Kopp's Layup with Three Seconds Left Lifts #11 DePauw to Win and Midwest Challenge Title

Kopp's Layup with Three Seconds Left Lifts #11 DePauw to Win and Midwest Challenge Title

St. Louis, Mo. - Sydney Kopp's layup with three seconds left propelled 11th-ranked DePauw to a 69-67 win over Illinois Wesleyan in the Midwest Challenge championship game at WashU. The Tigers improved to 6-1 with the win, while the Titans, ranked 21st by D3hoops.com and 24th in the latest coaches' poll, dropped to 5-2.

Illinois Wesleyan led 64-56 after Kendall Sosa's layup with 3:14 left capped a 7-0 run, but the Tigers called a timeout to attempt to stop the momentum. 

Grace Kinsey knocked in a three with 2:30 left and then blocked a shot on the other end which gave the Tigers the ball. Mya Shannon's three-point play with 1:54 remaining closed the deficit to 64-62.

The Titans were unable to convert on a third straight possession before Kinsey evened the score at 64-64 with a pair of free throws with 1:16 left. 

Kendall countered with a layup 10 seconds later, but the Titans were whistled for a bench technical foul with 59 seconds remaining. Kinsey hit the second of two charity tosses to trim the Illinois Wesleyan lead to 66-65. 

Kopp then put the Tigers ahead with a layup at the 34-second mark before Riley Brovelli evened the score at 67-67 by hitting the first of two free throws. Kopp grabbed the miss of the second try and the Tigers called a timeout. 

DePauw inbounded near its bench and Kopp took the pass by midcourt and dribbled until about the five-second mark before driving down the right side of the lane and laying the ball off the glass and in for the deciding points. The Titans had a desperation shot from beyond midcourt that hit the rim before falling off.

DePauw got out to an early 18-7 lead before the Titans scored the next 19 to take a 26-18 advantage with just over six minutes left in the first half. Illinois Wesleyan took a 38-32 lead into the break and still led by eight at 46-38 before the Tigers closed the third on a 17-6 run to take a 55-52 lead into the final stanza. The Titans opened the final period with a 12-1 stretch before the Tigers began their final rally.

Kopp led all scorers with 35 points and her nine 3-pointers broke the school record of eight we she matched in last year's opening round of the NCAA Championship and shared with Emily Budde (vs. Millikin, 12/2/2015) and Kelly Morrison (vs. Oglethorpe, 2/26/1999). Shannon added 15 points off the bench, while Claire Keefe grabbed nine rebounds with Kinsey and Natalie Kehrt each dishing out four assists.

Brovelli paced Illinois Wesleyan with 16 points and 10 rebounds followed by Sydney Shanks and Brooke Lansford with 13 apiece. Samantha Munroe led the way with six assists.

DePauw shot 35.4 percent from the floor to the Titans' 44.8 percent, but the Tigers nailed a school record 14 3-pointers in 26 tries. The Tigers also held a 43-35 rebounding edge with each team committing 16 turnovers.

DePauw opens North Coast Athletic Conference play on Wednesday, December 4, with a 7 p.m. game at Wittenberg.