DePauw Advances to NCAA Second Round; Faces Carthage on Saturday
March 2, 2012
Greencastle, Ind. - DePauw outscored visiting Westminster (Mo.) 21-5 over the final nine minutes and advanced to the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Championship second round with a 66-46 win. The fourth-ranked Tigers improved to 27-1 with their 26th straight win, while the Blue Jays finished their season at 22-5.
The Tigers face Carthage in Saturday's 7 p.m. second-round game. The Lady Reds topped Wisconsin-Whitewater, 74-68, in the evening's first game.
DePauw jumped out to a 10-3 lead in the opening five minutes of the game and expanded the margin to as many as 11 at 23-12 on Ali Ross' layup with 4:41 remaining. The Tigers still held a 27-17 advantage after Savannah Trees knocked in a three-pointer with 2:28 left in the half.
Westminster closed the half with a 9-0 run capped by Laci Luff's layup with 11 seconds left which cut the DePauw lead to 27-26 at the break.
The Blue Jays evened the score a couple of times early in the second half and stayed within four points over the first 10 minutes. DePauw pushed the lead to 45-38 on Kate Walker's layup, but Rachel Backes responded with a three to cut the margin to 45-41 with 9:33 remaining.
Alex Gasaway's jumper followed by Walker's layup and three-point play and Katie Aldrich's layup lifted DePauw to a 54-41 lead with 5:12 remaining. Westminster cut the lead back to 10 at 56-46 with just under four minutes left, but the Tigers scored the game's final 10 points.
"They (Westminster) got us out of our comfort zone," DePauw head coach Kris Huffman said. "I liked our resiliency."
Aldrich paced DePauw with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Walker finished with 12 points, all in the second half. Walker also dished out five assists in the victory.
Backes paced Westminster with 13 points and Leigh Ann Lutz added 12. Luff grabbed six rebounds in the loss.
DePauw shot 45.3 percent from the floor, but hit just 1-of-13 from three-point range after entering the game as the Division III leader. Westminster shot 34 percent for the game. DePauw held a 44-27 edge on the boards and grabbed 19 offensive rebounds for a 16-4 edge in second-chance points.