Oberlin & DePauw Fall in NCAA Opening Round

Oberlin junior Alex Stipano (L) and DePauw sophomore Sydney Kopp (R)
Oberlin junior Alex Stipano (L) and DePauw sophomore Sydney Kopp (R)

The 2018 NCAC women’s basketball season came to a close following a pair of first-round losses by DePauw (25-3) and Oberlin (21-8) on Friday (3/2) in the Division III NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament.

DePauw led by four at the half but couldn’t hang on down the final 20 minutes and suffered a 65-50 NCAA opening round loss to Trine (23-5) on Friday night in Bloomington, Illinois.

Leading by two after the first quarter, DePauw opened the second quarter with an 8-0 scoring run to post its largest lead of the game of 10 points, 22-12, at the 6:51 mark on a made three from sophomore Sydney Kopp (Burr Ridge, IL/Hinsdale South). Trine responded with an ensuing 11-2 run to pull the Thunder within a point, 24-23, with under a minute left in the half. Following a pair of free-throws from Kopp, Trine scored on a layup to make it a one point game again, but a three-pointer from junior Maya Howard (St. Louis, MO/MICDS) extended the margin to, 29-25, at the break. 

The Trine defense took over in the second half as the Thunder held DePauw to just 28.6 percent shooting (8-of-28) overall and just 11.1 percent (1-of-9) from three-point range en route to the 15-point victory. The Thunder was led by the duo of Hayley Martin and Brandi Dawson.  Martin posted a double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds, while Dawson scored a game-high 21 points. Kopp led DePauw with 16 points and Howard finished in double figures with 13.

DePauw concludes the season at 25-3. It was their 17th straight season with at least 22 wins - the second longest active streak in Division III. The Tigers also won the program’s sixth NCAC women’s basketball title following a perfect 16-0 record against conference opponents in the regular season. 

In the second game of the night, Oberlin put forth a valiant effort against Messiah (26-2), but the Falcons were able to pull away in the fourth quarter to earn a 64-54 victory in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament and end the historic season for the Yeowomen. 

Oberlin led 50-48 with 5:53 remaining in the game, but suffered through a cold spell that lasted nearly 4:45 as the Falcons went on an 11-0 run to build up a 59-50 lead with 1:34 left to play in the game. The Yeowomen would get back on the board on a pair of Olivia Canning (Sudbury, MA/Lincoln Sudbury) free throws with 1:11 left to play, but they would get no closer the rest of the way. Oberlin was hindered by a season-high 26 turnovers that led to 24 points for the Falcons. Messiah also outscored Oberlin, 18-8, at the line that saw the Flacons hit 12-of-13 in the second half.  

Playing in her final game, senior Tyler Parlor (Detroit, MI/Mercy High School) led the Yeowomen with 15 points, while sophomore Jasmine Sorrells (San Francisco, CA/French American International) added 11 points off the bench on 5-of-7 shooting. 

The Yeowommen conclude the season with a school-best record of 21-8 and the program’s first NCAC Tournament Title.


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North Coast Athletic Conference tournament champion Oberlin (23-6) earned its first bid into the 64-team NCAA Div. III Women’s Basketball Tournament, while DePauw (25-2) earned its 15th-straight berth, receiving one of the 21 at-large bids into the championship field. 2018 marks the the second time in the last four seasons the North Coast will be represented by two teams in the national field.

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.

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. 

Oberlin will travel to Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania for its NCAA opening-round contest against Messiah (25-2), which won its second-straight MAC Commonwealth Championship and has now made 18 NCAA Tournaments. The winner of the Oberlin/Messiah contest will take on the winner of the Emory & Henry (22-6)/Roger Williams (23-5) match on Saturday at Messiah.

DePauw will travel to Bloomington, Illinois for its NCAA opening-round contest against Trine (24-3), which received one of the 21 at-large bids after falling to Hope in the MIAA Championship game on Saturday afternoon. The winner of the DePauw/Trine contest will take on the winner of the Ill. Wesleyan (24-3)/Marietta (24-4) match on Saturday. 

DePauw is making its 19th appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament and holds the second-longest active Division III streak with 15-straight appearances dating back to 2004. DePauw holds a 32-16 record in tournament play, including a pair of national titles in 2007 and 2013 and another trip to the national semifinals in 2002.

Second-round winners will advance to one of four sectional sites March 9-10.  Winners of the four sectional sites will advance to the national semifinals and final March 16-17.  All games, except the semifinals/final, will be played on the campuses of competing institutions.  The semifinals/final will be conducted at Mayo Civic Center in Rochester, Minnesota, hosted by Saint. Mary’s University of Minnesota.