The DePauw women's basketball team opened Friday night's basketball game with Sewanee on an 8-0 run. After that, it got even better.
Twelfth-ranked DePauw (9-2, 2-0 SCAC) used some tough defense and a dominant night on the boards to defeat Sewanee (5-6, 1-1 SCAC) 77-35 in a Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference contest.
For the first couple of minutes, both teams struggled to find the basket, but junior Cassie Pruzin put the Tigers up 2-0 when she made a layup in transition at the 17:55 mark. Less than 30 seconds later, she put DePauw up 4-0 on a second-chance bucket.
After this play, Steffi Renninger, Sewanee's leading scorer, went down with an ankle injury. She did not return.
DePauw coach Kris Huffman likes to stress how everything for her team starts with defense and rebounding. This was certainly the case Friday. The Tigers would force Sewanee into a contested shot, get the rebound, and then make the bucket in transition.
"I thought we had a pretty good effort defensively," Huffman said. "We talked at halftime about how we could finish possessions a little bit better defensively, but overall we defended well."
Sewanee was a woeful 29 percent from the floor on the evening, a testament to DePauw's team defensive effort.
The Tigers continued to build the lead throughout the first half, getting it to 16-2, then 22-4. They held a comfortable 35-13 lead at the half. Six different Tigers had scored, and Pruzin had equal the Sewanee scoring by herself with 13 points.
The Tigers held the real edge on the boards, though, outrebounding Sewanee 50-24. More impressively, DePauw pulled down 17 offensive boards to just five for Sewanee.
"I didn't foresee that big of a differential, but we certainly talk a lot about rebounding," Huffman said. "We know that's a key for us. We've had an off and on switch rebounding-wise, so it was nice to have the switch on tonight."
The second half held more of the same for DePauw. Although Sewanee showed a slightly improved offensive attack, the Tigers also did not miss a beat. DePauw shot 51 percent from the field.
As the second-half wore on, Huffman began bringing in more and more of her bench players, getting them some valuable game experience. Even with the subs in, Sewanee could not make a run.
With 2:26 remaining, a layup from Kristin Barrow made it a 46-point game, DePauw's biggest lead of the night. The lead had continued to grow in spite of the absence of any starters for several minutes.
Huffman was pleased to get her younger players some good experience in a conference game.
"We need to keep developing some of the youth on our team, so it is crucial that we get them some game minutes. I thought they handled it well tonight," Huffman said.
All 17 players who dressed for DePauw saw some playing time
Friday night, with 13 of these scoring.
On a night this good, the only negative for DePauw was their 15 turnovers. As they approach the rest of their season, this will continued to be a point of emphasis for Huffman and the Tigers.
"Turnovers have been a factor. You certainly don't want to give the opponent extra opportunities to score and beat you," the coach said. "That is something we need to work on -- our passing and our decision making."
Pruzin led the Tigers with 19 points and six assists. Emily Marshal pulled down 12 rebounds with Andrea Travelstead just behind with 10.
Anne Wills was Sewanee's leading scorer with 10 points. Acacia Mack and Rachel Miller each had four rebounds. Mack also collected three assists.
The win extended DePauw's school-record home winning streak to 18 games. They have also won 37 straight regular season home games and 34 straight SCAC home games.
Those streaks will be tested Sunday when the Tigers host 15th-ranked Oglethorpe. The Stormy Petrels defeated Centre 71-55 Friday night.
The game tips off at noon at the Lilly Center. It will be broadcast live on WGRE 91.5.
At Neal Fieldhouse; Greencastle, Indiana
Sewanee 13 22 -- 35
DePauw University 35 42 -- 77
SEWANEE (5-6, 1-1 SCAC) -- Anne Wills 5-13 0-0 10; Kelsey Nichols 3-4 0-0 6; Acacia Mack 3-12 0-0 6; Lauren Gulley 2-5 0-0 5; Mary Smiley 1-1 0-0 3; Carla Smiley 1-7 0-0 3; Courtney Childress 1-6 0-0 2; Jamie Robinson 0-1 0-0 0; Catherine Sanders 0-1 0-0 0; Veronica Phillips 0-1 0-0 0; Rachel Miller 0-3 0-0 0; Kelly Morrison 0-0 0-0 0; Steffi Renninger 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-55 0-0 35.
DEPAUW UNIVERSITY (9-2, 2-0 SCAC) -- Cassie Pruzin 9-13 0-1 19; Emily Marshall 4-6 1-2 9; Andrea Travelstead 3-5 2-2 8; Kalei Lowes 4-8 0-0 8; Jenna Fernandez 3-6 1-2 7; Katie Mathews 2-5 2-2 6; Gwen Haehl 2-2 0-0 6; Sara Ketterer 1-2 1-1 3; Lauren Goff 1-4 0-0 3; Sarah Merkel 1-3 0-0 2; Kristin Barrow 1-1 0-0 2; Courtney Lauer 1-5 0-0 2; Brianna Frigerio 1-3 0-1 2; Molly Wersching 0-1 0-0 0; Heidi Keiser 0-0 0-0 0; Adedrea Chaney 0-0 0-0 0; Nancy Tobik 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 33-65 7-11 77.
3-point goals--Sewanee 3-13 (Mary Smiley 1-1; Carla Smiley 1-4; Lauren Gulley 1-1; Rachel Miller 0-2; Steffi Renninger 0-1; Acacia Mack 0-2; Anne Wills 0-2), DePauw University 4-13 (Gwen Haehl 2-2; Lauren Goff 1-4; Cassie Pruzin 1-5; Kalei Lowes 0-1; Courtney Lauer 0-1). Fouled out--Sewanee-None, DePauw University-None. Rebounds--Sewanee 21 (Rachel Miller 4; Acacia Mack 4), DePauw University 50 (Emily Marshall 12). Assists--Sewanee 7 (Acacia Mack 3), DePauw University 17 (Cassie Pruzin 6). Total fouls--Sewanee 14, DePauw University 4. Technical fouls--Sewanee-None, DePauw University-None. A-250.
Next game -- DePauw hosts Oglethorpe at noon Sunday.