It only took a few minutes for the DePauw University women's basketball team to take control of its game with Maryville enroute cruising to the Sweet 16.
The Tigers knocked off the Scotts, 86-58, in their 27th straight win of the year moving to 28-1 on the season with Liz Bondi leading the way, posting a double-double. In front of one of the largest crowds to watch a Lady Tigers game, Bondi scored 19 points and ripped down 13 boards.
This is the first time in two years that DePauw has advanced to the Sweet 16 after losing in the second round last year.
Right out of the gate, DePauw showed the Scots what they were up against. The Tigers scored the first six points of the game and never trailed.
"The quick start was huge for us and the first few baskets really got us going," DPU senior Liz Bondi said.
DePauw continued its offensive assault in the paint with Bondi scoring left and right and when Maryville switched to the zone, the Tigers switched to their perimeter shooters. With about eight minutes left, the Scots dropped into a zone defense in hopes of shutting down the Tigers offense, but had no such luck as Cassie Pruzin, Gretchen Haehl and Kalei Lowes drained back-to-back-to-back three-pointers for DePauw to stretch their lead to 18 at 36-18. DePauw went 8-of-14 from the three-point line, including 6-of-10 in the first half.
When DePauw wasn't shooting the lights out of the Lilly Center, it was crashing the boards. The Tigers outrebounded Maryville, 39-21, and that brought a smile to DPU Coach Kris Huffman's face.
"We did a nice job on the glass and it's a relief to have this game over with. It's been two years since we have been past the second round so this was our hurdle," Huffman said.
At the break, DePauw led 48-28 and the second half was even better for the Tigers.
DePauw started the second half with a 5-0 run and continued to pound the ball into the post for the remainder of the game.
"You have to give DePauw credit, playing at home is a big advantage and they were physically stronger than us," MVC Coach Dee Belle said.
The Tigers scored 32 points in the paint in the game.
The Tigers led by as many as 30 points in the second half and proved that they are as deep on the bench as they are in their starters. DePauw's bench contributed 29 points to its win with Haehl leading the way with 13 points.
"Our depth is so important to us and it's nice to know we have a second group like ours to come in and help us," DPU junior Suzy Doughty said.
DePauw will host the next two rounds of the NCAA tournament starting Friday when they take on Washington University (St. Louis), the only team to hand the Tigers a loss this season. Washington defeated DePauw 72-61 in the Tigers second game of the season.
Along with Bondi's and Haehl's points, DePauw got 17 fromm Doughty and 10 from Kalei Lowes. Pruzin chipped in seven points while Lindsay Houin and Bridget Bailey scoring six points each. Caitlin McGonigal scored five points and Andrea Travelstead scored two points while Gwen Haehl was good for one point.
At the Lilly Center
DePauw 48 38 -- 86
Maryville 28 30 -- 58
DPU -- Doughty 6 5-6 17, Lowes 2 4-4 10, Houin 1 4-8 6, McGonigal 2 0-0 5, Bondi 8 3-6 19, Mahon 0 0-0 0, Pruzin 2 1-2 7, Chaney 0 0-0 0, Haehl 4 2-2 13, Duval 0 0-0 0, Krouse 0 0-0 0, Bailey 2 2-2 6, Travelstead 0 2-2 2. Totals -- FG 27-48, FT 24-34, TP 86.
MVC -- Redd 1 0-0 3, Uner 6 3-3 16, Plemons 7 2-3 17, Saxe 0 2-2 2, Munday 2 1-2 6, Grant 0 0-0 0, McConnell 3 0-0 6, Flemming 0 0-0 0, Jones 0 0-0 0, Dalton 0 0-0 0, Weiss 1 0-0 2, Parton 0 1-2 1 Bain 2 0-1 4, Seal 1 0-0 2, Stache 0 0-0 0. Totals -- FG 23-56, FT 9-13, TP 58.
Halftime -- 48-28. 3pt -- DPU 8 (Haehl 3), MVC 3( three players with one each). Steals -- DPU 11 (Pruzin 3), MVC 6 (two players with two each). Rebounds -- DPU 39 (Bondi 13), MVC 27 (four player with three each). Assists -- DPU 17 (three players with four each), MVC 11 (Uner 3). Blocks -- DPU 3 (Bondi 2), MVC 1 (McConnell1).
0-- The Tigers host Washington University (St. Louis) on Friday.