By JARED JERNAGAN
Coming off their second loss of the season in last week's Caribbean Hoops Showdown in Cancun, Mexico, the DePauw women's basketball team (7-2, 1-0 SCAC) look to return to its winning ways tonight as they host Ohio Northern University at 7 p.m. in the Lilly Center.
Poor shooting (26 percent) and 18 turnovers did the Tigers in against Messiah in their 61-47 loss. DePauw's normally balanced attack was held in check, as only Cassie Pruzin managed to score in double figures, with 18 points. Jenna Fernandez had nine rebounds and Pruzin handed out four assists.
The lack of balance was out of character for DePauw, as Fernandez (13.9), Pruzin (13.1) and Gretchen Haehl (10.1) all average in double figures. The Tigers' remaining two starters, Kalei Lowes and Emily Marshall, are each averaging at least seven points.
Pruzin also leads the team in rebounds, while Haehl has the most assists.
As a team, DePauw is averaging 72.6 points per game and 41.6 points per game. They are outscoring opponents by 14 points per game and grabbing nearly 10 more boards.
The Tigers' opponents tonight will be no slouch, either, as the Lady Polar Bears come in with a 9-2 record, coming off a 73-59 win over Earlham on Dec. 22. In that contest, guard Jenny Markle led Ohio Northern with 20 points. Alisha Rinehart came off the bench to add 19, while Erin Brand chipped in 16.
Megan Cevasco pulled down nine boards, while Markle had seven assists.
On the year, the Polar Bears have balance, with Brand, Markle and Rinehart all averaging between 12 and 14 points per game. As a team, they average 70.2 points and outscore opponents by almost 13.
On the glass, Megan Cevasco leads NOU with 4.9 rebounds per game. The Lady Polar Bears average 32.5 rebounds per contest, just one more than their opponents.
In trying to return to their winning ways, the Tigers will need to exploit their apparent advantage on the boards as well as returning to their more balanced and consistent offensive attack.
Defensively, the Clovers face a team eerily similar to themselves, as the scoring can come from one of several sources. Limiting production across the board will be a key.