No. 19 DePauw (25-5) dropped a heart-breaking 54-52 loss to Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the second round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball tournament.
The Tigers trailed the Titans 14-10 after the first quarter and used a 15-point second quarter to go into the locker room down by just three, 28-25. DePauw was held to just nine points in the third quarter, but came on strong in the final stanza with 18 points, tying the game at 52-all with 10 seconds left in regulation. Wis.-Oshkosh made a last second layup to take the second-round victory.
DePauw held the slight advantage in rebounds, 34-33, while the Titans had the edge in points in the paint, 36-32, and bench points, 20-9.
The Tigers were led by sophomore Claire Keefe (Libertyville, IL/Libertyville) who recorded a game-high 18 points and 11 rebounds, while dishing one assist and one block. Senior teammate Maya Howard (St. Louis, MO/MICDS) tallied 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and three blocks, while junior Sydney Kopp (Burr Ridge, IL/Hinsdale South) recorded eight points, six boards, two steals, and one block.
DePauw (25-4) represented the North Coast Athletic Conference in the first round of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball tournament with a 78-54 win over Loras (22-6) at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh on Friday night. The Tigers will now take on Wisconsin-Oshkosh (25-3) in the second round of the national tournament at 7:00 p.m. (CST) on Saturday in Oshkosh, Wis.
The Duhawks got out to a 4-0 lead to start the game before DePauw junior Sydney Kopp (Burr Ridge, IL/Hinsdale South) hit one of her four three's in the quarter to put the Tigers on the board. DePauw would end the first quarter up by five, 21-16, with Kopp netting 15 points. Kopp's hot shooting would continue as she opened the second quarter with two more three-pointers to extend the Tigers' lead. DePauw went into the locker room with a 43-27 lead. The Tigers would maintain their lead and outscore the Duhawks 35-27 in the final two quarters.
DePauw shot 45.5 percent from the floor (30-of-66) and 52 percent from behind the arc (13-of-25), while Loras shot 42.2 percent from the field (19-of-45) and 40 percent from three-point range (6-of-15). The Tigers held the edge in rebounds, 35-32, and bench points, 21-4, while scoring 26 points of off Duhawk turnovers.
Kopp led the Tigers with a game-high 29 points to go along with seven rebounds and two assists, while senior Maya Howard (St. Louis, MO/MICDS) netted 14 points, dished six assists and gathered four boards.
Top-seeded DePauw (24-4) captured its sixth NCAC Women's Basketball Tournament title after defeating second-seeded Denison by a 61-50 margin on Saturday afternoon at DePauw University's Neal Fieldhouse.
The Tigers opened the NCAC tournament on Tuesday with a 73-40 win over eighth-seeded Allegheny in the quarterfinals, before securing their spot in the title game with a 57-48 win over fourth-seeded Wittenberg in the semifinals on Friday night. After tallying 15 points, six rebounds, one assist and one steal in the championship game, DePauw sophomore Claire Keefe (Libertyville, IL/Libertyville) collected the Nan Nichols Award as the tournament's most valuable player. In the three tournament games combined, Keefe scored 47 points, gathered 17 boards, blocked three shots, earned two steal and dished one assist. Joining Keefe on the 2019 NCAC Women's Basketball All-Tournament Team was junior teammate Sydney Kopp (Burr Ridge, IL/Hinsdale South) along with Denison juniors Lauren Longbrake (Groveport, OH/Hamilton Twp.) and Lauren Hofer (Powell, OH/Olentangy Liberty), Ohio Wesleyan sophomore Tia Karras (Bellbrook, OH/Miami Valley) and Wittenberg sophomore Delaney Williams (Lake Forest, IL/Lake Forest High School).
As tournament champions, the Tigers earned the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament field of 64, and will be making their 20th overall appearance in the national tournament, holding a streak of 16-straight appearances.
DePauw will open play in the NCAA Tournament on Friday, March 1, and will travel to the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh (Oshkosh, Wis.) for first- and second-round games. The Tigers will take on Loras (22-5), which received one of the 21 at-large bids after falling to Wartburg in the American Rivers Championship on Saturday afternoon. DePauw and Loras will be meeting for the first time in history. The winner of the DePauw/Loras contest will take on the first-round winner of the Wisconsin-Oshkosh (24-3)/Pomona-Pitzer (22-5) matchup on Saturday, March 3, with a berth into the sectional round on the line.
Second-round winners will advance to one of four sectional sites March 8-9. Winners of the four sectional sites will advance to the national semifinals and final March 15-16. The semifinals/final will be conducted at Cregger Center on the campus of Roanoke College in Salem, Virginia, hosted by the Old Dominion Athletic Conference and the City of Salem.
DePauw holds a 32-17 record in tournament play, including a pair of national titles in 2007 and 2013 and another trip to the national semifinals in 2002.