Edited: Feb. 28, 2009
As NCAC tournament champions, Ohio Wesleyan earns a berth in the NCAA Division III tournament. The NCAA will announce matchups on Monday.
Allegheny built to a 29-20 lead after the first half, then scored the first seven points of the second half and later, rang up a 40-22 lead with 13:17 remaining in the game. Kenyon found its footing and battled back to take a 45-43 lead, but the Ladies couldn't hold on to their advantage. A jumper by Emilie Simone with eight seconds left on the clock sealed the victory for the Gators. Simone finished with 14 points, while Stephanie Wolf had a double-double, compiling 13 points and 11 rebounds. Allegheny returns to the championship game after a two-year absence. The Gators fell to Denison, 63-47 in 2003. Kenyon, making its fifth straight appearance in the NCAC tournament semifinal, concluded its season with a 13-13 record. Ladies sophomore Kathleen Williams finished the game with five rebounds, four steals, and led all scorers with 20 points. Freshman Morgan Korinek also had five rebounds and chipped in nine points.
The second semifinal of the evening was reminiscent of last winter's tournament semifinals when the fourth-seeded Big Red knocked off the top seed, Kenyon, to advance to the championship game. However, the Big Red were on the other side of the upset this year, falling to fourth-seed Ohio Wesleyan, 80-66. Pam Quigney led the way for the Bishops with 21 points. Tyler Cordell posted a double-double, collecting 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. She also dished out a team-high six assists. Katie Hamilton went 12-for-17 from the line on the way to 16 points. Her 17 free throw attempts tied the OWU record set by current assistant coach Jessica Viertlboeck against Allegheny on Jan. 20, 2001. Ohio Wesleyan returns to the championship game for the first time since 2003. That year the Bishops fell to Wittenberg, 72-58 in the final. Denison suffered its first loss against an NCAC opponent this winter. The Big Red rolled through the regular season to a 16-0 record in conference play. The loss also halted their school-record 16-game win streak. Senior Carolyn Simpson tallied 16 points, nine rebounds and four blocked shots. Shaina Kaiser scored 13 points and had eight rebounds. Seniors Caitlin Graessle and Ellen O'Brien both ended the night with nine points each. O'Brien also finished with seven assists. Denison has compiled a 19-7 record and must wait until Monday morning to find out if they will earn an at-large berth into the NCAA Tournament.
NCAC champion Denison defeated eighth-seeded Oberlin, 99-47, to advance to the semifnal round of the NCAC tournament for the seventh straight year. The win also marks the Big Red's 16th in a row, re-writing the school record for consecutive victories. Senior Carolyn Simpson notched her second straight double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds while sophomore Shaina Kaiser finished with 18. Senior Caitlin Graessle chipped in 16. Oberlin was led by Syrea Thomas and Alyssa Clark who scored 10 and 9 points, respectively. Emily Chu Finkel and January Baker each pulled down six rebounds. The Yeowomen end their season with a 5-21 record.
Kenyon, the second seed, defeated seventh-seeded Hiram, 64-48 and will make its fifth consecutive trip to the semifinals. Sophomore post Kathleen Williams tossed in a career-high 23 points and added nine rebounds to lead the Ladies past the Terriers for the second time in six days. She had help as four other players added at least eight points on the night. Sophomore Elana Carlson pumped in 12 points. Hiram freshman guard Tiffiani Shields paced the Terriers with 11 points on 4-of-11 shooting (.364). Junior forward Ashley Drum grabbed a team-high five rebounds in addition to scoring six points.The Terriers end their season with a 7-19 overall record, improving last year's mark by a pair of victories.
Allegheny, the third seed, advanced past sixth-seeded Wooster, 62-45, extending their post-season record over the Fighting Scots to 7-0. Lauren Donahoe and Laura Magnelli scored 14 points; Donahoe added six rebounds off the bench for the Gators. Stephanie Wolf posted a game-high eight rebounds and also chipped in 11 points. Allegheny enters the semifinal round of the tournament having won six of its last seven games -- and nine of its last 10 against schools not named Denison. Wooster was led by Kym Wenz, who finished with 14 points and four steals, and Keshia Butler, who put in 10. Kaitlin Krister grabbed a team-high five rebounds. Wenz winds up her junior year in a Scot uniform with 483 points, the second-highest single-season point total in program history. She will head into her senior season with 1,017 career points. Her 18.6 points per game also ranks her fourth in the program's single-season records. Wooster closes out its season with an 8-18 record.
Fifth-seeded Wittenberg jumped out to an early lead, but the Tigers couldn't hold on as No. 4 seeded Ohio Wesleyan pulled out a 67-61 victory. Sophomore wing Tyler Cordell led the Battling Bishops' scrappy effort with 19 points and four assists. Freshman post Dany Finck finished with 14 points,while senior post Katie Hamilton scored 13 points and snared a team-high eight rebounds and sophomore post Kayla Gordon kicked in 10 points. Wittenberg senior post Rachel Dixon netted 16 points to go along with six rebounds. Junior wing Carrie Dyeradded 12 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals, while junior post Stephanie Boardman chipped in with 10 points and a team-high seven rebounds. With a final record of 14-12, Wittenberg extended its run of winning seasons to 20 straight, despite suffering its first-ever NCAC Tournament quarterfinal loss since joining the league in 1989-90.
TOURNEY TALK (as of 2/24): Denison (5), Allegheny (5) and Wittenberg (7) have combined to win 17 of 24 women's tournament titles. Ohio Wesleyan has four tourney titles, and Kenyon has two, while Wooster has one. Denison, the 2009 NCAC Tourney top seed, has won the past four tournaments. They entered the field as the fourth seed in 2008 and were the second seed in 2006. The Big Red were the top-ranked team in 2007 ...
Wittenberg has made 13 trips to the tourney final, followed by Ohio Wesleyan with 12. Allegheny has been to the final seven times, winning a championship in all but two tries. Denison and Kenyon have made six and five championship game appearances, respectively, while Wooster has made four. Earlham advanced to the title game in 2001 ...
Wooster returns to the tourney field after failing to make the cut last winter. The Fighting Scots, making their 23rd overall appearance, enter the field as the sixth seed ...
Hiram, making its fourth overall appearance, enters the field as the seventh seed for the second straight year ...
Oberlin, this year's eighth seed, has advanced past the quarterfinal round three times, but has yet to earn a trip to the championship game ...
Wittenberg leads the way with a .745 overall winning percentage in NCAC Tournament games (38-13). Ohio Wesleyan has gone 37-20 in the tourney (.649), followed by Denison at 23-18 (.561) and Allegheny at 24-19 (.558). Kenyon (23-22, .511) is the next closest team ...
Ohio Wesleyan set the single-game tournament mark for three-point field goals with 11 against Hiram in the quarterfinals last winter ...
How quarterfinal teams fared against each other this season: Three of the top four seeds, #1 Denison, #2 Kenyon and #3 Allegheny swept their first-round opponents during the regular season. The Big Red, Ladies and Gators took two games apiece from Oberlin, Hiram and Wooster, respectively. A sweep almost didn't happen for Kenyon, as the Terriers pushed the Ladies to a 56-55 overtime win in Gambier on Jan. 29. #4 Ohio Wesleyan and #5 Wittenberg split a pair of games, with each team winning at home. The Tigers topped the Battling Bishops in Springfield,73-72, on Jan. 24, while Ohio Wesleyan took a 64-53 decision in Delaware on Feb. 11.