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Cream of the crop to face off

Thursday, March 15, 2007

GREENCASTLE -- The NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Final Four begins Friday and DePauw University coach Kris Huffman knows the Tigers are in for a challenge.

DePauw (29-3) will face Mary Washington (30-2) in the first round Friday while Washington-St. Louis (24-5) takes on New York University (27-2) in the other game.

The Tigers will face Mary Washington in the first semifinal game, set to begin at 4 p.m. in Springfield, Mass.

Mary Washington is riding a 26-game winning streak heading into Friday's showdown with the Tigers, who are on a nine-game streak of their own.

DePauw's last setback took place Feb. 11, when Austin College defeated the Tigers, 61-57.

Mary Washington's last loss was on Dec. 8, when the Eagles lost to York, 52-46.

"They've been strong the last four or five years," Huffman said of the Eagles, who are under the direction of coach Deena Applebury.

New York's last loss came to Washington on Jan. 28, 78-71, while Washington last lost on Feb. 2 to New York, 83-58.

Both the Violets and Bears are members of the University Athletic Association.

DePauw is a member of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference while Mary Washingtin is a member of the Capital Athletic Conference.

Mary Washington is paced on offense by Debbie Bruen's 13.7 points per game while Liz Bondi averages 15.5 points per game to lead the Tigers.

Washington is paced on offense by Rebecca Parker's 13.1 points per game while Jessica McEntee leads the Violets in scoring at 17.3 points per game.

McEntee also averages a double-double, gathering 12.7 rebounds per contest.

Huffman said the contest between Washington and New York should be a great game since both teams are in the same conference and have played each other twice already.

"That's going to be a heck of a game," Huffman said. "They're both real strong teams."

Washington is under the direction of Nancy Fahey while New York is coached by Janice Quinn.

In addition to Parker, the Bears get 10.7 points per game from Shanna-Lei Dacanay and 10.6 points from Sarah Schell.

However, Washington is very strong on the boards as Parker averages 10.3 rebounds and Jaimie McFarlin averages 10.

In addition to McEntee's points and rebounds, New York gets 11.8 points per game from Stephanie Ryba and 10.1 from Andrienne Rochetti. Karen Bachman also averages 8.8 boards per contest.

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