Five North Coast squads sit at .500 or better in the conference standings as we approach the final two weeks of the league schedule. DePauw (21-1, 13-0) is just one win shy of clinching at least a share of the NCAC regular season title for the fifth time in the last six seasons. Kenyon (16-5, 10-2), winners of seven-straight, currently sits in second, while Denison (11-11, 8-5) is in third and Hiram (15-7, 7-4) is in fourth. NCAC play continues this week with four tilts scheduled on both Wednesday and Saturday.
ALLEGHENY dropped a pair of NCAC road contests last week. At Wittenberg, Delaney Arbore (North Huntingdon, PA/Norwin) netted 14 points and six rebounds, and against DePauw, Arbore led all scorers with 19 points to go along with six rebounds and three blocks. Zoe Soilis (Sarver, PA/Freeport) tallied 16 points and seven rebounds.
DENISON split its two NCAC matchups last week. The Big Red fell to Ohio Wesleyan, 72-65, in spite of a strong performance from senior Jordan Holmes (Pittsburgh, PA/Mt. Lebanon). Holmes dropped 17 points, grabbed 15 boards and tallied four blocks. In their 63-48 win against Wooster, Holmes was one block away from a triple-double as she went for 10 points, 19 rebounds and nine blocks. Alison Schafer (Columbia Station, OH/Columbia) led Denison with 15 points on five-for-seven shooting from behind the arc.
DEPAUW, ranked 11th in the most recent D3hoops.com Top-25, extended its win streak to 18 with a pair of NCAC wins last week. The Tigers also notched their 16th-straight 20-win season, which is topped only by Hope College’s current string of 18. In the two wins, the Tigers shot 46.3 percent from the field, held opponents to 32.1 percent and outrebounded them by an average of +19.0. Senior Claire Ryan (Chicago, IL/Marist) paced DePauw offensively with 32 total points on the week, to go along with 11 rebounds and seven steals.
HIRAM dropped a pair of conference games last week. The Terriers fell to conference leading DePauw, 61-50, on Friday. The starters scored all 50 points, including 18 from Mercedes Jones (Dayton, OH/Ponitz Career Technology Center) and 15 by Kaylee Shockley (Uniontown, OH/Lake). In a six-point loss to Wittenberg, Shockley and Jones once again led the offensive workload with 12 apiece while Kayla Yost (Norwalk, OH/Perkins) pulled down a career-high 16 rebounds.
KENYON ran its current win streak to seven games with Saturday’s 71-67 home victory against Ohio Wesleyan. It was the only game of the week for the Ladies, who are now 16-5. In that game, freshman guard Paige Matijasich (Pickerington, OH/Pickerington North) came off the bench to net a team-high 16 points. She was 3-of-6 on three-point attempts, grabbed seven rebounds and also had one block.
In its lone game of the week, OBERLIN took down Wooster, 62-41. Sophomore Alex Stipano (Alexandria, VA/Bishop Ireton) led the Yeowomen with 13 points, while junior Abby Andrews (Ann Arbor, MI/Rudolf Steiner School) added 12 points in the win.
OHIO WESLEYAN split a pair of NCAC contest last week, defeating Denison on Wednesday, 72-65, before falling to Kenyon by four on Saturday. In the win over the Big Red, senior guard Megan Kuether (Osgood, OH/Marion Local) led the Bishops with 25 points. On the week Kuether averaged 25.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 1.5 steals per game.
WITTENBERG earned a pair of NCAC victories last week, defeating Allegheny and Hiram at home. Michelle Brunswick (Middletown, OH/Madison) was outstanding on the glass, averaging 11.5 rebounds per game to go along with 6.0 points, 2.5 steals and one block per contest.
WOOSTER freshman Kylie Orr (Newport, KY/Newport) led the Fighting Scots on the week with a team-high 11 points off of the bench in Wednesday’s home tilt with Oberlin. Then on Saturday, she earned a spot in the starting lineup and shared the team-high honors with Anna Gibbs (Gahanna, OH/Westerville North) with 15 points. Wooster and Denison were nearly identical in the scoring column for three of the four periods, but a 20-point second period by the Big Red proved to be the difference.