Top-ranked Tigers Move to 6-0 with Midwest Challenge Title Win over Number-Two Bears

Top-ranked Tigers Move to 6-0 with Midwest Challenge Title Win over Number-Two Bears

December 1, 2013

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Greencastle, Ind.In a battle of the top two Division III women's teams according to, top-ranked DePauw built a large first-half lead and prevailed over visiting and second-ranked Washington University, 74-62, in the Midwest Challenge championship game.

The Tigers improved to 6-0 with their 40th straight overall win and 59th consecutive regular season victory, while the Bears dropped to 4-1 on the season.

Washington led by three in the opening five minutes and held a 13-11 advantage after Jordan Rettig's jumper with 11:10 left in the half. The Tigers put together an 11-0 run with buckets on their next four possessions as Lauren Abendroth and Emma Ondik nailed threes before Abendroth knocked in another triple and Erin McGinnis followed with a jumper to make it 22-13 with 8:40 remaining.

The lead reached as many as 16 on a couple of occasions and the Bears' Jordan Thompson cut the haltime lead to 42-30 with a halfcourt buzzer beater.

The Tigers finished the half with 50 percent (17-34) shooting from the floor and hit 6-of-10 from three-point range as Ondik, Abendroth and Ali Ross each nailed a pair.

DePauw gradually stretched the lead back to 16 and held a 54-40 advantage after Abendroth's drive with 14:49 left. Those would be DePauw's last points for the next 5:24 and its last field goal until the 8:38 mark. Washington pulled to within six at 60-54 on Maddy Scheppers' three with 6:56 left.

Savannah Trees countered with a layup on the other end and then nailed a three just 22 seconds later after a Bears miss to push the lead back to double digits at 65-54 at the 6:10 mark. Ali Ross hit a three before Trees added a bucket and two free throws to cap a 12-0 and give the Tigers a 72-54 lead with 3:42 left.

Trees led all scorers with 17 and matched a career high with six rebounds while dishing out three assists. Ross followed with 14 with Ondik and Abendroth coming off the bench for 11 and 10 points, respectively, as DePauw's bench outscored the Bears' subs, 27-6. Ondik also equaled a career high with five assists and Alison Stephens grabbed seven rebounds.

Scheppers paced the Bears with 16 points followed by Rettig with 14 and Kristin Anda with 11. Anda and Rettig each hauled down nine boards and Thompson handed out six assists.

DePauw shot 46.7 percent for the game and hit 8-of-18 three-pointers, while Washington connected on 41.0 percent from the floor and hit 6-of-13 from beyond the arc.

The Tigers held a narrow 36-33 edge on the boards, but the Bears led in second-chance points, 13-7. DePauw committed just seven turnovers to Washington's 12 and the Tigers converted those into 15 points.

Illinois Wesleyan (4-3) never trailed and topped Illinois College (3-3), 92-78, in the third-place game. 

Colleen McMahon paced five Titan double-figure scorers with 22 points, while Shelby Jackson grabbed eight rebounds, dished out five assists and had four of Illinois Wesleyan's eight blocked shots. Hannah McGinnis led the Lady Blues with 21 points, while Holly Wohltman had a game-high 10 rebounds to go along with 13 points.

DePauw opens North Coast Athletic Conference play on Saturday, December 7, with a 1 p.m. game at the College of Wooster.