Greencastle, Ind. - Claire Keefe matched a career high with 22 points and led DePauw (22-4) to a 57-48 win over Wittenberg (18-9) in the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament semifinals. The 19th-ranked Tigers advanced to tomorrow's 4 p.m. championship game where they'll face Denison. The Big Red topped Ohio Wesleyan, 68-59, in tonight's second semifinal contest.
Wittenberg scored the final five points of the first quarter and the first four of the second in taking a 20-10 lead. DePauw closed the gap to 20-19 by scoring nine straight. Maya Howard's putback at the buzzer gave the Tigers a 24-23 lead at the intermission.
DePauw led by five on a couple of occasions in the third before Wittenberg closed the margin to one in the final minute of the period. Mya Shannon's steal and layup gave DePauw a 41-38 edge with eight seconds left and, after stealing the inbound pass, Sydney Kopp was fouled and hit two free throws to send the hosts to a 43-38 lead after three quarters.
Wittenberg was still within four before Kopp, Keefe and Howard each scored to push the lead to 54-44 with 2:30 left. Wittenberg got no closer than eight the rest of the way.
Keefe led DePauw with 22 points and nine rebounds, while Kopp followed with 15 points and Howard dished out four assists.
Delaney Williams paced Wittenberg with 19 points with Riley Culver adding 10. Kristie Kalis grabbed 10 rebounds.
DePauw shot 33.3 percent from the floor to Wittenberg's 29.6 percent and the Tigers held a 43-36 edge on the boards.