Mar. 1, 2008
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.
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.
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
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.
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.