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NCAC Weekly Release (2-12-18) - Women's Basketball

Wooster junior Anna Gibbs led the Fighting Scots to a pair of important conference victories last week against Allegheny and Ohio Wesleyan to secure a spot in the NCAC Tournament.
Wooster junior Anna Gibbs led the Fighting Scots to a pair of important conference victories last week against Allegheny and Ohio Wesleyan to secure a spot in the NCAC Tournament.

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DePauw (15-0, 23-1) captured the NCAC championship and the No. 1 seed for the 2018 NCAC Women’s Basketball Tournament last week. It marks the sixth time in the last seven years the Tigers have earned the top spot in the conference tournament. The final seven seeds for the conference tournament will be determined this week as the NCAC regular season schedule officially comes to a close on Saturday.

ALLEGHENY went 0-2 last week in a pair of NCAC road contests. On Wednesday, the Gators fell at Wooster, 66-53. Julianna Skowron (Sewickley, PA/Oakland Catholic) had a 10-point, 10-rebound double-double while Delaney Arbore (North Huntingdon, PA/Norwin) and Maia Joiner (Pittsburgh, PA/Vincentian Academy) also finished in double figures with 10 points apiece.  In a 17-point loss at Denison, Rylee Donovan (Glenshaw, PA/Shaler Area) led the Gators with 14 points, while Arbore had 13.

DENISON tallied a record of 1-1 last week, losing at No. 7 DePauw, 75-43, on Wednesday, and then coming home on Saturday to defeat Allegheny, 71-54. The Big Red were led by senior Brittany Atkinson (Granville, OH/Granville) who combined for 30 points over the two games, leading the team in scoring each time. In the win over Allegheny, Atkinson totaled 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the perimeter.

DEPAUW, ranked seventh in the most recent WBCA coaches poll, extended its win streak to 19 with a pair of wins last week and wrapped up its sixth NCAC title in the last seven years. Maya Howard (St. Louis, MO/MICDS) became the 17th player in DePauw women’s history to reach the career 1,000-point plateau. DePauw also secured its 17th straight season of at least 22 wins and is one of just two Division III schools (Hope) with as long of an active streak.

HIRAM pulled its conference record back to .500 with a victory over Ohio Wesleyan on Wednesday evening. Terrier freshman Madison Branch (Avon Lake, OH/Avon Lake) continued her hot hand, posting double-digit scoring for the fourth-straight game. She notched a team-best 17 while shooting 50% from distance. Junior Erica Johnson (Salem, OH/West Branch) totaled her fifth double-double in her last six games, finishing with 14 points and 12 rebounds.

KENYON dropped back-to-back conference games for the first time this season and for the first time since the start of the 2015-16 season. The Ladies lost at home Wednesday to Oberlin, 47-39, and then Saturday to conference-leading DePauw, 61-49. Both Sharon Hull (Ellicot City, MD/St. Paul’s School for Girls) and Paige Matijasich (Pickerington, OH/Pickerington North) averaged 8.0 points per game for the week.

OBERLIN extended its winning streak to nine en route to setting school records for overall wins and conference wins in a season last week. The Yeowomen came from behind to earn a 47-39 road win at Kenyon and had to do the same to knock off Wittenberg, 60-53, on Senior Day. Junior Olivia Canning (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln Sudbury) led the way with 15 points against the Ladies, while sophomore Ally Driscoll (Ellicott City, MD/Centennial) spearheaded the charge with a career-high 18 points against the Tigers.

OHIO WESLEYAN dropped two league contests last week by a combined six points to Hiram and Wooster. The Bishops lost to the Terriers, 65-62, on  Wednesday, and then let a 14-point lead slip away in the fourth quarter before falling 68-65 to the Fighting Scots on Saturday. Sophomore guard Nicole Popovich (Rocky River, OH/Rocky River) led the Bishops with a career-high 20 points and 13 rebounds in the loss to Wooster.

WITTENBERG saw its three game winning streak come to an end following an eight-point loss on the road against Oberlin last Saturday. Delaney Williams (Lake Forest, IL/Lake Forest High School) continued to impress for the Tigers with 14 points in the loss to lead Wittenberg.

WOOSTER posted a pair of NCAC victories last week, including a 14-point fourth-quarter comeback versus Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday as part of “Senior Day”. The Fighting Scots have matched their highest win total since 2015-16 season and highest NCAC win total since 2012-13. Junior Anna Gibbs (Gahanna, OH/Westerville North) dished out eight assists against Ohio Wesleyan and tied a previous season-high with 21 points in the victory over Allegheny on 9-of-15 shooting. The 2017-18 season marks the first time sweeping two conference opponents since 2009-10 season.