Tigers win school's first national title
March 17, 2007
March 17, 2007, Springfield, Mass. - Defense wins championships and DePauw's women proved that this afternoon in claiming the University's first national team championship with a 55-52 win over Washington University at the Blake Arena on the Springfield College campus. The Tigers finished the season with a 31-3 record and in possession of the NCAA Division III Championship trophy.
The Tigers led most of the first half and took a 24-20 lead into the intermission. DePauw then held the Bears scoreless over the first 6:24 of the second half and extended its lead to 32-20. After the Bears' Sarah Schell hit a jumper to close the gap to 10, Gretchen Haehl nailed a three and tournament most valuable player Liz Bondi knocked down a jumper giving DePauw its largest lead of the contest at 37-22 with 12:06 remaining.
Washington wouldn't quit as Rebecca Parker scored on a putback, while Halsey Ward nailed a three and Jaimie McFarlin hit two free throws to close the margin to 37-29 with 10:48 left.
Kalei Lowes responded with a three from the right corner and Emily Marshall added a layup to push the lead back to 42-29 with 9:17 remaining. Over the next four minutes, Ward hit back-to-back threes before McFarlin hit consecutive jumpers and Paker added a layup to cut the Tigers' lead to 42-41.
Lowes and Ward then exchanged treys before Cassie Pruzin's three-pointer with 3:44 left gave DePauw a 48-44 lead [Download Video: "" - kb]. Suzy Doughty's drive with just over three minutes left gave DePauw a 50-44 advantage [Download Video: "" - kb], but Schell and Ward added buckets to trim the gap to two with two minutes remaininng.
Doughty's two free throws with 1:58 left made it 52-48, but Jenny Southworth's putback with 58.7 seconds remaining made it a 52-50 contest. Pruzin hit a pair of free throws with 36 seconds to play before Schell scored on a drive with 21.6 seconds left to make it 54-52.
Pruzin then extended the lead to 55-52 after hitting the second of two charity tosses. Washington had one last chance [Download Video: "Final seconds of DePauw's NCAA Championship game" - kb], but Ward's three-pointer was short and the Tigers' celebration began. [Download Video: "DePauw celebrates" - kb]
Pruzin led the Tigers with 12 points, while Bondi, Doughty and Lowes each scored nine. Bondi added a team-high nine rebounds while Doughty, who also was named to the all-tournament team, dished out three assists and added two steals.
Ward led the Bears with 16 points including 4-of-6 three-point shooting. McFarlin added 12 points and a game-high 11 rebounds, while Parker hauled down 10 boards for the Bears who finished the season at 25-6.
DePauw shot just 35 percent from the floor, but limited Washington to only 38.9 percent. The Bears outrebounded the Tigers, 44-34, but the Tigers committed just nine turnovers to Washington's 16 and held a 21-11 scoring edge off of those miscues.
The Tigers proved to be a juggernaut this season with their school-record 31 wins including a season-ending 11-game win streak. DePauw's five seniors closed out their collegiate careers with a 109-15 record.Back