DePauw women heading to Illinois Wesleyan for D3 national tourney
Despite being knocked off in the semifinals of the North Coast Athletic Conference tournament on Friday, DePauw's No. 7-ranked women's basketball team received an at-large berth on Monday for the NCAA Division III national tournament.
The Tigers (25-2) will be heading to Illinois Wesleyan to meet Trine (24-3) in the second game, following Illinois Wesleyan (24-3) against Marietta (24-4).
Trine and DePauw will meet for just the second time in the all-time series. In the only other meeting, DePauw beat Trine, 64-54, in Greencastle during the 2008-09 season.
Trine will be making its second straight, and second overall, appearance in the NCAA postseason. The Thunder enter the tournament with a 24-3 overall record and captured their second consecutive Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association Regular-Season Championship. Trine advanced to the MIAA Tournament title game, but fell to Hope (Mich.) College in overtime.
Trine has posted back-to-back 20+ win seasons and have been led all year by the duo of junior Brandi Dawson and senior Hayley Martin. The duo swept the MIAA special awards for the second season in a row with Dawson taking "Most Valuable Player" accolades and Martin grabbing "Defensive Player of the Year" in back-to-back seasons.
Dawson currently leads the team in scoring with a 14.1 points per game average and is shooting an impressive 61.3 percent (160-of-261) from the field. She has scored in double figures in all but four games this year with a season-best 29-point effort in the season-opener against Defiance (Ohio) College. Dawson is second on the team, behind Hayley Martin, in rebounding at 6.2 boards per game. She is also second on the team in blocked shots with 16 and is amongst the team leaders in assists (39) and steals (30).
Hayley Martin began the season on the injured list and missed the first three games. Since then, she has started every game and is averaging 10.9 ppg. while shooting 44.7 percent (102-of-228) from the floor. She leads the team in rebounding at 6.3 boards per game and blocked shots with 50. In addition, Hayley Martin has tallied 12 assists and made 16 steals.
The semifinals are on Friday, while the championship game is on Sunday. Game times have not yet been set.