Greencastle, Ind. - DePauw trailed Rose-Hulman by as many as five in the opening quarter but outscored Rose-Hulman 18-7 in the third and advanced to the Midwest Challenge championship game with a 55-49 win over the Engineers. The Tigers stayed unbeaten at 4-0, while the Engineers dropped to 2-2.
DePauw, ranked sixth in the latest coaches' poll and 15th by D3hoops.com, will face #19/#10 Washington University in St. Louis (2-1) in Sunday's 4 p.m. title tilt after the Bears topped Illinois Wesleyan (2-2), 89-81 in the day's first game. Rose-Hulman takes on Illinois Wesleyan in the 2 p.m. third-place game. The complete schedule with live stats and video links is available here.
Rose-Hulman got out to an early 14-9 lead in the first and still held a 26-25 halftime edge. Claire Keefe's three-pointer to start the second half put DePauw in front briefly and the game was still tied 31-31 before Maya Howard hit a bucket and two free throws and Emily Budde added a basket to make it 37-31.
The Engineers' Chiarra Franklin stopped the run with a layup, but Howard responded with a three-point play and later hit a 3-pointer to give the Tigers a 43-33 lead after three periods. Howard scored 13 of DePauw's 18 points in the stanza.
DePauw expanded the margin to 13 at 48-35 before Rose-Hulman closed to within four at 51-47 with 28 seconds remaining. Howard hit all four free throws she attempted down the stretch to preserve the win.
Howard led all scorers with 23 including 19 in the second half, while Keefe finished with 13. Ally Bromenschenkel paced Rose-Hulman with 16 points and Franklin added 10.
DePauw shot 31.9 percent from the floor to Rose-Hulman's 35.2, but the Tigers outscored the Engineers from the line, 21-9.
The Tigers held a narrow 34-33 rebounding advantage as Kylie Morris hauled down six. Bromenschenkel totaled nine.
In the opening game, WashU's Madeline Homoly poured in 29 points and grabbed 16 rebounds to lead the Bears. Becca Clark-Callender dished out eight assists in the win. Rebekah Ehresman paced Illinois Wesleyan with 17 points, eight assists and six steals.