarter and outrebounded eighth-seeded Wooster (3-23) 47-33 en route to earning a 90-56 victory in the quarterfinal round of the 2017 NCAC Women’s Basketball Tournament. It was a total team effort for DePauw as 11 different Tigers scored on their way to outscoring the Wooster bench, 42-24. After an impressive first quarter, DePauw orchestrated a 16-0 run at the end of the third and into the fourth to take control of the contest. Defensively DePauw held Wooster without a field goal over the 5:24 stretch to spark the run. DePauw was led by senior Lex Gaumer (Lawrence, KS/Bishop Seabury Academy), who was one of three Tigers in double figures with 17 points, to go along with three rebounds and two assists. DePauw shot 50.7 percent from the floor and hit 10-of-27 from three-point range, while the Fighting Scots connected on 32.3 percent from the floor and were 7-of-27 from beyond the arc. The Tigers held a 40-22 edge on points in the paint and a 10-0 lead in fast break points. Freshman Cat Fiorito (Goshen, KY/North Oldham) poured in a game-high 19 points in her first NCAC Tournament contest.

Second-seeded Kenyon (19-7) advanced to the NCAC semifinals for the 12th time in the last 13 seasons under head coach Suzanne Helfant after defeating seventh-seeded Wittenberg (10-16), 61-46. Kenyon junior Griffin Tullis (Columbus, OH/Dublin Coffman) scored a career and game-high 18 points, going 7-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. Tullis, who scored 13 of her 18 points in the second half, added five rebounds and one assist in the win. Ladies’ junior Ifeoma Archimalo (Dayton, OH/Centerville) also chipped in with 12 points and three rebounds. Defensively Kenyon held Wittenberg to 26.9 percent (14-for-52), including just four field goals in the first half and 4-for-14 in the fourth quarter. The Ladies won the battle in the paint 30-12 and totaled 16 points off turnovers. As a team, Kenyon shot 46.8 percent from the field, dishing out 19 assists on 22 made field goals. Kenyon also held a 40-31 advantage on the boards. Sophomore Sydney Mayle (Powell, OH/Watterson) led Wittenberg with 11 points, one rebound and one assist in the losing effort.

Sixth-seeded Denison (13-13) held third-seeded Ohio Wesleyan (12-14) to just six points in the opening quarter and outrebounded 57-33 en route to earning a 61-46 victory in the quarterfinal round of the 2017 NCAC Women's Basketball Tournament. The Big Red opened the contest on an 11-3 run and led by as many as 15 before taking a 36-23 lead into the half.  In the third quarter, Denison again held OWU to just six points and eventually extend its lead out to 23 points in the fourth quarter before closing out the 15 point victory. Defensively the Big Red was outstanding all night limiting Ohio Wesleyan to its lowest shooting percentage (25.9) of the season, connecting on just 15 of 58 attempts. The Big Red were led by senior Jordan Holmes (Pittsburgh, PA/Mt. Lebanon), who scored 16 points to go along with 20 rebounds and five blocks as Denison advanced to its 14th NCAC Tournament semifinal in the last 15 years. The Big Red won the battle in the paint, 30-14, and totaled 10 points off turnovers Denison got a nice lift from its bench, outscoring the OWU bench, 28-11. Senior Megan Kuether (Osgood, OH/Marion Local) led Ohio Wesleyan with a game-high 18 points, five rebounds and two assists in her final game for the Bishops.

In the final quarterfinal matchup of the evening, fifth-seeded Oberlin (13-13) defeated No. 4 Hiram (17-9), 60-43. With the win, Oberlin advances to the semifinal round for the first time since 1999. Junior Abby Andrews (Ann Arbor, MI/Rudolf Steiner School) led the Yeowomen charge as she tied a career-high with 23 points to go along with seven rebounds. Yeowomen Olivia Canning (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln Sudbury) added 12 points on a perfect 6-of-6 . The sophomore also added seven blocks and five boards. Oberlin took a 28-19 lead into half and held the Terriers to just nine third quarter points to stretch its advantage to 15 points headed into the final frame. Hiram, playing in front of a home crowd for the first time in program history in the NCAC Tournament, was never able to cut the deficit to single digits in the fourth quarter. Oberlin shot an impressive 51.1 percent, hitting 24-of-47 shots in the win. Conversely, the Terriers hit just 15 shots on 56 attempts for a 26.8 percent success rate. The Yeowomen also won the rebounding battle 36-29. JuniorMercedes Jones (Dayton, OH/Ponitz Career Technology Center) led the Terriers with 11 points, six rebounds and one assist in the loss. 

NCAC Women's Basketball Weekly Release - (2/20/17) 

DePauw (23-2, 15-1) will be the top seed in the 2017 NCAC Women's Basketball Tournament. The tournament begins with quarterfinal games on campus sites on Tuesday (2/21). Tournament seeding follows the final regular season standings with the top four seeds hosting quarterfinal contests. The four-way tie for third-place was broken via the conference tiebreaker system.

DePauw captured its fifth NCAC women's basketball title in the last six years after finishing the 2016-17 regular season with a 15-1 record against league foes. Wittenberg leads all conference teams with 12 NCAC championships, sharing the crown with Ohio Wesleyan in 1999 and '92. Allegheny is next with six titles, winning five-straight from 1985-89. The Gators shared the NCAC's first championship in 1985 with Wooster. Additionally, Allegheny and Ohio Wesleyan tied for first in 2001. The Battling Bishops own five overall titles, followed by DePauw (5), Denison (4), Kenyon (3) and Wooster (2).

The Tigers will host eighth-seeded Wooster (2-14, 3-22) and second seed Kenyon (12-4, 18-7) hosts seventh-seeded Wittenberg (6-10, 10-15). In the other quarterfinal games on Tuesday night, third-seeded Ohio Wesleyan (9-7, 12-13) hosts the six seed Denison (9-7, 12-13) and fourth-seeded Hiram (9-7, 17-8) entertains fifth-seeded Oberlin (9-7, 12-13). All quarterfinal game times will be confirmed on Sunday night (2/19).

Tuesday's winners will advance to the semifinals and championship on Friday and Saturday at the site of the highest remaining seed to emerge from the quarterfinal round. Semifinal games will be held at 5:00 and 7:00 p.m. on Friday with the host institution selecting its preferred time slot. The championship game is set for 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.

In the event that one institution hosts both the men's and women's "final four", the women's semifinals will be played on Thursday (2/23) and the men's semifinals will be played on Friday (2/24). The championship games would then be played on Saturday with the women playing at 3:00 p.m. and the men at 7:00 p.m. In this scenario, the gym will be cleared in between games and separate tickets will be required for each contest. This year's champion will again receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, which begins with first-round play on March 3rd.

TOURNEY TALK: DePauw is the defending NCAC tournament champion after defeating Allegheny, 83-53, in the 2016 tournament final. Denison (7), Wittenberg (8), Ohio Wesleyan (5) and Allegheny (5) have combined to win 25-of-32 women’s tournament titles. DePauw (4), Kenyon (2) and Wooster (1) account for the seven other tournament titles. Wittenberg leads all conference teams with 15 appearances in the championship game, while Ohio Wesleyan is close behind with 14. Denison and Allegheny have eached reached the finals ten times. Kenyon has six title game appearances, while Wooster has four. Hiram enters the NCAC Tournament for the third-consecutive year, looking to advance past the quarterfinal round for the first time in program history after having won the most games in league play in school history. Oberlin, this year’s fifth seed, looks to advance past the quarterfinal round for the first time since 1999. DePauw, entering its sixth NCAC Tournament, carries a 11-1 record in tournament action, while Wittenberg has been the most consistent team in tournament play with a .703 winning percentage (45-19). Ohio Wesleyan has gone 44-27 in the tournament (.620), followed by Denison at 35-24 (.593) and Allegheny at 30-27 (.526). At 31-31, Kenyon (.500) is the next closest team