2014 Tournament Champions
Tuesday, Feb. 25
|Saturday, March 1
|#2 Ohio Wesleyan 81, #7 Oberlin 72 - Box||Denison 67, Ohio Wesleyan 57 - Box||DePauw 69, Denison 41 - Box|
|#3 Denison 60, #6 Allegheny 56 - Box||DePauw 88, Kenyon 60 - Box||Championship photos|
|#4 Kenyon 78, #5 Wittenberg 58 - Box||Semifinal Photos|
|Bracket -- Stats -- Tickets -- Directions -- History|
Top-seeded DePauw (27-1) captured its third consecutive NCAC Women's Basketball Tournament on Saturday evening with a 69-41 triumph over third seeded Denison (21-7) at Neal Fieldhouse in Greencastle, Indiana. As tournament champions, the Tigers have earned the league's automatic bid into the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament, which will open with first and second round games next weekend on campus sites.
Junior Savannah Trees (Libertyville, IL/Libertyville) scored a game-high 17 points, while senior Alison Stephens (Prairie Village, KS/Shawnee Mission East) registered a double-double grabbing a team-high 11 rebounds to go along with 10 points. Trees was named the Nan Nichols Award winner as the tournament's most outstanding player. In 77 total minutes of tournament action, Tress led the Tigers in scoring with 48 points (16.0 ppg) after shooting 59.4 percent (19-of-32) from the field, 66.7 percent (4-of-6) from beyond the arc and a perfect 6-of-6 from the free throw line.
LaNiece McRae, Ohio Wesleyan
Maggie Boelter, Kenyon
Jordan Holmes, Denison
Gretchen Staubach, Denison
Alex Gasaway, DePauw
Nichols Award (MVP)
Savannah Trees, DePauw
Top-seeded DePauw (26-1) trailed Kenyon (16-10), 20-18 with over nine minutes left in the first half, but the Tigers closed the period with a 22-4 run en route to an 88-60 NCAC Tournament semifinal victory. With the win, the Tigers advanced to Saturday's 7 p.m. title game with Denison. Savannah Trees (Libertyville, IL/Libertyville) led DePauw with a game-high 23 points, while Alex Gasaway (Crawfordsville, IN/Crawfordsville) followed with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds. Ali Ross (Lexington, KY/Lafayette) added 12 and became the 15th player in DePauw women's history to reach 1,000 points. Alison Stephens (Prairie Village, KS/Shawnee Mission East) grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds as the Tigers held a 46-20 edge on the boards and snagged 20 on the offensive glass for a 24-5 advantage in second-chance points. Maureen Hirt (Bloomington, IN/Bloomington North) paced Kenyon with 20 points, all in the second half, and Maggie Boelter (Vienna, WV/Parkersburg Catholic) added 15 and a game-high five assists. DePauw shot 48.4 percent for the game, while the Ladies hit 40.4 percent including 10-22 from three-point range.
In the first semifinal of the evening Denison (21-6) opened the second half on a 12-0 run behind nine points from Gretchen Staubach (Madeira, OH/Madeira) to propel the Big Red to a 67-57 victory over Ohio Wesleyan (18-9) and into the NCAC Championship Game Saturday night. In the first half both teams struggled to find a consistent tempo as the two squads combined for 21 turnovers in the period. Both connected on just 11 field goals and the two teams went into the locker room tied 25-25. In the second half, Denison shot 58 percent from the field (14-for-24), as Staubach scored 13 of her game-high 19 in the period. Jordan Holmes (Pittsburgh, PA/Mt Lebanon) registered her 19th double-double of the season for the Big Red, scoring 14 points and grabbing 23 rebounds. The 23 rebounds tied the NCAC Tournament record for rebounds in a game, matching Jerilyn Bushong's effort in 1986 for Ohio Wesleyan. Ohio Wesleyan junior LaNiece McRae (Youngstown, OH/Chaney) led the Bishops registering a double-double on the night with 10 points and 15 rebounds. This marks Denison's ninth appearance in the NCAC Championship game. In DU's eight previous championship game appearances they boast a record of 7-1. Their only loss came in 2012, against DePauw.
Top-seeded DePauw (25-1) opened the game on a 11-3 run and out
rebounded eighth-seeded Wooster (7-18) 35-18 en route to earning a
71-40 victory in the quarterfinal round of the 2014 NCAC
Women’s Basketball Tournament. The Tigers were led by
Hannah Douglas (Pendleton, IN/Pendleton Heights),
the lone player in double-figures with 12 points and Alison
Stephens (Prairie Village, KS/Shawnee Mission East) who
registered a game-high six rebounds. DePauw got a nice lift from
its bench as well outscoring the Wooster bench, 30-8. Defensively
DePauw held Wooster to 33.3% (15-for-45) from the field and scored
27 points off 25 Fighting Scots’ turnovers. Senior
Karley Walker (South Charleston, WV/South
Charleston) led Wooster in her final game as a Fighting
Scot with nine points, two rebounds and an assist.
Oberlin jumped out to a quick 8-0 lead before Ohio Wesleyan junior LaNiece McRae (Youngstown, OH/Chaney) hit a jump shot at the 16:49 mark to spark an 18-2 run as the second-seeded Bishops took the lead and never gave it back on their way to an 81-72 victory and a trip to the NCAC semifinals for the first time since 2011. McRae, off the bench, led Ohio Wesleyan with 24 points, five rebounds and three block as the Bishops out scored the Yeowomen bench 45-3. Ohio Wesleyan shot an impressive 52.6% (30-for-57) from the field due in part to 46 of its 81 points coming in the paint. With the win Ohio Wesleyan improves to 18-8, while Oberlin end its season with a mark of 9-17. Christina Marquette’s (Huntington Beach, CA/Edison) 22 points and 17 rebounds along with a game-high 23 points from Lindsey Bernhardt (Miami, FL/Ransom Everglades School) led Oberlin in a losing effort.
Denison (20-6) secured its 11th trip in the last 12 years to the NCAC semifinals after defeating Allegheny (14-12), 60-56, Tuesday night from Livingston Gymnasium in Granville, Ohio. After a back and forth affair in the first half, Denison’s Jordan Holmes (Pittsburgh, PA/Mt Lebanon) converted on a layup with 13 second left to give the Big Red a six-point, 33-27, lead at the half. Denison would push the lead to as many a nine points however twice Allegheny would cut the Big Red lead down to two and both times the threat was answered with clutch three-point field goals from Denison’s Candise Love (San Diego, CA/Vista Murrieta). Love who finished the game with 22 points, including 3-of-4 from long range, hit the latest of her timely shots with just 3:50 remaining in the quarterfinal contest after Allegheny’s Rachel Vigiotti (Pittsburgh, PA/Oakland) converted on a jump shot pulling the Gators within two at 55-53. Holmes, who scored five points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the second half, would finish the game with 13 points, a game-high 17 rebounds and four blocks. The win marked the seventh time in the last 10 years Denison has notched 20 wins in a season. The Big Red converted 40-percent from the field (22-for-55), while Allegheny went 23-for-65 (35.4 percent). The biggest difference came from three-point range where DU knocked down 45.5 percent (5-for-11) compared to a 15-percent conversion rate by the Gators (3-for-20). Vigiotti would finish the game with 13 points, four rebounds, four steals and three rebounds for the Gators in a losing effort.
In the final quarterfinal matchup of the evening, fourth-seeded Kenyon (16-9) defeated No. 5 Wittenberg (14-11), 78-58, in Gambier. Kenyon senior Maureen Hirt (Bloomington, IN/Bloomington North) scored a game-high 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting bringing her career total 1,799, surpassing 1997 graduate Kim Graf to become the Ladies all-time leading scorer in program history. Hirt also added eight rebounds and a steal as Kenyon advanced to the NCAC semifinals for the 10th straight season. The Ladies converted 51.7-percent from the field (31-for-60), while Allegheny went 21-for-64 (32.8 percent). Wittenberg was led by junior Heather Schroeder (Aurora, OH/Aurora), who posted 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting and a 5-of-5 mark at the free throw line.
The DePauw Tigers, two-time defending conference champions, completed NCAC play with a 15-1 record and secured the top-seed despite losing, 65-64, at Ohio Wesleyan on Saturday. The loss snapped DePauw’s 58-game win streak and 77-game regular season winning streak. The Tigers 24-1 record marks the fifth-straight year DePauw has won at least 24 games in a season and the 13th-straight season with at least 22 wins. Wittenberg leads all league teams with 12 NCAC championships, sharing the crown with Ohio Wesleyan in 1999 and ‘92. Allegheny is next with six titles, including five-straight from 1985-89. No other team in conference history has won more than three consecutive championships. The Gators shared the NCAC’s first championship in 1985 with Wooster. Additionally, Allegheny and Ohio Wesleyan tied for first in 2001. The Battling Bishops own five overall titles, while Kenyon and Denison each boast three and Wooster two.
DePauw (15-1, 24-1) will be the top seed in the 30th annual NCAC Women’s Basketball Tournament. Tournament play begins with quarterfinal games at campus sites on Tuesday. Tournament seeding follows the final regular-season standings with the top four seeds hosting the quarterfinals. The Tigers host No. 8 seed Wooster (2-14, 7-17) and second seed Ohio Wesleyan (12-4, 17-8) hosts seventh seed Oberlin (4-12, 9-16) at 6:00 p.m. While third-seeded Denison (11-5, 19-6) hosts sixth-seeded Allegheny (8-8, 14-11) and fourth-seeded Kenyon (10-6, 15-9) hosts fifth-seeded Wittenberg (9-7, 14-10) with both contests set to tip at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday’s winners will advance to the semifinals and championship on Friday and Saturday at the site of the highest remaining seed after the quarterfinals. Semifinal games will be held at 6:00 and 8:00 p.m. with the high seed playing in the later time slot. The championship game is set for 7:00 p.m. This year’s champion will again receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, which begins with first-round play on March 7-8.
TOURNEY TALK: DePauw is the two-time defending NCAC tournament champion after defeating Kenyon, 63-49, in the 2013 tournament final. Denison (7), Wittenberg (7), Ohio Wesleyan (5) and Allegheny (5) have combined to win 24 of 29 women’s tournament titles. DePauw and Kenyon each have two tournament titles, while Wooster has one. Wittenberg leads all conference teams with 14 appearances in the championship game, while Ohio Wesleyan is close behind with 13. Allegheny and Denison have each been to the finals nine times, winning a championship in all but six trips between the two squads. Kenyon has six title game appearances, while Wooster has four. Oberlin, this year’s seventh seed, has advanced past the quarterfinal round three times, but has yet to earn a trip to the championship game. Wooster returns to the NCAC tournament for the first time since 2011 as the eighth seed and will be looking to advance past the quarterfinal round for the first time since 1996. DePauw, entering its third NCAC Tournament, carries a perfect 6-0 record in tournament action, while Wittenberg has been the most consistent team in tournament play with a .712 overall winning percentage (42-17). Ohio Wesleyan has gone 41-24 in the tournament (.631), followed by Denison at 31-21 (.596) and Allegheny at 28-24 (.538). Kenyon (28-27, .509) is the next closest team.