GREENCASLTE -- DePauw University women's basketball head coach Kris Huffman ratcheted win number 400 in her career Sunday as the hosts cemented their first place standing in the SCAC with a 87-41 hammering of Sewanee.
The No. 14 ranked hosts jumped the visiting Tigers from the start, rattling off an 8-0 lead before Sewanee called a timeout to regroup. The visitors hit a three out of the break but the five point deficit was as close as Sewanee would come for the rest of the game.
DePauw poured on the scoring, much as they had in their first encounter with the University of the South, whom they trampled 87-31 Jan. 9th.
The Tigers' senior trio of Lauren Goff, Katie Mathews and Ellie Pearson combined for 27 of DePauw's 42 first half points as they took a 19 point lead into halftime.
DePauw continued to pound the visitors in the second half, starting with a 21-4 run over the first eight minutes that ballooned the lead to 36 points.
By that point, the hosts were able to move in and out the entirety of their bench as Sewanee was never in a position to threaten the lead. In total, 11 DePauw players scored on the evening, lead by Mathews' 18.
While the win was a fine finish to home games for the trio of seniors, Huffman knew that things would only get tougher from there, starting with a long road trip to end the year at a time when rest is crucial.
"For now, we need to stay healthy and peak at the right time. Birmingham-Southern is one of the best teams in the conference and Rhodes can beat anyone. It's a tough road trip and a long road trip and then we go back-to-back with the conference tournament," Huffman said.
"So, we just need to fine-tune some things and hopefully end on a high note here. When we talked the other day at practice, we said we can still get better and we need to continue to strive to get better."
Sewanee presented some challenge for the Tigers, particularly on the defensive end.
"This game, it's hard to play against a zone defense for 40 minutes. It's kind of a grind. I liked how in the second half we came back, we moved the ball better, we got some touches in the paint, we got on the offensive glass and I thought we improved from the first half to the second half," Huffman said.
"We defended better as well. We just had a lot more energy in the second half," Huffman added.
With the number one seed in the Eastern division of the SCAC secured, DePauw now must also eye potential challenges in the SCAC tournament, including a potential meeting with Trinity, the only team to beat the Tigers in SCAC play.
"In that other division (Western Division), they change defenses a lot. We could be seeing Trinity, they knocked us off at their place, they'll play some 1-3-1 and some 1-1-3 and they'll junk it up and so will Millsaps," Huffman said.
"You have to prepare these next couple of weeks for all you're going to see because we're hopefully going to be playing bang-bang-bang, three days in a row. That's certainly our goal and we want to be cutting down some nets."
"It won't be easy. We definitely have a huge target on our back, especially as we're leaving the (SCAC) this year and everyone would like to send us away without that trophy. We'll have to be mentally and physically tough."
Sewanee 23 18 -- 41
DePauw 42 45 -- 87
Shooting -- Sewanee 11-41; DePauw 36-74
Rebounding -- Sewanee 23; DePauw 52
Three Pointers -- Sewanee 4-23; DePauw 7-29
Free Throws -- Sewanee 15-18; DePauw 8-16
Assists -- Sewanee 6; DePauw 23
Turnovers -- Sewanee 20; DePauw 12
DePauw -- Mathews 18, Gasaway 15, Pearson 13, Osborne 9, Goff 8, Aldrich 8, Molloy 8, Walker 2, Fougerousse 2, McGinnis 2, Ruhl 2
Next game -- DePauw (20-3, 13-1 SCAC) travels to Alabama to play Birmingham-Southern University (14-9, 9-5 SCAC) on February 18th.