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Top-ranked DePauw's Second-Half Blitz is Difference in NCAC Semifinal Win

Top-ranked DePauw's Second-Half Blitz is Difference in NCAC Semifinal Win

February 22, 2013

Box Score | Tournament Site

ncac semfinal #2 bGreencastle, Ind. - It may have taken number-one ranked DePauw a full half to adjust to not having leading scorer Alex Gasaway in the lineup, but when they did the Tigers put together one of the best halves of the season on the way to a 66-43 win over Wittenberg in the North Coast Athletic Conference semifinals.

DePauw improved to 27-0 with its 52nd consecutive regular season win, while Wittenberg ended its season at 13-14. The Tigers face Kenyon in Saturday's 7 p.m. championship game. The Ladies advanced with an 80-50 victory over Allegheny in the evening's first semifinal contest.

The Tigers lost the services of Gasaway, a junior who averages 14.1 points and 6.5 rebounds, to an injury in Thursday's practice leading up to the game.

While the Tigers never trailed, they struggled with 11 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes, a category in which they lead the nation with just 12 per contest and were outrebounded, 15-14.

DePauw led by as many as eight late in the first half before Wittenberg scored the final six points to trim the lead to 26-24 at the intermission.

The final 20 minutes was a different story as the teams exchanged baskets before Savannah Trees and Kate Walker (pictured above) hit threes, Ellie Pearson delivered an old-fashioned three-point play and Ali Ross scored on a drive to cap an 11-0 run and lift the Tigers to a 39-26 lead.

Wittenberg's Katelyn Haralamos ended the run with a three-pointer, but Walker knocked in another trey and Alison Stephens added a layup to push the margin to 44-29 with 14:07 left.

Amber Lara followed with a jumper, but the host Tigers scored the next six to push the lead to 50-31 with a 24-7 stretch over the opening nine minutes of the half. Wittenberg got no closer than 15 the rest of the way.

"We were a little more aggressive offensively," DePauw head coach Kris Huffman said of her team's second half start.

"We made some things happen on the defensive end which gave us a couple of open looks and got us rolling."

Walker matched a career high with 19 points which, coincidentally, came in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference semifinals against Trinity her sophomore season. Trees added 16, while Stephens grabbed seven rebounds and totaled five steals in her first collegiate start.

Haralamos paced Wittenberg with 10 points with Enri Small totaling four rebounds. The Tigers held Small without a field goal and to just four points after she torched Denison for 31 in Tuesday's semifinal contest.

DePauw shot 44.9 percent for the game including 56.5 percent in the second half, while Wittneberg hit 35.4 percent for the contest and just 26.9 percent in the second half.

The Tigers held a 35-23 edge on the boards to extend their streak of not being outrebounded to 47 straight contests. They totaled just seven turnovers in the second half, but matched a season-high with 18 for the game which previously occurred in the season opener.

For more information on the DePauw women’s basketball program, follow DePauw on Twitter (@DePauwAthletics / @DePauw_WBB) or like them on Facebook (www.facebook.com/DePauwAthletics).