With more than 2,000 people watching Saturday night, the DePauw women's basketball team season came to an abrupt end.
Hope College (31-1) defeated DePauw (29-2) 76-60 in the final game of the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Quarterfinal.
The Tigers struggled in the first half against Hope, only being able to capture the lead a couple of times.
The Tigers took their first lead with 16:39 left when Suzy Doughty drained two free throws to give the Tigers an 8-6 lead. DePauw didn't trail again until the 13:11 mark when Ellen Wood sank a free throw from the charity stripe. The Flying Dutch tied the game three times, at 8-all, 10-all, and 14-all before retaking the lead. The Tigers tied the game at 18 with just under 11 minutes to go in the first half and that would be the last time DePauw would be that close to the lead before the break.
Hope closed the first half with a 33-29 lead.
No matter what the Tigers put into the air, nothing went in. DePauw shot 28 percent from the field on 9-of-32 shooting from the floor in the first half.
"We couldn't even buy a bucket (Saturday),"DPU Coach Kris Huffman said. "It was physical game and I didn't think it was to our advantage."
The Tigers found themselves getting pushed around in the post, an area where they are usually dominant. DePauw was outrebounded by Hope 52-34 and outscored 38-20 in the paint while Liz Bondi, the Tigers main player in the paint, was held to only 12 points and six rebounds.
"Being 5-foot-10 and being doubled teamed by two 6-foot-2 defenders didn't make things easy for Liz," Huffman said.
DePauw's shooting improved in the second half, but not enough for the Tigers to overcome the tempo Hope had set. The Tigers shot 34.5 percent on 19-of-61 shooting and ended the night shooting 31.1 percent from the floor.
The Flying Dutch were able to build a seven-point lead on the Tigers, but DePauw battled back and tied the game at 42-all with a seven-point spurt from Cassie Pruzin and Bridget Bailey. Pruzin started the run with a layup followed by two free throws from Bailey. Pruzin got sent to the line moments later and hit one of her two freebies and Bailey caped the run with a jump shot in the paint. That was the last time DePauw was that close to the lead. The Tigers pulled within one of the lead a few more times, but couldn't recapture it.
Jorydan Boles and Linda Ebels penetrated the Tigers' defense and offense every chance they could. Ebels scored 13 points for the Flying Dutch while Boles contributed 20 and when ever the Tigers put up a shot, Ebels was there to pull down the board. Ebles led her team in rebounding with nine.
"We didn't handle things well on the glass and that was a factor in this game," Huffman said.
Its win over DePauw gives Hope its 28th straight win of the year.
"Every team at the beginning of the season has a dream of making it to the Final Four and we did it," HC Head Coach Brian Morehouse said. "This win came down to two things toughness and rebounding and DePauw was one tough team.
"I told everybody that you don't get to punch your ticket to Springfield unless you rebound and that's what we did," Morehouse said.
At the end of the game, Bondi and Haehl were named to the All-Sectional team.
Pruzin paced the Tigers offense with 16 points while Bondi scored 12 points. Doughty chipped in seven points while Lindsay Houin and Caitlin McGonigal scored six points each while Gretchen Hael had five points. Bridget Bailey put up four points and Kalei Lowes scored three points. Maisha Cadet-Duval ended the night with one point.
At Neal Fieldhouse
Hope College (31-1) - Jordyn Boles 7-18 2-2 20; Julie Henderson 4-9 7-9 15; Linda Ebels 5-9 3-4 13, Ellen Wood 2-5 4-7 8, Bria Ebels 1-5 3-4 5, Stacy Warsen 2-2 1-3 5, Lindsay Lange 2-3 0-1 4, Kaitlyn Kopke 2-3 0-0 4, Megan Noll 1-6 0-0 2, Brieann Bryant 0-0 0-0 0, Jennie IntVeld 0-0 0-0 0, Courtney Knox 0-0 0-0 0, Joanne Stewart 0-0 0-2 0, Sarah Jurik 0-2 0-0 0, Kate Reincke 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-62 20-32 76.
DePauw University (29-2) - Cassie Pruzin 5-11 5-6 16, Liz Bondi 3-8 5-6 12, Suzy Doughty 2-9 3-4 7, Caitlin McGonigal 2-4 1-1 6, Lindsay Houin 3-4 0-0 6, Gretchen Haehl 2-7 0-0
5, Bridget Bailey 1-7 2-2 4, Kalei Lowes 1-9 0-0 3, Maisha Cadet-Duval 0-1 1-2 1, Gwen Haehl 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-61 17-21 60.
Hope College 33 43 - 76
DePauw University 29 31 - 60
3-point goals-Hope College 4-16 (Jordyn Boles 4-11, Bria Ebels 0-2, Megan Noll 0-1, Sarah Jurik 0-2),DePauw University 5-15 (Caitlin McGonigal 1-1, Gretchen Haehl 1-6, Liz Bondi 1-1, Kalei Lowes 1-2, Cassie Pruzin 1-5). Fouled out--Hope College-None, DePauw University-None. Rebounds-Hope College 52 (Linda Ebels 9), DePauw University 34 (Lindsay Houin 7). Assists-Hope College 17 (Julie Henderson 6, Jordyn Boles 6), DePauw University 13 (Liz Bondi 3, Cassie Pruzin 3). Total fouls-Hope College 17, DePauw University 24. A-2000