#11 DePauw Advances to Midwest Challenge Championship Game Following 69-58 Win over Host Bears

#11 DePauw Advances to Midwest Challenge Championship Game Following 69-58 Win over Host Bears

St. Louis, Mo. - After trailing WashU by as many as eight in the opening half, 11th-ranked DePauw closed the halftime gap to two and outscored the host Bears, 34-21, over the final 20 minutes, for a 69-58 win in today's second game of the Midwest Challenge.

DePauw faces #21/24 Illinois Wesleyan in tomorrow's 4 p.m. CST title game. The Titans topped Rose-Hulman, 68-34, in today's first game.

WashU held a 14-13 edge after the opening quarter and used a 6-0 run midway through the second to take a 28-20 lead with 5:01 remaining in the half. DePauw still trailed by six with less than two minutes left before Sydney Kopp, Claire Keefe and Hayley Cange scored on consecutive possessions to even the count at 35-35. The Bears' Karisa Grandison scored to give her team a 37-35 halftime lead.

The teams exchanged baskets to start the third period before DePauw scored the next five on a layup and 3-pointer from Kopp to take the lead for good. The Tigers' lead in the quarter reached as many as nine at 53-44 before WashU closed the quarter with a 5-0 stretch to trim the DePauw lead to 53-49 as the teams headed to the final period.

The Bears were still within four in the opening three minutes of the final quarter, but Keefe and Kopp scored to push the lead to eight. WashU closed the gap back to five at 59-54 before Mya Shannon hit a jumper with 2:18 left and Keefe added two free throws with 42 seconds left and Kopp made a pair with 32 seconds remaining.

Kopp led the Tigers with 25 points including 18 in the second half, while Keefe followed with 13 and Shannon 10. Hayley Cange grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds and Kopp had four assists. Kopp moved into eighth place on DePauw's all-time scoring list and now has 1,216.

Samantha Weaver paced WashU with 16 points, while Kristina Schmelter added 13 and Isabelle Hren followed with 10.

DePauw shot 40 percent from the field including 58 percent in the third, while WashU connected on 37 percent and only 25.8 percent in the second half. The Tigers also held a 48-34 rebounding edge and had 11 turnovers to WashU's 10.