fall to Blazers in West Quarterfinal, 78-67
JOSEPH, MINN. - The host College of St.
Benedict Blazers got hot in the second half and
in a one-minute span early in the final 20
minutes they turned a two-point deficit into a
six-point lead and never trailed again on the way
to a 78-67 victory over DePauw in the West
Quarterfinal of the NCAA Division III
The Tigers, however, refused to go down without a
fight as they cut a Blazers 17-point lead with
6:38 left to as little as eight in the closing
minute. The loss ended the Tigers' season at 22-5
and stopped the team's school-record 17-game win
streak. The win propelled St. Benedict to a 26-1
record and into Saturday's quarterfinal
championship game where they will face Pacific
Lutheran. The Lutes were 54-34 winners over
Hardin-Simmons in the evening's first game.
The Tigers trailed early, but it was the post
players who gave the Old Gold the biggest lift in
the opening minutes. After the hosts gained a 7-4
lead, the Tigers went on a 16-9 run that was
fueled by Kelly
Bailey's 10 points
St. Benedict answered with nine straight to take
a 25-20 lead. The Blazers couldn't pull away and
Lindsey Rush's three- pointer in the closing
minute cut the halftime deficit to 33-32.
The second half opened with six lead changes as
the teams exchanged baskets over the first 2:18
of the half with Kelly
three-pointer of the game giving the Tigers a
39-37 advantage. Over a 1:03 stretch, the Blazers
came right back with Molly Mark's three-pointer,
Robyn Ruschmeier's layup and Heidi
Schwichtenberg's trey to surge ahead 45-39.
The margin was still six at 54-48 at the midway
point of the half before St. Benedict scored 11
straight begining with Schwichtenberg's third
three-pointer of the half to take their biggest
lead at 65-48.
The Tigers put together a 6-0 streak to close to
11 with just under five minutes to play. They cut
the lead to single digits at 67-58 with 1:48 left
Bender's layup and
got as close as eight in the final minute.
Bailey led all scorers with a career-high 23
points followed by Hasbrook and Bender's 12
apiece and Morrison's 11. Laura Wendorff led St.
Benedict with 20 points followed by Ruschmeier
and Mark with 19 apiece and Schwictenberg with
The Tigers shot 49 percent from the floor for the
game including 52 percent in the first half and
outrebounded their hosts, 40-33. Bender led all
with eight rebounds.
The loss also marked the end of the careers of
Tiger senior players Susan Bender, Paula Boback and
Kelly Morrison and student assistant coach
Jessica Hayden. The four were part of the most
successful four years in school history with a
record of 85-21, three NCAA tournament
appearances, two trips to the NCAA round of 16
and three conference championships.
More notes will be posted later.
NOTE: This story was posted early on the
morning of Saturday, March 13, but due to some
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inconvenience this may have caused.