2008 NCAC Women's Basketball Tournament



Tournament Stats



Championship History

Edited: Mar. 1, 2008

Quarterfinals:   Semifinals:   Championship:
Tuesday, Feb. 26   Friday, Feb. 29   Saturday, Mar. 1
#1 Kenyon 73, #8 Earlham 45 (boxscore)   hosted by Kenyon   at Kenyon, 7:00 p.m.
#3 Wittenberg 79, #6 Oberlin 49 (boxscore)       Denison 66, Wittenberg 55 (boxscore)
#4 Denison 75, #5 Allegheny 66 (boxscore)   Wittenberg 61, Ohio Wesleyan 45 (boxscore)    
Wednesday, Feb. 27   Denison 43, Kenyon 41 (boxscore)    
#2 Ohio Wesleyan 94, #7 Hiram 49 (boxscore)        

Denison (18-10) claimed its fourth straight North Coast Tournament championship, and fifth overall, after defeating third-seeded Wittenberg (15-11),66-55. The Big Red prevailed through a back-and-forth game that saw nine lead changes, 11 tie game situations and a nearly 20-minute delay due to a lighting mishap. The win was also Denison's 12th-straight Tourney victory, dating back to a Feb. 27, 2004, loss to Allegheny in that season's semifinal round. Tonight, junior Ellen O'Brien led all scorers with 18 points. She also dished out five assists. In the second half, she surpassed Bridget Colleran '94 to become Denison's single-season assist leader with 147. Junior Sarah Perrine was named Most Valuable Player after combining for 33 points over three games. She was a pefect 10-for-10 from the free throw line over the course of the Tournament and also chipped in 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals. In the championship game she finished withwith nine points and the key three-pointer with just over two minutes to go. Perrine was joined on the All-Tournament team by freshman Shaina Kaiser and O'Brien, Kenyon senior Anne Dugan and Wittenberg sophomores Stephanie Boardman and Carrie Dyer. Dyer led Wittenberg in the championship game with 17 points and 12 rebounds.

As Tournament champions, Denison earns the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Division III tournament. The NCAA Division III playoff appearance is the Big Red's fourth straight. Last year Denison ousted defending national champion, Hope, in the opening round before bowing out to eventual national champ, DePauw, in the second-round. The NCAA Division III tournament field will be announced on Monday.

Wittenberg (15-10) and Denison (17-10) will face off in the championship game of the 2008 NCAC Women's Basketball Tournament after a pair of upsets in the semifinals. The championship tips off at Kenyon on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Fourth-seeded Denison advanced to its fourth straight North Coast Tournament championship after upsetting top-seeded Kenyon (20-7), 43-41, in their semifinal matchup. The victory snapped Kenyon's 17-game winning streak and marked the fourth straight victory over the Big Red in the NCAC Tournament. Denison is gunning for its fourth straight tourney title, and would be the first team to win four consecutive Tournament crowns since Allegheny won the league's first five tournaments (1985-89). Big Red junior Sarah Perrine led all scorers with 12 points. Freshman Shaina Kaiser was clutch down the stretch, finishing with nine points, five rebounds and three steals. Freshman Haley Dahlgard also scored nine points for Denison. Kenyon senior Eva George paced the Ladies with ten points and five rebounds. Senior Anne Dugan added nine points, eight boards, and five steals.

Third-seeded Wittenberg advances to the championship game of the NCAC Tournament for the first time since they won the event in 2004 after upsetting second-seeded Ohio Wesleyan (18-8), 43-41, in the night's first semifinal matchup. Tiger sophomore Stephanie Boardman led Wittenberg with 19 points, while senior Katie Gregorevich added 12 points. Ohio Wesleyan junior Laurel Lawson led the Battling Bishops with seven points, and classmate Katie Hamilton grabbed a team-high five rebounds.

Second-seeded Ohio Wesleyan (18-7) defeated seventh-seeded Hiram (5-20), 94-49, in a quarterfinal game of the NCAC Tournament.The game was played one day later than originally scheduled due to severe weather conditions. The Terriers kept things close in the first 10 minutes of action and grabbed the lead, 14-12 at the 11:08 mark, but they couldn't extend their advantage as the Battling Bishops went on a 7-0 run to take control of the game. OWU had a 44-29 edge going into the locker room at the half and unleashed a punishing 20-0 run in the second period to put the game away. Five Bishops reached double figures in scoring, led by junior Laurel Lawson's 13 points. Senior Steffi Graf and junior Katie Hamilton followed close behind with 11 points apiece. Hiram junior Stephanie Zunic and senior Katie Grendel each netted 10 points to lead the Terriers.

Three of the top four seeds advanced through the quarterfinals on Feb. 26. Earlier today, the Hiram at Ohio Wesleyan matchup was postponed one day due to weather. Tipoff will be Wednesday (Feb. 27) at 8:00 p.m.

NCAC champion Kenyon (20-6) defeated eighth-seeded Earlham (4-22), 73-45. The win gives Kenyon its fifth 20-win season in program history. The Ladies jumped out to a quick 13-0 lead, which they pushed to 43-13 at the half. Senior Alisha Moreno led a trio of Kenyon players in double figures with 16 off 6-of-12 shooting from the floor , including 4-of-8 from long range. She added four rebounds, nine assists and two steals. Senior Anne Dugan chipped in 13 points; classmate Eva George had 10. In all 11 different players entered the scoring column for Kenyon, and the team recorded assists on 20 of its 27 buckets. Junior Tracy Hill led the Quakers with 11 points and 10 rebounds, while junior Tasha Merrill tossed in 10 points.

Third-seeded Wittenberg (14-10) defeated sixth-seeded Oberlin (5-21), 79-49. The Tigers, who got off to a slow start, put together a bug second-half run to advance to the Tourney semifinals for the 19th straight season. The Tigers put a season-high five players in double figures, led by senior Katie Gregorevich with 21 points, four rebounds, two assists, two blocked shots and two steals. She moved into fifth place on Wittenberg's career scoring list. Senior Ali Rohlfs chipped in 12 points, three rebounds and three assists, while sophomore Carrie Dyer added 10 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Oberlin had three players with double figure scoring: sophomore Liz Thompson with 13, freshman Katie Thompson with 12 and sophomore Alicia Smith with 10.

Fourth-seeded Denison (16-10) got a career-high 16 points from freshman Shania Kaiser and junior Ellen O'Brien scored all 10 of her points in the final six minutes of play as the Big Red rallied for a 75-66 victory over fifth-seeded Allegheny (11-15). The victory advances the Big Red into the Tourney semifinals for the sixth straight year. Five players scored in double figures for Denison, paced by Kaiser's 16 points off 6-for-6 shooting from the field. She also added three rebounds and two assists. O'Brien, who leads the NCAC in assists with 139, also added nine assists and four steals to her 10 points. She needs only seven assists to set a new Denison single-season record. Allegheny built up a 40-35 advantage at the half, and trailed by just one with 1:40 to play before Denison hit a basket and then iced the game by hitting 6-of-6 from the charity stripe. Sophomore Emilie Simone scored a game-high 21 points on 10-of-17 shooting to lead the Gators.

Allegheny (5) and Wittenberg (7) have combined to win 12 of 23 women's tournament titles. Denison and Ohio Wesleyan each have four tourney titles; Kenyon has two titles, while Wooster has one. Denison, which enters the 2008 NCAC Tournament as the fourth seed, has won the past three tournaments.
Ohio Wesleyan and Wittenberg have each made 12 previous trips to the Tourney finals. Allegheny has been to the finals seven times, winning a championship in all but two tries. Denison and Kenyon have made five championship game appearances, while Wooster has made four, followed by Earlham (1).

The last time the third and fourth seeds faced off in the championship game was 2006, when Kenyon and Denison met in the finals at Wittenberg. Denison took the title with a 68-54 victory.

Hiram returned to the tourney field after failing to make the cut last winter. The Terriers made their third overall appearance and entered the field as the seventh seed - their highest.

Earlham gained its third straight tournament berth. The Quakers have advanced past the quarterfinals five times, including their run to the championship game in 2001. That year, Earlham fell in the final to Ohio Wesleyan, 87-76.

Wittenberg leads the way with a .796 overall winning percentage in NCAC Tournament games (38-11). Ohio Wesleyan has gone 36-20 in the tourney (.643), followed by Allegheny at 24-18 (.571). Denison (21-18, .538) and Kenyon (22-22, .500) are the next closest teams.

Denison set the tournament marks for three-point field goals (27) and blocked shots (23) in their three contests last winter. Individually, then senior Kristen Sheffield tied her own tourney record with 13 blocks over the three games (also had 13 blocks in the 2006 event).

How quarterfinal teams fared against each other this season: Three of the top four seeds, #1 Kenyon, #2 Ohio Wesleyan and #3 Wittenberg swept their first-round opponents during the regular season. The Ladies, Battling Bishops and Tigers took two games apiece from Earlham, Hiram and Oberlin, respectively. #4 Denison and #5 Allegheny split a pair of games, with each team winning on the road. The Big Red topped the Gators in Meadville, 60-50, on Jan. 26, while Allegheny took a 67-59 decision in Granville last week.

How semifinal teams fared against each other this season: Kenyon and Ohio Wesleyan each won the regular-season series against their opponents. The Battling Bishops topped Wittenberg by scores of 87-73 and a thrilling 63-62, while the Ladies bested Denison, 72-65 and 69-48.

How championship teams fared against each other this season: Wittenberg took the season series from Denison, winning by scores of 81-73 and 65-55.