Greencastle, Ind. - For the eighth time in school history and second straight year, the DePauw women are headed back to the NCAA Division III round of 16 following a 76-68 second-round win over Transylvania. The Tigers face Carthage next Friday at a site to be determined tomorrow after the Lady Reds topped Hope tonight 72-67.
The Tigers couldn't have gotten off to much better of a start as they hit six of their first eight shots and jumped out to a 16-1 lead in the opening four minutes.
Transylvania came right back with six straight and were still within single digits at the 12-minute mark. Alison Stephens hit a layup before Savannah Trees knocked in a couple of jumpers and Ali Ross finished the run with a layup to push the margin to 29-12 with 9:42 remaining in the half. Lauren Abendroth's three with 9:20 remaining gave DePauw its biggest lead of the game at 32-14.
Hannah Neeley's three-pointer with just inside one minute left before halftime pulled the Pioneers to within nine at 43-34.
Transylvania opened the half with a bucket to trim the lead to 43-36, but the Tigers gradually pulled away and led by as many as 15 on a couple of occasions with the last at 57-42 on Lauren Abendroth's layup with 13:20 remaining.
The Pioneers quickly closed the margin to single digits with a 6-0 run before Alex Gasaway hit a jumper and a three to make it 62-48. Transylvania was within seven at 68-61, but both teams went scoreless for nearly three minutes.
DePauw's last field goal of the game came with 2:50 left when Trees extended the lead to nine. Transylvania's Alex Botkin split two sets of free throws and the Pioneers grabbed four straight offensive rebounds before Madisen Webb's layup and free throw with 33 seconds left closed the Tigers' lead to 72-68.
Ross nailed two free throws with 30 seconds remaining and Hannah Douglas' steal set up two more Ross charity tosses to secure the win.
Ross led all scorers with 17 to go along with a game-high four assists. Gasaway finished with a double-double of 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Trees added 13 points and Abendroth 10. Stephens snagged a career-high 16 rebounds in the win.
Jordin Fender led Transylvania with 13 points followed by Webb with 12 and Nicole Coffman with 10. Botkin grabbed nine rebounds as each team totaled 41 boards and 14 on the offensive glass.
The Tigers shot 42 percent from the field and hit 9-of-21 three-pointers, while Transylvania connected on just under 40 percent.