Tigers' Comeback Falls Short in NCAC Semfinals

Tigers' Comeback Falls Short in NCAC Semfinals

Greencastle, Ind. - DePauw trimmed an 18-point fourth quarter deficit to two and had a chance to tie the game in the final 15 seconds, but a 3-pointer was off the mark and the host Tigers bowed out of the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament with a 72-68 semifinal loss to Wittenberg.

Seventh-ranked DePauw finished the regular season at 25-2 and had its 21-game win streak snappe. The Tigers will await word on Monday of a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. Wittenberg improved to 16-11 and faces Oberlin in tomorrow's 4 p.m. championship game after the Yeowomen topped Kenyon, 51-40.

The Tigers held as much as a three-point lead in the opening quarter, but Wittenberg outscored DePauw 15-2 over the final 3:22 to gain a 21-11 advantage at the break. Wittenberg's lead reached as much as 14, but DePauw scored seven straight late in the half to trail 33-27 at halftime. 

DePauw was still within 10 at 44-34, but a 3-pointer from Amanda Raber followed by two free throws from Abigail Crum and a trey from Delaney Williams pushed the margin to 52-34 with one quarter left.

Sydney Kopp hit 3-pointers on back-to-back possessions to cap a 10-0 run and cut Wittenberg's lead to 54-46 three minutes into the final stanza. The visiting Tigers scored the next six to push the lead back to 14. Wittenberg's lead was still 10 at 64-54 after Alex Kiess hit a pair of free throws with 1:26 remaining. Kopp quickly nailed a three to trim the deficit to seven with 1:16 left. 

Kiess hit a pair of free throws before Maya Howard's layup made it 66-59 with 1:09 remaining. Delaney Williams missed a pair of free throws before Kopp knocked in another 3-pointer to cut the Wittenberg lead to 66-62 with 48 seconds left. Williams then made two free throws, but Kopp countered with a trey to make it 68-65.

After Kiess hit two more charity tosses, Kopp was fouled while shooting a 3-pointer and made all three free throws to close the gap to 70-68 with 20 seconds remaining.

Williams made the first of two free throws to make it a 3-point lead with 19 seconds left, but Emily Budde's 3-pointer was off the mark and Williams hit one free throw with seven seconds left to secure the win.

Howard led all scorers with 24, while Kopp finished with 21 including 19 in the game's final 7:31 with five 3-pointers. Kiess, Sydney Make and Amanda Raber each scored 15 for Wittenberg and Kristie Kalis added 12.

Wittenberg was just the second team to outrebound the Tigers as they held a 37-35 advantage on the boards. Claire Keefe grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds for the Tigers, while Haley Dannemiller had eight for Wittenberg.

Howard dished out five assists for DePauw with Williams and Mayle each handing out four for Wittenberg.

DePauw shot just 31.3 percent from the floor to Wittenberg's 46.7 percent. 

For complete tournament details, visit the tournament site.