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Oberlin Captures 1st Tourney Title In History

Oberlin captured its first NCAC Women's Basketball Tournament title in program history following a 71-39 win over Wittenberg.
Oberlin captured its first NCAC Women's Basketball Tournament title in program history following a 71-39 win over Wittenberg.

For the first time in program history the Oberlin College women’s basketball raised the NCAC tournament title trophy after topping Wittenberg by a 71-39 margin in the championship game on Saturday afternoon at Neal Fieldhouse on the campus of DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana. As tournament champions, the Yeowomen have also earned the NCAC’s automatic bid into the NCAA Div. III Women’s Basketball Tournament for the first time in history. 

The Yeowomen jumped out to an early 16-2 lead after the first quarter of play and never looked back en route to posting the historic 32-point victory over the Tigers. Oberlin not only dominated in the score column, but they also held a 50-31 edge in the rebounding column and shot 44 percent (24-of-55) from the field compared to just 22 percent (14-of-63) for the Tigers. 

After notching a double-double in the championship game with 15 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, Oberlin senior forward Abby Andrews (Ann Arbor, MI/Rudolf Steiner) collected the Nan Nichols Award as the tournament’s most valuable player. In the three tournament games combined, Andrews pulled down 36 rebounds and scored 34 points after shooting 47 percent (14-of-30) from the field. 

Joining Andrews on the 2018 NCAC Women’s Basketball All-Tournament Team was junior teammate Olivia Canning (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln Sudbury), Wittenberg freshman guard Delaney Williams (Lake Forest, IL/Lake Forest), Wittenberg freshman forward Kristie Kalis (Winnetka, IL/New Trier), DePauw junior guard Maya Howard (St. Louis, MO/MICDS) and Kenyon sophomore guard Paige Matijasich (Pickerington, OH/North).

2018 NCAC Women's Basketball All-Tournament Team

Maya Howard, DePauw
Paige Matijasich, Kenyon
Delaney Williams, Wittenberg
Kristie Kalis, Wittenberg
Olivia Canning, Oberlin

Tournament MVP (Nan Nichols Award) - Abby Andrews, Oberlin


DePauw's Tournament Website
Quarterfinals:   Semifinals:   Championship:

Tuesday, Feb. 20

  Friday, Feb. 23
(at DePauw)
  Saturday, February 24
(Same site as semis)
#1 DePauw 90, #8 Allegheny 48 {Box}   Wittenberg 72, DePauw 68 {Box}   Oberlin 71, Wittenberg 39 {Box}
#2 Kenyon 63, #7 Wooster 30 {Box}   Oberlin 51, Kenyon 40 {Box}    
#3 Oberlin 66, #6 Denison 52 {Box}        
#4 Wittenberg 78, #5 Hiram 68 {Box}        
Bracket -- Stats -- Tickets  -- Directions -- NCAC Tournament Records


Semifinal Recaps

The finals are set for the 2018 Women’s Basketball Tournament with the Wittenberg Tigers and Oberlin Yeowomen set to meet for the title on Saturday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. at DePauw University’s Neal Fieldhouse in Greencastle, Indiana. The Tigers will be playing in the championship game for the 15th time in program history, while the Yeowomen will be playing in the title game for the first time in program history.

Fourth-seeded Wittenberg (16-11) pulled off the upset in the first semifinal game of the night, knocking off top-seeded DePauw (25-2) by a 72-68 margin in Greencastle. The Ohio Tigers will now advance to the championship game for the first time since winning the 2015 tourney title, also contested in Greencastle.

After holding an 18-point lead at the end of the third quarter, Wittenberg held on over the final 10 minutes to secure the four-point victory and book its ticket to the title game. Four different players scored in double figures for Wittenberg in the win, led by the junior trio of Alex Kiess (Edon, OH/Northwest), Sydney Mayle (Columbus, OH/Watterson) and Amanda Raber (Mechanicsburg, OH/Northeastern) each finishing the game with 15 points apiece. Mayle also led Wittenberg on the glass with eight rebounds, while Raber provided a much-needed spark off the bench by shooting 5-for-6 from the field and a perfect 3-for-3 from three-point range. DePauw, which shot a season-low 31.3 percent (20-of-64) from the field in the game, was led by junior guard Maya Howard (St. Louis, MO/MICDS) with 24 points, seven rebounds and five assists, while sophomore guard Sydney Kopp (Burr Ridge, IL/Hinsdale South) also topped the 20-point mark with 21 after hitting 5-of-11 three-point attempts. 

In the second semifinal matchup, Oberlin (20-7) secured its spot in the title game for the first time in program history with a 51-40 victory over Kenyon (21-6).

The two squads found themselves in a defensive struggle in the first 10 minutes of action as the scored was knotted at 8-8 following the first period of play. The back-and-fourth affair continued into the second half, culminating in a 21-17 lead for the Yeowomen at the break. Oberlin came out strong in the second half and led by nine, 28-19, with 7:07 showing on the third period clock on a layup from senior Abby Andrews (Ann Arbor, MI/Rudolf Steiner); however, the Ladies closed out the period on a 12-5 run to cut the lead to 33-31 heading into the fourth. As has been the case for most of the season, the Yeowomen took control of the game in the fourth period, outscoring the Ladies, 18-9, to book their ticket to the program’s first tournament title game in history. Oberlin junior Alex Stipano (Alexandria, VA/Bishop Ireton) shined for the Yeowomen in the victory as she posted the first double-double of her career with 13 points and 13 rebounds, while Andrews and junior center Olivia Canning (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln Sudbury) both finished the game with 12 points each. For the Ladies, sophomore guard Paige Matijasich (Pickerington, OH/North) led the squad in scoring with 11 points, while senior forward Ifeoma Archimalo (Dayton, OH/Centerville) pulled down a team-high 10 rebounds in her final collegiate game.


Quarterfinal Recaps

The top four seeds all posted victories on Tuesday (2/20) night in quarterfinal round of the 2017 NCAC Women's Basketball Tournament on Tuesday. As a result, top-seeded DePauw (25-1) will host the "final four" Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23-24, at Neal Fieldhouse in Greencastle, Indiana. The Tigers will face fourth-seeded Wittenberg (15-11) at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, while the second semifinal on Friday will feature second-seeded Kenyon (21-5) and third-seeded Oberlin (19-7) at 7:00 p.m. The semifinal winners will play in the tournament championship game at 4:00 p.m. on Saturday in Greencastle.

The Tigers held eighth-seeded Allegheny (6-19) without a basket during a 10:49 stretch in the first half in the midst of a 23-0 run en route to earning a 90-48 victory. DePauw was led by sophomore Sydney Kopp (Burr Ridge, IL/Hinsdale South), who was one of four Tigers in double figures with game-high 21 points on 5-of-8 shooting from beyond the arc, to go along with three rebounds, three assists and one steal. It was a total team effort for DePauw as 12 different Tigers scored on their way to outscoring the Allegheny bench, 29-10. DePauw shot 55.9 percent from the floor and hit 11-of-22 from three-point range, while the Gators connected on 31.6 percent from the floor and were 6-of-22 from beyond the arc. On the glass, DePauw out rebounded Allegheny 48-16 and held 36-11 edge on points in the paint. Freshman Rylee Donovan (Glenshaw, PA/Shaler Area) poured in 16 points and added four assists and three rebounds in her first NCAC Tournament contest.

Kenyon advanced to the NCAC semifinals for the 13th time in the last 14 seasons under head coach Suzanne Helfant after defeating seventh-seeded Wooster (6-20), 63-30. Kenyon sophomore Paige Matijasich (Pickerington, OH/Pickerington North) scored a game-high 16 points, going 6-for-10 from the field, including 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. Matijasich, who didn't miss from three-point range in the second half, added a game-high nine rebounds, one assist and one steal in the win. Ladies' freshman Ellie Schaub (Cincinnati, OH/Indian Hill) chipped in with 10 points off the bench as Kenyon outscored Wooster, 23-5, in bench points. Defensively Kenyon held Wooster to 25.5 percent (12-for-47) from the field and held the Scots to single digits each quarter including just four in the second. The Ladies won the battle in the paint 18-10 and totaled 23 points off turnovers. As a team, Kenyon shot 37.7 percent from the field, dishing out 16 assists on 23 made field goals. Kenyon also held a 43-38 advantage on the boards. Junior Anna Gibbs (Gahanna, OH/Westerville North) led Wooster with nine points on 4-for-10 shooting in the losing effort.

Oberlin junior Alex Stipano (Alexandria, VA/Bishop Ireton) scored a career-high 30 points to lead the Yeowomen to their second-straight NCAC semifinal appearance after defeating sixth-seeded Denison (12-14), 66-52, Tuesday night in Oberlin. The victory was the 100th of Head Coach Kerry Jenkins' career. The Big Red led, 16-13, following the opening quarter but the Yeowomen closed out the second quarter on a 9-2 run and held Denison to just four points to take control of the contest. Oberlin extended its lead in the third quarter to a game-high 15 points on three separate occasions, the latest coming on a Stipano jump shot with 1:08 left in the frame. The Big Red continued to challenge the Yeowomen until the final whistle, cutting the lead to nine with 3:30 still to expire, but Stipano answered with an old-fashioned 3-point play to put the momentum back on the Yeowomen's side. Oberlin, which had 11 blocks in the game, ultimately sealed the game on the defensive end, holding the Big Red to just two points the rest of the way. The Yeowomen shot 42.4 percent (25-of-59) from the floor and held the Big Red to just a 29.2 percent (19-of-65) clip. Oberlin also had a 47-35 edge on the glass. To compliment her 30-point effort, Stipano added five assists and three rebounds on the night. Junior Olivia Canning (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln Sudbury) contributed 18 points on 7-of-9 shooting, while sophomore Jasmine Sorrells (San Francisco, CA/French American International) led the Oberlin bench with five points. Big Red sophomore Alison Schafer (Columbia Station, OH/Columbia) led Denison with 17 points, five rebounds and three assists in the loss.

Wittenberg advanced to the NCAC semifinals for the first time since winning the NCAC Tournament in 2015 following a 78-68 victory over fifth-seeded Hiram (11-15) in Springfield, Ohio. Leading by six after the first quarter, the Tigers outscored the Terriers, 21-9, in the second quarter to stretch their lead out to 18 at the break. Wittenberg extended its lead to 22 with 1:18 left in the third quarter following a three-point basket from Kristie Kalis (Winnetka, IL/New Trier Township High School), who provided a lift off the bench with 18 points. Hiram fought to cut the lead down to eight with 5:10 left on the heels of 12-straight points from senior Jazmine Scott (Toledo, OH/Toledo Central Catholic) and a 20-9 run but was outscored 11-9 over the final five minutes. Defensively Wittenberg held Hiram to just 27.5 percent from the field, while the Tigers connected on 42.6 percent including, 8-of-16 from three-point range. Wittenberg was led by freshman Delaney Williams (Lake Forest, IL/Lake Forest High School) with a game-high 24 points and junior Sydney Mayle (Columbus, OH/Watterson), who registered her third double-double of the season with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Kalis also chipped in 18 points off the bench as the Tigers improved to 10-2 on the year when the freshman scores in double-digits. Scott led the way for Hiram with 18 points and five rebounds in her final appearance as a Terrier.


Tournament Preview

NCAC Women's Basketball Weekly Release - (2/19/18) 

DePauw (24-1, 16-0) will be the top seed in the 2018 NCAC Women's Basketball Tournament. The tournament begins with quarterfinal games on campus sites on Tuesday (2/20). Tournament seeding follows the final regular season standings with the top four seeds hosting quarterfinal contests. The tie between Kenyon and Oberlin for second-place and the tie between Hiram and Denison for fifth-place were both broken via the conference tiebreaker system for seeding purposes only.

DePauw captured its sixth NCAC women's basketball title in the last seven years after finishing the 2017-18 regular season with a perfect 16-0 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 titles, followed by Denison (4), Kenyon (3) and Wooster (2).

The Tigers will now host eighth-seeded Allegheny (3-13, 6-18) on Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m., while second seed Kenyon (13-3, 20-5) hosts seventh-seeded Wooster (4-12, 6-19) at 7:00 p.m. In the other quarterfinal games on Tuesday night, third-seeded Oberlin (13-3, 18-7) hosts the six seed Denison (7-9, 12-13) at 7:00 p.m., and fourth-seeded Wittenberg (9-7, 14-11) entertains fifth-seeded Hiram (7-9, 11-14) at 6:00 p.m.

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.

This year's champion will again receive an automatic bid to the 2018 NCAA Division III Tournament, which begins with first-round play on March 2nd.

TOURNEY TALK: DePauw is the defending NCAC tournament champion after defeating Denison, 56-50, in the 2017 tournament final. Wittenberg (8), Denison (7), DePauw (5), Ohio Wesleyan (5) and Allegheny (5) have combined to win 30-of-33 women's tournament titles. Kenyon (2) and Wooster (1) account for the three other tournament titles. Wittenberg leads all conference teams with 15 appearances in the championship game, while Ohio Wesleyan is close behind with 14. Denison has 11 NCAC finals apperances and Allegheny has eached reached the finals ten times. Kenyon has six title game appearances, while DePauw has five and Wooster has four. Hiram enters the NCAC Tournament for the fourth-consecutive year, looking to advance past the quarterfinal round for the first time in program history. Oberlin, this year's third seed, looks to advance to the semifinals for the second consecutive year and will host a quarterfinal contest for the second time in the last four years. DePauw, entering its seventh NCAC Tournament, carries a 14-1 record in tournament action and the league's highest winning percentage (.933), while Wittenberg is second in tournament play with a .692 winning percentage (45-20). Ohio Wesleyan has gone 44-28 in the tournament (.611), followed by Denison at 37-25 (.596) and Allegheny at 30-27 (.526). At 32-32, Kenyon (.500) is the next closest team.