GREENCASTLE, IND. It may be cliché, but here it goes. Whatever DePauw women's basketball Kris Huffman coach set to her troops at halftime must have worked because the Old Gold turned a lackluster first 20 minutes into an up-tempo, exciting second half and advanced to the championship game of the DePauw Invitational with a 75-44 win over Olivet College. The 6-2 Tigers face 4-3 Otterbein in the 3 p.m. title tilt. The Cardinals defeated Simpson by a 65-58 count in Friday's first game.
The Tigers led 28-12 at the intermission after shooting just 36 percent from the floor. They were helped by an Olivet team that connected on just 15 percent from the field and committed 16 turnovers. DePauw held their guests scoreless for the first 7:25 and without a field goal for the opening 8:21, but could score just six points themselves. The Tiger lead was 11-8 at the 7:14 mark before the Old Gold went on a 10-0 run. During the stretch, Kelly Morrison and Mary Hand each scored five points.
"At halftime we talked about being more aggressive and displaying some intensity, because it just wasn't there in the first half," Huffman said.
Indeed, the Tigers played a much better second half. The early stages of the final 20 minutes could have been titled the Morrison-Hand Show as the duo got hot and knocked down big jumpers. Over the first 7:37 of the second half, Morrison nailed all three of her three-point attempts and Hall buried all four of her field goal tries including a three to help push the Tigers to a 54-27 advantage. That lead would reach as many as 36 points at 71-35 with 4:41 left.
"We obviously played a much better second half, but we need to come out stronger at the beginning," Huffman said. We've had a tendency to start slow this year, but you can't expect to do that and win very often."
Morrison led the Tigers with a career-best 22 points including five three-pointers. Hall finished with 15 and Mary Hand added 13. Julie Ottinger led Olivet with 11 and Heather Davidson added 10.
The Tigers were again without the services of Jana Mathis, while leading scorer Susan Bender saw just five minutes on the floor while still being bothered by an ankle injury.
Jenny Lambert led Otterbein with 22 points and Jenny Burns added 13 points and 13 rebounds to pace the Cardinals to a win in the opener. Nicci Nelson led Simpson with 21. Simpson, 2-4, and Olivet, 2-7, play in the consolation game at 1 p.m.
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