Titans Advance on Late Bucket after Tigers Erase 10-Point Defict

Steve Frommell, d3photography.com
Steve Frommell, d3photography.com

Oshkosh, Wis. - Wisconsin-Oshkosh's Nikki Arneson scored with 1.3 seconds left to break a 52-52 tie and DePauw got the ball into Claire Keefe's hands, but her contested jumper in the paint hit the rim and fell off and the Titans advanced in the NCAA Championship with a 54-52 victory over the Tigers. DePauw finished the season at 25-5, while Wisconsin-Oshkosh improved to 26-3 and advances to the round of 16.

The Tigers, who trailed by as many as 10 in the third, were down 45-37 with less than eight minutes left. Keefe hit a couple of buckets to trim the deficit to 45-41. DePauw still trailed by four after Isabella Samuels scored with 52 seconds left to make it 51-47. DePauw turned the ball over on its next possession and the Titans hit one of two free throws to push the lead to five with 28 seconds left.

Sydney Kopp converted a 3-point play with 21 seconds left to make it 52-50. Oshkosh missed two free throws and, following timeouts by each team, DePauw got the ball into Maya Howard's hands and the senior's layup in traffic with 9.6 second remaining tied the score. Following a timeout, the hosts inbounded in front of their own bench and Arneson drove into the lane and hit the running jumper. 

The Titans never trailed in the contest and took a 14-10 lead into the second quarter. DePauw was back within one point in the second quarter before the hosts went to the break leading, 28-25. In the third, DePauw failed on three straight possessions to take the lead. Oshkosh then went on an 11-2 run to gain its largest advantage at 39-29 with 4:07 remaining in the third.

Keefe led the Tigers with 18 points and 11 rebounds, while Howard added three assists and three blocks. Leah Porath paced Oshkosh with 12 points and Olivia Campbell added 11 along with five assists. Samuels hauled down seven rebounds in the win.

DePauw shot 37.5 percent to the Titans' 46.3 and the Tigers held a 34-33 edge on the boards with each team committing nine turnovers.